The candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Haruna Isah, has been declared winner of Saturday’s Kogi Koto-Karfe Federal Constituency bye-election held in Kogi State.
Recall that the bye election, according to reports, was marred with vote buying, ballot box snatching, thuggery, shooting and killing of some party supporters.
In the final results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC candidate polled 11,078 to defeat his closest rival, Engr Bashiru Abubakar of the PDP.
The African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) came third and fourth polling 977 and 433 votes respectively.
The final result announced by INEC as obtained on Sunday is as follows:
Accord = 31, ADC = 977, APC = 11,078, DA = 47, LP = 14, NPN = 10, NCP = 39, PDP = 7,094 and SDP = 433.
Meanwhile, the Coalition of all Political Parties that contested the election have rejected the outcome, alleging harassment, intimidation and disruption of voting process in some polling units.
In a statement signed by Bode Ogumola, Comrade Ade Usman, Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC), respectively, on behalf of the coalition, including the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and made available to journalists in Lokoja on Saturday, the coalition rejected in totality the way the said election was carried out.
Describing as horrible the shooting carried out by suspected APC thugs at Maigeri polling units in Lokoja, the parties noted that the bye-election lacked credibility, and met the least standard of electioneering anywhere in the world.
The three political parties said that the election was characterized by the use of Security Agencies to disrupt the election.
The parties called for outright cancellation of the exercise, alleging that the State government officials were given cover by the Police, SARS, to protect political thugs in police uniforms to be snatching ballot boxes in virtually all the polling units in the federal constituency.
The three parties, particularly fingered the Kogi State Chief of Staff, Edward Onoja for allegedly using security agencies, and thugs to disrupt election in most polling units in Lokoja.
They added that with the cover of security agencies, thugs carted away ballot boxes and snatched boxes in Paparanda, St Mary Primary School, Adankolo, Bishop Crowther Lokoja and several other units in Kogi LGA during the election.
While the parties fingered the Council’s Administrators of Kogi, Omala, Okene, Ijumu, amongst others as government officials who perpetrated violence and used political thugs and the security agencies to make the bye-election lack credibility, they accused the ADC to governor Yahaya Bello and OC Mopol of dishing out command to their men to aid thugs to snatch boxes at the polling units they were loosing out.
The parties alleged further that the bye election was characterised by vote buying, with the APC opening shops in polling centres to buy votes.
Aside the press conference, the parties said it had, however, its complaints to the INEC, and the security agencies to address the irregularities it observed in the election.
It particularly called the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to set up an enquiry that would determine the level of violence perpetrated by the APC-led administration which led to several deaths of the peace and law abiding citizens of the state.