Less than two months to Kogi State governorship election, one of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirants, Abubakar Ibrahim, Wednesday headed to court seeking to be declared the candidate of the party.
Faulting the process that produced Engr. Musa Wada as candidate of the party, the aspirant said that the primary fell short of expectation.
The development has not only heightened the crisis rocking the PDP in Kogi State but has compounded it.
Addressing a press conference Wednesday in Abuja, the campaign spokesman of the Abubakar Ibrahim Campaign Organisation, Shaba Ibrahim, questioned the authenticity of 600 votes recorded for the candidate.
The spokesman, who was flanked by the aspirant, Ibrahim, and the director-general of the campaign, former acting governor, Clarence Olafemi, queried the process and conclusion of the PDP committee.
Ibrahim spokesman questioned why 247 votes which the committee initially ignored were later announced as belonging to Senator Dino Melaye.
He said, “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 and it is because this matter is not otherwise subjudiced, 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 primary.
“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.”
“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, Umar 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 and 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 the chairman made a u-turn by announcing to the people present including yours sincerely and the candidate 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.
“It is interesting to note that of all the aspirants and their agents, it was only Engr. Musa wada’s agents or himself that was capable of that feat, that is, in securing his ballot notwithstanding the mayhem that was unleashed on defenseless and helpless people at the venue of the primary on the September 3, 2019.”
The spokesman further explained 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 belonged 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.”
Reacting to the reconciliation moves by PDP and Wada, the candidate 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.”