Kogi Election: Buhari Congratulates Yahaya Bello, Commends INEC

President Muhammadu Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Yahaya Bello on his re-election as Governor of Kogi State, while commending INEC and security agencies for “discharging their responsibilities under difficult conditions.”

The President tweeted his congratulations on Monday after INEC announced Bello as the winner of the Kogi elections, which was marred with reports of violence, according to observers.

However, Buhari noted that it “was a race well run and a victory well won.”

“I urge him (Bello) to see his renewed mandate as another opportunity to build on the foundations already laid towards improving the lives of the people of Kogi State,” the President said.

“I commend INEC & security agencies for discharging their responsibilities under difficult conditions. The violence that took place, and loss of lives, by thugs doing the bidding of their political sponsors, is condemnable. There is no room in our democracy for electoral violence.

“I commiserate with the families and loved ones of all those who lost their lives. All political actors and stakeholders must take deliberate steps to eschew electoral violence as a peaceful and orderly process is vital to our quest for enduring democracy.

“Let me enjoin Governor Bello to imbibe the spirit of magnanimity in victory by extending a hand of partnership to opposition candidates, and also ask that all those dissatisfied with the outcome of the election should, in seeking redress, approach the courts.”

Kogi Elections: Late Arrival Of Security Operatives Delay Voting In Lokoja – Itodo

Photo: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

Voting in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital is yet to commence due to late arrival of security officials at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Registration Area Centre (RAC) in Ajayi Crowther Memorial Senior Secondary School.

According to the Executive Director of YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo who has been at the RAC since Friday to observe the proceedings, only two security officials were deployed the previous night, despite several requests made by officials from the Local Government office in Lokoja.

He added that security officials eventually arrived at the centre at 7:42 am which questions the transparency of the management of election security deployment.

“When the officials deployed from the local Government office requested for security, only two security officials were deployed as of last night and it delayed the distribution of sensitive materials.

“Several calls were made to security agencies and they promised they were going to deploy, but we were shocked and surprised that up till about 7:40 am this morning, the security officials were not here.”

READ ALSO: LIVE UPDATES: Bayelsa, Kogi Governorship Elections – APC, PDP, Over 20 Other Parties Vie For Power

Mr Itodo asked INEC to prepare for an extension of voting time due to the late deployment of security officials and the fact that two elections will be taking place at Kogi West; the governorship and senatorial elections.

“The INEC officials were ready to deploy but they couldn’t; so for this particular ward that has got 27 polling unit, 100 voting points with a total number of 49,000 registered voters is commencing the elections very late.

“This cast a lot of doubt on the transparency of the management of election security deployment, particularly for this ward which is big and critical.

“They need to prepare because there may need to extend voting for this polling unit that is commencing late due to late deployment of security officials,” he added.

He also revealed that other RAC’s had similar delays in the deployment of security officials based on preliminary data gathered from the PVT centre.

“Other RACs we discovered that there was delay in the deployment of security officials. As at 7 am, the reports we got from over 222 polling units, 53% of PU had reported the presence of INEC officials based on preliminary data we received from the PVT Data Centre.

“I hope that INEC is watching this situation and ensuring that when it comes to logistics deployment for this election are guaranteed.”

Mr Itodo gave details of some incidents reported at Omala Local Government Area, where thugs are interfering with the process and intimidating the polling officials.

Kogi Elections: Governor Yahaya Bello, Wife Vote

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello and his wife, Amina, have cast their vote in Agassa ward 001, Okene.

Mr Bello is the Governorship candidate for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election and is seeking re-election into the office he occupied since 2015.

READ ALSO: Kogi Elections: Late Arrival Of Security Operatives Delay Voting In Lokoja – Itodo

Speaking shortly after he cast his ballot at 8:44 am, Mr Bello stated his satisfaction with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the conduct of the election in the state.

See photos below:

Kogi Election: El-Rufai Debunks Stepping Down As Chairman Of APC’s Campaign Council

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai. Photo: Twitter

 

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has described as ‘fabricated’ the reports that he has stepped down as the chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Campaign Council of Kogi state, saying that he will continue to campaign to persuade re-election of Yahaya Bello as governor of the state for a second term.

Kogi State will head to the polls on Saturday, November 16, 2019, to vote for a governor who will govern them for the next four years.

READ ALSO: Buhari Meets With Archbishop Of Canterbury

In a statement issued on Sunday by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Muyiwa Adekeye, El Rufai reminded the purveyors of the rumour, that it is well-known that he gives his best to all his assignments, and the Kogi election will not be different.

‘’The people of Kogi State will make their free choice at the ballot. Therefore, every political actor has a duty to ensure that the voters act on the basis of accurate information, not lies and fake news.

“I will be on the ground in Kogi this week as the APC works for another democratic mandate.”

The statement added that “APC will continue to campaign to persuade the people of Kogi State to renew the mandate they gave our party four years ago. That is the focus of the Malam Nasir El-Rufai and the members of the APC Campaign Council.”

Police Promise Fairness During Kogi Election

PoliceAhead of the governorship election in Kogi State, the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, has assured the people of a level playing ground during the polls.

The IG, who was at the Police Headquarters in Lokoja, was received by the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Command, Mr Samuel Ogunjemilusi and some other top police officers.

Mr Arase was on a mission elsewhere but stopped by at Lokoja Command to encourage the Police officers and also assure them of the Force Headquarters’ support at all time.

The IG also visited the Governor of Kogi State, Capt. Idris Wada. He gave him the assurance of deploying more manpower to the state to tackle the internal security challenges.

He urged the people in the state to cooperate with the Police by giving credible information which would lead to the arrest of criminals in the state.