•Heads to tribunal in protest
•As Buhari urges Bello, Lyon to carry everybody along
By Lateef Ibrahim, Lawrence Olaoye, Abuja and Ahmad Ibrahim, Lokoja
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi State, Engr Musa Wada has rejected the outcome of the poll in which the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Alhaji Yahaya Bello was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Engr Wada, at a press conference he addressed alongside his running mate, Hon Bamidele Aro in Abuja yesterday, described the Saturday’s election as a sham, saying that they will be heading for the tribunal to seek redress.
The PDP governorship candidate said that it was clear to all that there was no election on Saturday, November 16th
2019, in Kogi, but a declaration and execution of war against the people.
Engr Wada stressed that what happened in Kogi was an organized war against democracy; coup against the people and seizure of power through brigandage and the barrel of the gun with members of the Police and other security agencies coordinating the stealing of the people’s votes.
According to him, “I, Engr. Musa Wada, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (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.
“It is clear to all there was no election on Saturday, November 16th
2019 but a declaration and execution of war against the people.
“What happened in Kogi was an organized war against democracy; coup against the people and seizure of power through brigandage and the barrel of the gun with members of the Police and other security agencies coordinating the stealing of the people’s votes.
“The Police aided armed APC thugs to invade polling units with impunity, shoot and kill voters and carted 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.
“Police helicopters were used to attack polling units, fire tear gas on voters and provide cover to APC hoodlums and policemen who brutalized the people of Kogi state and stole their mandate.
“The APC turned our state into a theatre of war. No fewer than nine innocent Nigerians were killed. Many more were maimed and injured by the APC in their desperation to seize power at all cost.
“It is therefore distressing that INEC went ahead with a shameful collation and declaration of fabricated results despite the glaring disruptions that characterized the shambolic exercise.
“In order to achieve this ignoble goal, INEC cancelled our votes in areas of our stronghold, subtracted from our votes in many other areas and padded the votes of APC to give a semblance of victory for APC.
“The people of Kogi were horrified, brutalized and dehumanized. There have been weeping across the state since the announcement of another four years of Yahaya Bello.
“We therefore stand with the people of Kogi to state without equivocation that this brigandage and stealing of our mandate cannot stand.
“We will never despair but remain strong in our determination to retrieve the mandate freely given to us by the people in their desire for a change. We will pursue this course to its logical conclusion within the confines of the law of this country.
“We commend the people of Kogi state for their resilience in the face of all intimidation. They showed, once again, that nobody can suppress their will at any time.
“Our campaign mourns our compatriots that were killed by the APC; their blood demand for justice and we will ensure that they did not die in vain”, he said.
The PDP governorship candidatetherefore called on all Nigerians to stand with the people of Kogi state “at this trying time as they quest for the restoration of their mandate in this election”.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated winners of the last Saturday’s governorship election in Bayelsa and Kogi states, David Lyon and Yahaya Bello respectively.
This is just as President Buhari urged the governors-elect to carry other divergent interests along in the next phase of governance, imploring those not satisfied with the outcome of the poll to seek redress through the constitutionally established channels.
He also condemned the violence that predated the polls and those that occurred during the election in both states.
In a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, on Lyon’s impressive victory in Bayelsa, the President commended APC supporters in particular and Nigerians in general in the State who exercised their civic rights in a peaceful manner, notwithstanding the pockets of unrest recorded in some locations.
Condemning the loss of lives in Bayelsa, particularly prior to the election, the President commiserated with the families of the victims.
In another separate statement on Kogi’s re-elected governor, the President described Bello’s victory as “a race well run and a victory well won.”
He also enjoined the governor to imbibe the spirit of magnanimity in victory by extending a hand of partnership to opposition candidates, while urging those dissatisfied with the outcome of the election to approach the courts.
He commended APC supporters in Kogi state for remaining steadfast and resolute even in the face of isolated incidents of violence.
Buhari also condoled with families and loved ones of those who lost their lives as a result of regrettable acts of violence by thugs doing the bidding of their political sponsors.
According to the President, “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.”