Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting
SENATOR representing Kogi West, Smart Adeyemi, has revealed that the result of the governorhip primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which purportedly produced Ahmed Ododo were ready before the exercise proper.
The ace journalist and former president of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) said there was no primary held in the state, but a mere allocation of votes for a preferred candidate.
Recall that on Friday, Patrick Obahiagbon, secretary of the Kogi APC Primary Committee, had announced Ahmed Ododo, a former local government auditor-general in the state winner of the governorship primary.
Ododo was said to have scored 78, 704 votes to beat six other contestants including Adeyemi who came seventh with 311 votes.
The announced winner is the anointed candidate of Yahaya Bello, incumbent governor of the state.
Faulting the conduct of the election during a news conference in Abuja on Saturday, Adeyemi said the results were already prepared before the election.
“We witnessed a new phenomenon of electoral malpractices and embedded corruption in the electoral process of our country.
“I have heard of riggings of elections, but I have not heard of the new phenomenon which we must do all we can to stop in this country.
“The governorship primary election was scheduled for yesterday (Friday). As expected, all of us were in our various wards.
“What we heard was that election result was already announced. Results were prepared, even before the commencement of voting.
“Announcements were made and I was taken aback. This is the worst malpractice; the worst form of rigging and unprecedented in the history of Nigeria.
“If there was an election and it was rigged, we will know it was rigged, but where there was no election at all, and for someone to have the audacity to write result and went ahead to announce it,” he lamented.
The senator added that the national secretariat of the APC and the resident electoral commissioner (REC) in Kogi must be prepared and explain to Nigerians, whether or not elections held in the state.
“The primary election was not conducted. All of us mobilised our members. Behold none of the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) nor even the panel that was to conduct the election was there,” he said.
“The chairman of that panel, the Gov. of Zamfara, Bello Matawalle, was the one that, by the constitution of the APC, was to announce the result.
“He came, we saw him, but Matawalle was not happy with the way and manner, so he left,” Adeyemi said.
“By the constitution of APC, if the chairman of the panel fails to announce the result, the secretariat is supposed to send another chairman, not the secretary announcing the result.
“There is a guideline, but the secretary went ahead, and announced the result.
“The primary election in Kogi was just allocation of votes,” he alleged.