The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada, winner of Saturday’s governorship election. Prof Shamsudeen Amali, the returning officer for the election, declared the results yesterday in Lokoja at the collation centre amid tight security.
He said Wada polled 300,372 votes to floor his closest rival, Prince Abubakar Audu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) who had 159,913 votes. The scores show a difference of 140, 459 votes between the PDP that came first and second-placed ACN.
Elder Ubolo Okpanachi of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) scored 9,642 votes to clinch the third position while his Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) counterpart, Chief James Ocholi, got 5,724 votes. In all, 19 political parties fielded candidates for the election.
Amali, who is the current vice chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, disclosed that 484,160 valid votes were cast during the election while 34,781 were invalid. He said 1,325,272 voters were registered in the state.
Meanwhile, Wada has expressed gratitude to God for emerging victorious in the keenly contested election.
President Goodluck Jonathan promptly congratulated PDP’s Wada and his running mate, Yomi Awoniyi, shortly after INEC declared them winner.
The president of the Senate, David Mark, also congratulated the governor-elect on what he described as a well deserved victory, but urged him to embark on proper reconciliation
Speaking through its national publicity secretary, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali, the PDP noted that Wada’s victory has shown clearly that the party is the most formidable party in the country.
But the chief strategist to Prince Audu, Hon. Dino Melaye, disagreed with Mark. He accused INEC of conniving with PDP to issue duplicate result sheets, with same serial numbers, which were entered in all the local government areas of the state.
He pointed out that the result announced by the electoral umpire was never the true reflection of the wishes of the people of the state, a majority of whom, he stressed, voted for Audu because ‘‘they wanted a change.’’ He assured that his boss would seek redress in the court.
Melaye said: ‘‘I floored the director general of Wada’s campaign organisation, Prince Olusola Akanmode and General David Jemibewon in their enclaves. So how did the ruling party win the election in the same place?
However, the special adviser to Governor Idris on media and public affairs, Mallam Adamu Zakari, told LEADERSHIP in an interview that the victory of Captain Idris Wada was expected. He attributed the success of the party to the unprecedented achievements of his boss in the past eight years.