Kogi guber: SDP, APC trade words over alleged plot to burn INEC office

INEC office, Lokoja


Richard Elesho

The mud slinging, character assassination, and mutual accusations that characterised the run-up to the Kogi State governorship election have dovetailed into a new phase. The first runner-up, Social Democratic Party, SDP, and the victorious All Progressives Congress, APC, have locked horns over alleged plans to attack the Lokoja office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, where sensitive election materials are believed to be warehoused.

The SDP fired the first shot on Sunday when it’s Director of New Media, Isaiah Davies Ijele claimed that the APC was plotting to burn down the INEC office so as to destroy whatever evidences of rigging that might be there.

The statement reads: “It has come to our notice via grave vines that there is an urgent need for security to be beefed around the Kogi State INEC office in order to avert the sinister plot to burn down the office by mandate bandits.

“We are calling on the relevant security formations to swing into action to prevent the burning down of that office and to secure all the Electoral materials used in the just concluded Gubernatorial election in Kogi state.

“They want to burn down the building housing those sensitive materials on the guise of a fire outbreak and with the aim of damaging all evidence of rigging.

“We will like the whole world to know that if anything happen to the sensitive materials as ordered by the court to be inspected by the solicitors of the SDP, Governor Yahaya Bello should be held responsible as the chief security officer of the state.”

The APC denied the accusation, insisting that if there was any such plan, the SDP should be held responsible. The APC Governorship Campaign Council said it was a false alarm raised to cover up the SDP’s sinister motive of razing down the INEC Office and turning around to blame it on the APC “as they know they have no evidence to substantiate their characteristic lies.

A statement on Sunday night, signed by the Director of Media and Publicity/Spokesperson for the Council, Kingsley Fanwo, said, “Their clandestine move to cover up their propaganda-fuelled claims about the election is well documented as we call on security agencies to fortify security around the Offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission across the state.

“No amount of propaganda can help their baseless, senseless, unsubstantiated claims after their scorecard at the Poll was at complete variance with their boastful pre-election posture. They have resorted to attacking INEC and everyone except themselves. Such is the sorry state of a party and its candidate who lacks the political pedigree to challenge the politically rooted APC in Kogi State.

“Despite their intimidation and blood-letting rampage in some parts of the state, INEC conducted a credible, free and fair election, and the security agencies also ensured that the votes of the people counted.

“We commend Kogites for standing up to ethnic bigots by responding resoundingly with votes that reflected our unity as a people.

“No one is afraid of the legal challenge of the SDP. They failed to win the election, failed to steal ballot boxes, failed to disunite our state and our people. They were in the race to fail endlessly.”

It would be recalled that the Kogi governorship Election Petitions Tribunal at its maiden sitting on Saturday granted the SDP request to inspect the election materials.