The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kogi West, at the weekend said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and All Progressives Congress (APC) were complicit in violence and money inducement that characterised the just concluded by-election held in Lokoja/Kogi Federal Constituency.
Also, the senatorial district warned against allocation of an automatic ticket “to any aspirant by its members, or the enforcement of same through the directive of any body, committee, group, association or interests outside the district.”
This was contained in a statement the Zonal Chairman of Kogi West PDP, Mr. Taiwo Kola-Ojo issued after a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Iyah-Gbede residence of Maj.-Gen David Jemibewon at the weekend.
The meeting was attended by the national state leaders including Maj.-Gen. David Jemibewon, Chief Samuel Akande, Hon Hassan Salau, Dr. Stephen Olorunfemi and Chief S.K. Adedoyin.
After reviewing the bye-election, the statement condemned violence, insecurity and monetary inducement that featured during the process at the behest of the APC government, leaders and members in the state.
The statement also said the party leaders were disappointed at the decision of the INEC to announce the APC as the winner of the by-election.
It observed that the number of registered voters in areas where elections were cancelled, which stood at over 19,000, was higher than the difference in votes cast for the presumed winner and the candidate of the PDP, which stood at about 12,000.
It said: “Members, therefore, resolved to challenge the illegality in an appropriate court. The injustice meted by the INEC notwithstanding, the meeting encouraged members to be resolute in pressing for free and fair elections in the general and Governorship elections coming up in 2019.”
The statement affirmed their disposition “to providing a level playing field to all aspirants, irrespective of their age or status in the party.”
On the automatic ticket, the meeting agreed that giving the ticket as either a reward, incentive or concession to reciprocate political alliances or honour any memorandum of understanding would neither be justifiable nor be acceptable.
It said a twin method of consensus and competition “will be adopted, with consensus being the first effort while competition through primary election, in line with the guidelines stipulated by the national leadership of the PDP will be the ultimate option.
“To reinforce the stand of Kogi West, its resolution would be communicated to the State Executive Committees and National Executive Committees,” the statement said.