Muritala Ajaka, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate in Saturday’s Kogi State governorship election and hundreds of his supporters on Tuesday stormed the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission to protest against the outcome of the election.
INEC 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 learnt 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 noted that Kogi Central recorded overvoting across its five local government areas and expressed shock that the results were accepted instead of cancellations.
Meanwhile, Ajaka had said it would be a waste of time to challenge the outcome of the poll in court should he lose the election to Ododo.
Ajaka had alleged that the election was rigged with the support of the INEC.
While featuring on Channels TV’s ‘The 2023 Verdict: Off-Cycle Elections,’ on Sunda, Ajaka said there would be anarchy in the country if the election was allowed to stand.
He 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.”
When asked why he was agitated since he had evidence to prove that the election was rigged, Ajaka said, “What am I going to court to do when the same INEC that did this is going to come as a witness to defend what they did? So it is a waste of time.
When asked if that meant that he would not challenge the outcome of the election in court if he lost, he replied, “To do what? Except the party people because I’m hugely disappointed. If the INEC chairman allows this to stand, they are looking for trouble in Nigeria.
“You gave me assurance that the election would be transparent, you allowed me to waste my time, spend my money, mobilise my people, only for you to write the results. Even if I’m not sad about it, you expect my supporters to be happy.
“I assure you if they allow this to stand as they are allowing in all the states now, they are calling for anarchy in this country.”