The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi.
Returning Officer for the election and Vice Chancellor of ABU, Prof Ibrahim Garba, who announced the results, said Bello polled 406,222 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Engr Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who got 189,704 votes.
He said Bello, having met the requirements of the law and scored majority of the lawful votes cast, was declared elected and returned as winner of the election.
Bello defeated the candidate of PDP with a margin of 216,518 votes. Wada has disclosed his plans to drag Bello and his party before the election petitions tribunal when constituted.
The results declared by INEC showed that Bello won in 12 local government areas out of the 21 LGAs of the state while Wada won in nine local government areas.
The local government areas won by Bello were Ajaokuta, Adavi, Okene, Ogori/Magongo, Olamaboro, Okehi, Mopa-Muro, Kabba/Bunu, Kogi-Kotonkarfe, Ibaji, Lokoja and Ijumu LGAs.
Wada won in Omala, Idah, Igalamela/Odolu, Yagba East, Yagba West, Ankpa, Dekina, Ofu and Bassa local government areas.
Candidate of Social Democratic Party (SDP), Barr. Natasha Akpoti, polled 9,482 votes to emerge third in the contest.
According to the Returning Officer of INEC, the poll recorded 610,744 valid votes, 13,777 rejected votes and 149,576 cancelled votes.
He said the total votes cast in the election were 624,514.
Meanwhile, the agent of PDP, retired Capt Joe Agada, rejected the results declared by INEC and declined appending his signature on the final result.
He said the result was not a true reflection of what transpired during the election, adding that the entire exercise was marred by widespread irregularities and violence.
But reacting to the election, agent of APC, Abdulazeez Idris King, expressed delight with the entire process, saying the victory was a vote of confidence on the governor.
What I’ll do in my second term – Bello
Meanwhile, Governor Yahaya Bello has thanked the people of Kogi State for voting for him in the just concluded Saturday governorship election, describing his reelection as victory for true democracy.
The governor, in a statement by his Director General, Media and Publicity, Kingsley Fanwo, said the governor is now spurred to do more.
“This victory is for Kogi people that value true democracy. And we can assure that Governor Bello will not abandon his campaign slogan which expresses his desire to do more for Kogi people.
“We thank Kogites who voted for us. We also thank Kogi people who did not vote for us; they have challenged the governor to do more for them to earn their confidence.
“We urge PDP, to act to exemplify the spirit of sportsmanship by accepting the verdict of Kogi people. Governor Bello will do more for Kogi and Kogites will be the better for it,” he said.
I’ll reclaim my mandate in court – Wada
However, the PDP and its candidate, Engr. Musa Wada, have announced their resolve to challenge the outcome of the election in court.
Addressing a press conference yesterday at the PDP National Secretariat in Abuja, Wada claimed that the election was characterised by irregularities and vowed to reclaim what he termed as his stolen mandate at the tribunal.
Wada said there was no election on Saturday, but a declaration and execution of war against the people.
He added that what happened in the state was an organized war against democracy; coup against the people and seizure of power through brigandage.
“I, Engr. Musa Wada, the candidate of the PDP and the overwhelming majority of the people of Kogi State reject the conduct and outcome of the gubernatorial election held on November 16, 2019.
“The police aided armed APC thugs to invade polling units with impunity, shoot and kill voters and cart away ballot boxes to government facilities where results were written in favour of APC and handed over to INEC to announce against the will of the people,” he said.
Wada’s running mate, Samuel Bamidele Aro and the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, were at the press conference.