By Naomi Sharang
Sen. Smart Adeyemi (APC-Kogi), one of the aspirants for the governorship election in Kogi has faulted the conduct of the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election in the state.
He made this known during a news conference in Abuja on Saturday.
Adeyemi, who represents Kogi-West Senatorial District, expressed disappointment at the conduct of the exercise, and described it as “a new phenomenon of electoral malpractice.”
Adeyemi serves presently as the Chairman, Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He said: “We witnessed a new phenomenon of electoral malpractices and embedded corruption in the electoral process of our country.
“I have heard of riggings of elections but I have not heard of the new phenomenon which we must do all we can to stop in this country.
“The governorship primary election was scheduled for yesterday (Friday). As expected, all of us were in our various wards.
“What we heard was that election was already announced. Results were prepared, even before the commencement of voting.
“Announcements were made and I was taken aback. This is the worst malpractice; the worst form of rigging and unprecedented in the history of Nigeria.
“If there was election and it was rigged, we will know it was rigged, but where there was no election at all, and for someone to have the audacity to write result and went ahead to announce it.”
He said further that the National Secretariat of the APC and the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Kogi must be prepared and explain to Nigerians, if primary election was ever held in the state.
“The primary election was not conducted. All of us mobilised our members. Behold non of the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) nor even the panel that was to conduct the election was there.
“The chairman of that panel, the Gov. of Zamfara, Bello Matawalle, was the one that by the constitution of the APC, was to announce the result.
“He came we saw him, but Matawalle was not happy with the way and manner, so he left,” Adeyemi said.
Continuing, he added, “By the constitution of APC, if the chairman of the panel fails to announce the result, the secretariat is supposed to send another chairman, not the secretary announcing the result.
“There is a guideline, but the secretary went ahead, and announced the result.
“The primary election in Kogi was just allocation of votes.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that APC had declared the former Auditor General for Local Governments in Kogi, Alhaji Ahmed Ododo, as the winner of its governorship primary election in the state.
Secretary of the Kogi State APC Primary Election Committee, Mr Patrick Obahiagha, who announced the results, declared Ododo as the winner of the election and emergence as the party’s flag-bearer for the Nov. 11 election.
Obahiagha who made the declaration, said Ododo polled 78,704 out of the 83, 419 total valid votes cast in the primaries.
He was said to have defeated Salami Momodu, who scored 1, 506, coming far behind Shaaibu Abubakar-Audu, polling 763 votes; and Prof. Stephen Ocheni, 552.
“Dr Sanusi Ohiere polled 424, while Sen. Adeyemi, scored 311 votes.”
NAN also reports that eight other aspirants, including the deputy governor of the state, Mr Edward Onoja, stepped down for Ododo.
The others are a former Commissioner for Finance, Mr David Adebanji-Jimoh, Asiwaju Ashiru Idris and Mr Okala Yakubu.
” Also on the list were Mr Abdulkareem Asuku, Chief of Staff to Gov. Bello and the state’s Accountant-General, Mr Momoh Jibrin.(NAN)