The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared Mr. David Lyon and Alhaji Yahaya Bello both of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winners of the governorship election in Bayelsa and Kogi states respectively. The elections which were dotted with violence, ballot-box snatching and massive vote buying prompting different observer groups to condemn such undemocratic acts
The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared Mr. David Lyon and Alhaji Yahaya Bello both of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as winners of the governorship election in Bayelsa and Kogi states respectively.
The elections which were dotted with violence, ballot-box snatching and massive vote buying prompting different observer groups to condemn such undemocratic acts and have gone ahead to call for a cancellation of the election especially in Kogi state.
But INEC declared as inconclusive the election for Kogi West Senatorial district due to what it described as widespread violence in 53 polling units affecting a total of 149,000 votes which is more that the 80,118 gap between Senator Smart Adeyemi of the APC and Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)
Declaring David Lyon of the APC winner of the governorship election in Bayelsa state, the Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, Professor Faraday Orunmuwese, said he scored the highest number of votes in the poll.
The APC candidate polled a total of 352,552 votes to defeat his closest rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Duoye Diri, who scored 143,172 votes
INEC Returning Officer for Kogi state and Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Prof Ibrahim Garba declared Yahaya Bello winner of the election having polled 406,222 votes to defeat his main challenger, Engr Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 189,704 votes.
He said Bello having certified the requirements of the law has been declared elected and returned as winner of the election.
But, the Civil Society Situation Room has called for the cancellation in “entirety, the Kogi state election” and expressed worries over what it called community voting in the Bayelsa state election. In a statement issued on Sunday in Abuja the Situation Room noted that “the levels of violence witnessed in the two State governorship elections are unprecedented, alarming and raises questions about the credibility of the elections. Nigerians had expected that lessons learnt from the 2019 General elections by stakeholders especially by political parties, the Police and other security services would be taken to improve on the conduct of these elections.
“Unfortunately, this was not the case and both elections have proved to be a disappointment. The governorship elections conducted in Kogi and Bayelsa States represent a major setback for Nigeria’s electoral democracy”
On vote trading, Situation Room noted “the commercialisation of Nigeria’s elections appears to have reached unprecedented heights. Political parties and their agents operated openly and with impunity distributing money in purchase of votes and it appeared that they were no efforts to stop them. Sums paid at polling units ranged from N500 to N6,000
“The Kogi State election represents a major dent to Nigeria’s democratic process. The governorship elections in Bayelsa State has also witnesses serious lapses, with high levels of violence perpetrated by political parties again in collusion with security personnel and reports of “community voting”- a practice whereby political parties controlling particular areas compel overwhelming votes in favour of their party.
“Situation Room calls on INEC to fully interrogate the elections in Bayelsa State with a view to identifying the high incidences of malpractice that took place and reflect the genuine vote of the people. The statement was signed by Clement Nwankwo, Convener, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room.
The Peoples Democratic Party has condemned elections in the two states and called for the cancellation of the election. According to Kola Ologbodiyan, the Publicity Secretary of the Party said the election was a sham and a mockery of democracy.
But the All Progressive Party has commended the conduct of the election and congratulated its candidates. President Muhammadu Buhari has also congratulated the winners of the Governorship election.