Following the aftermath of the Kogi State gubernatorial election, the presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the last general elections, Prince Adewole Adebayo, has berated the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) for the alleged shoddy conduct of last Saturday’s off-cycle elections in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi states.
The opposition leader, who described the exercise particularly that of Kogi as a “sham” lamented that the process ought to be a simple exercise since it took place in three states unlike what was obtained in February and March when elections were conducted in the 36 states plus the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
While speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Friday, Adebayo gave INEC seven days ultimatum to review the results of the Kogi elections or risk being seen as an agency not serious about conducting, free, fair and credible elections and only determined to “waste people’s precious time.”
He also noted that if the review is done properly and thoroughly, his party, the SDP, would continue to be law-abiding irrespective of whether the exercise favours them or not.
According to SaharaReporters, Muritala Ajaka, the SDP candidate in Saturday’s Kogi State governorship election, and hundreds of his supporters on Tuesday stormed the INEC headquarters to protest against the outcome of the election.
INEC had on Sunday declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Ahmed Usman Ododo winner of the election with 446,237 votes.
The electoral body said Ajaka came second in the exercise with a total of 259, 052 votes and that the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Dino Melaye came third with a total of 46,362 votes.
It was also learned that the SDP candidate and his aggrieved supporters went to the INEC headquarters in Abuja to express their displeasure with the conduct and outcome of the election.
The protesters asked INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu to resign or declare Ajaka as the winner of the election through the seven-day window provided for scrutiny.
They had noted that Kogi Central recorded overvoting across its five local government areas and expressed shock that the results were accepted instead of cancellations.
While featuring on Channels TV’s ‘The 2023 Verdict: Off-Cycle Elections,’ on Sunday, Ajaka had also said there would be anarchy in the country if the election was allowed to stand.
He had said, “In the whole of the five local governments in central, the whole of the five local governments in central, there was no election anywhere. They wrote results. Result sheets were given to Yahaya Bello
“In Okene local government, they turned out over 130,000 votes, haba! And INEC accepted that result and what is on the BVAS is less than 30,000.
“With all due respect to the person of the INEC chairman, if they don’t do a checklist and investigate their officials that went to Kogi State and allow this to stand, I doubt if there will be election in 2027.
“Because people will go into that election armed and I fear Somalia will be a child’s play.
“If we knew it would be the same old music, we would have played along with that old music by inflating the results from my area.
“When the commission told us yesterday that they were looking into this case, we were hopeful, that is why everybody relaxed. Only for them now to collate these results. It is annoying. Three local governments are producing 230,000-something votes.”