The winner of the recently held Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary in Kogi State, Dino Melaye, has denied allegations by other aspirants that the exercise was compromised.
Several of the runners-up in last Sunday’s primary election, including former deputy governor Yomi Awoniyi, questioned its process at a press conference, where they jointly demanded that the “right thing is done”.
Awoniyi said, “We demand that the delegate list that emerged from the processes put in place by the party on March 29 and April 8, we demand that these lists are used.”
“It is not acceptable to us that we are being coaxed to use a delegates list that is foreign to the process that took place.”
Reacting in a live appearance Tuesday on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Melaye argued that the complaints of the aspirants did not hold water.
“Initially, they said 153 names were altered in the delegate list. After the appeal committee sat and did some amendments, they said, ‘It is now 60 names that were tampered with’,” he said.
“Nobody will come and tell you that the election proper is not transparent. It’s the fairest and most transparent primary ever conducted in Kogi State and INEC adjudged it as that yesterday.”
The senator stated that the aspirants were not the ones who conducted the congress, adding that those who conducted the congress are the ones who can speak on the the names on the list.
According to Melaye, the organising committee has submitted its report to the PDP headquarters.
“So, what I’m saying, in essence, is that I polled 313 votes. The next person who came second polled 124 votes. So, even if you go by their complaints of 60 names added, deduct 60 from 313, I would still win,” he said.
“Deduct even the 153 – before they claimed there was a correction – from my votes, I would still win. My brother, the former deputy governor, scored 77 votes. Take the 150, add the 60 and still add to his votes, it still would not measure up to the number of votes I have.
“The man who came third scored 121, before Yomi Awoniyi [who] scored 77. But we kept quiet because we will not make noise, the truth will always be the truth, and we went to the contest and a winner has emerged.”
Appealing to the aggrieved aspirants, whom he described as brothers”, Melaye said they shared a mutual commitment to salvaging Kogi State from what he described as the economic cankerworm and financial scavenger of the state.
“Today, our focus is to make sure that we bring back the long lost reputation of Kogi State,” he said.