BREAKING: Kogi Election - INEC Declares Yahaya Bello Winner
By Ufuoma Egbamuno and Olamide Fadoju
Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello has been re-elected for another term in office. The All Progressives Congress (APC) polled a total of 406, 222 votes to beat his nearest rival, Engr. Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who got a total of 189,704 votes.
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) State Returning Officer, Prof. Ibrahim Garuba announced the results at the state collation centre in Lokoja, the state capital.
According to the INEC Returning Officer, a total of valid 610,744 votes were cast in Saturday’s election. Out of this number, a total of 13, 770 votes were rejected. Also, Prof. Garuba announced that a total of 149,576 votes were cancelled in the state.
Collation of results started on Sunday and had to be suspended with the APC candidate in the lead. On Monday, results from two local government areas, Ibaji and Lokoja were collated.
EXCLUSIVE: "#kogidecide2019 is a scam. I did not congratulate Gov Yahaya Bello"— Nigeria Info FM 99.3 (@NigeriainfoFM) November 17, 2019
PDP candidate, Musa Wada reacts to #KogiElect2019 in this chat with correspondent @philipnwelih pic.twitter.com/Lo7VEZmkVU
Meanwhile, governorship candidate of the PDP, Engr. Musa Wada has described last Saturday's governorship election in Kogi State as a huge fraud. In an exclusive interview with Nigeria Info correspondent Philip Nwelih, Wada alleged that exclusively security personnel aided the electoral fraud.
“It is a real scam,” Wada said angrily. “The violence was aided by the security personnel. They were escorting thugs to cause mayhem in our areas of strength especially the policemen (were) working in conjunction with APC thugs to disrupt elections where they are not strong to give them room for violence so that they can go and write the results they have so written. So they have achieved their aim.”
He continued: “Where is democracy? When you see a Police Commissioner coming to stay in a collation centre in my local government from last night to this morning. What was his mission there? Where is the democracy, when a helicopter from the police force will come and pour tear gas on my supporters in Ganaja, knowing fully well that is one of my stronghold?”
The Kogi State PDP Candidate also denied reports making rounds that he had conceded defeat and congratulated his rival and APC candidate, Governor Bello. According to Wada, the statement circulating in the media being attributed to him is totally false.
“I will be stupid to come and say I have congratulated somebody who robbed me of my victory,” Wada noted.
In his message to the people of Kogi state, the PDP candidate called on the people to keep their faith and promised to seek legal options with a hope to reclaim him mandate
“It is unfortunate that this has happened to them. This is a continuity of the suffering in the land that we wanted to come to change. But they should not despair. We are going to pursue this till the logical conclusion within the converse of the law of this country and even though there is no hope in Nigeria now from the judiciary to the legislature.
“Everything has been commandeered by the executive in this country. Naturally, Judiciary should be the hope of the common man. We hope that we get justice from there because it is about the masses, not me, not the party.
“And if they genuinely voted for me as they did, and their hopes were dashed by writing and coining results that will make them get victory, it is quite unfortunate. They should be patient, I wish them well. I know the suffering will continue because things will get bad under this very government. We hope at the end of the day, we will get justice and then the government they voted for will come to serve them.
“They should be patient. They should tolerate the type of government we have now that makes sure all the tenets of democracy are sunken. That they are not working. One day Democracy will come to Nigeria. There is no democracy in Nigeria as at now,” he noted.
Additional reports by Georges Macnobleson