Governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in this Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi State, Natasha Akpoti has described her recent victory against the electoral umpire as victory not for her alone but all Nigerians and the nation’s democracy.
Justice Folashade Ogunbanjo-Giwa of Federal High Court in Abuja had on Thursday ordered INEC to reinstate the SDP candidate, Natasha Akpoti, for the November 16 governorship election in Kogi State, saying that the electoral umpire has no power to disqualify any candidate for an election as it is the exclusive reserve of a competent court of law.
Speaking to our correspondent, Natasha said she was “extremely happy” about the court’s verdict which repudiated her earlier disqualification from the governorship contest by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“It’s a victory not just for myself but for the entire Nigerians – Nigerians who have been able to dare the corrupt system, the cabal, and everything.
“It is also, a victory for our democracy because it’s a moment like this that creates history and helps create reform where the system is weak. We all know that my disqualification was wrong. There was no reason whatsoever for the disqualification.
“It shows a great gap in their administration at INEC. This whole scenario is a bigger picture that is going to strengthen INEC, our electoral processes and ensure that every agency or institution stays on its own line and not yield itself as a tool for political witch-hunt in the hands of the opposition.
“It is heart-warming to note that INEC is not willing to appeal because the judgement was clear and know they had erred. The Electoral Act was explicit on that. They had no right to reject or disqualify a candidate,” she said.
She expressed the optimism of having a good outing at the poll notwithstanding the short time left for her to campaign.
“Even though I was disqualified, my team at the grassroots was out there doing the door-to-door campaigns. It’s all working fine.
Natasha urged her supporters to remain firm in their supports and commitments towards changing the narrative of the state for better on November 16.
She said she would be on the field for the remaining days left for campaigns before the polls open.
Natasha said she would run an all-inclusive government that would engender the needed development in the state if she emerged victorious at the poll.