The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has on Monday, November 18, 2019, declared Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress, APC, winner of last Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi state.
Ibrahim Garba, the returning officer for the election and vice chancellor of ABU, who announced the results awhile ago said Bello polled 406,222 votes to defeat his main challenger, Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who got 189,704 votes.
On her part, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Natasha Akpoti, garnered a total of 9,482 votes.
Professor Umar declared the winner following the collation of results from all 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state, an exercise which lasted more than 24 hours.
After several hours of collating the results from 19 LGAs, Professor Umar had announced on Sunday night that the exercise would continue on Monday morning.
Of the results collated before the exercise was suspended, it was a close battle between Bello who won 10 LGAs and Wada who claimed nine LGAs while Natasha had yet to win any local government.
At the resumption of the exercise, the results of the remaining two local governments – Ibaji and Lokoja – were collated, paving the way for the declaration of the winner of the election.
Announcing the final results of the election, the returning officer noted that a total of 1,646,350 people registered for the election while 636,202 were accredited to vote.
He explained that the margin between the winner of the election and the runner-up was 216,518 votes.
It was a tough day in Kogi and Bayelsa States where INEC conducted elections on Saturday last week as the exercise recorded loss of lives, attack on polling units by suspected thugs, and ballot box snatching among other unfortunate incidents.
While residents of both states headed to various polling units in their respective local governments to cast their votes, the people of Kogi West senatorial district had an extra duty to perform.
The electorate in the senatorial zone also voted in the rerun election to choose who would represent them in the Senate chamber of the National Assembly between Senator Dino Melaye of the PDP and APC’s Senator Smart Adeyemi.
Although the poll favoured Senator Adeyemi who scored 80,118 votes as against the 59,548 votes garnered by Senator Melaye, the election was declared inconclusive.
The returning officer for the election, Professor Olayinde Lawal, explained that the margin of 20,570 votes between both candidates was lower than the 43,127 registered voters in 53 polling units of 20 registration areas in the zone where elections were cancelled.
He informed party agents and others present at the collation centre that he was constrained by the law to declare a winner in such a situation.