By Lateef Ibrahim
One of the aspirants who contested for governorship ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State, Abubakar Ibrahim, has gone to court, seeking to be declared the candidate of the party for the November 16 election.
The spokesman of the Abubakar Ibrahim campaign organisation, Shaba Ibrahim, who was flanked by Ibrahim and the Director General of the Campaign and former acting governor of the State, Hon Clarence Olafemi, disclosed this at a press conference addressed in Abuja.
The campaign spokesman, who faulted the process that produced Musa Wada as candidate of the party ahead of the election, equally faulted the authenticity of 600 votes recorded for the candidate.
Noting that the process and conclusion of the PDP committee on the primaries fell short of the expectation of rational minds, the spokesman questioned why 247 votes which the committee initially ignored were later announced as belonging to Senator Dino Melaye.
According to him, “We as democratic and law abiding people have taken steps to seek redress within the confines of the law. We have approached the court to seek redress. We will not go into many details.
“But suffice to state that we have won and pray to the court that Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim be and ought to be declared as the candidate of the PDP based on the valid votes recorded at the primaries.
“We are not unaware of insinuations going round that we seek to void the entire process that is far from the truth. Our prayer is sole and that is we won the election and ought to be so declared. We seek no more and we ask for no less,” he said.
He added, “I want us to recall that it was upon the assurances of the chairman of the committee no less a person than his excellency, Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Fintiri that all the materials and the ballot used in the election, that was disrupted by gunmen on the September 3 have been fully recovered, did we consent to the counting and sorting of the ballot and process on September 4, 2019.
“We want to state that it was not until the process of counting had been concluded that the chairman made a u-turn by announcing to the people present, including yours sincerely and the aspirant, that some 247 ballot papers were missing.
“It is instructive to note that the margin of lead between the two leading aspirants was and remains 38 votes. In our mind that is substantial.
“Next is the fact that the committee quite strangely accepted from Engr Musa Wada 600 ballot papers brought from the comfort of his home. They didn’t just accept but they also collated and added it to the already sorted 148 votes which now threw Engr Musa votes to 748.
“That before the conclusion of the exercise, we had laid claims to the missing 247 votes which the committee conveniently ignored, and quite interestingly, some days after the committee announced that those votes purportedly belong to Senator Dino Melaye.
“How they came about that finding beats our imagination and that is an issue.
“By simple arithmetic, you will agree with me that if you deduct 600 votes that were brought in from the confines and comfort of the candidate’s home from the 748 votes that are ascribed to him our candidate will be leading comfortably,” the campaign spokesman said.
Speaking on the moves by PDP and Wada on reconciliation, Abubakar Ibrahim said “sadly, not only has the candidate not approached me, but even the appeal committee has not even replied my petition.
“This is 14 days after, certificate of return has been given to the candidate and for what reason, I still want to know. But none of them, the party or Engr Musa, has addressed it.”