Usman Ododo, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has been declared the winner of the Kogi state governorship election that was held on Saturday, November 11.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the results on Sunday, following the collation process at the State Collation Centre in Lokoja, with Johnson Urama, Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics at the University of Nsukka, serving as the state Returning Officer.
Amidst the charged atmosphere, characterised by the participation of 18 parties, political analysts had pinpointed a three-way contest between Ahmed Usman Ododo (APC), Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Yakubu Murtala of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
Murtala of the SDP secured the second position with 259,052 votes, while Melaye of the PDP garnered 46,362 votes of the total votes cast.
The electoral statistics revealed that Kogi State had a total of 1.93 million registered voters, with 1.83 million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) collected. The collation process, presided over by Urama, unfolded seamlessly without disruptions, from commencement to the declaration of the final results.
Ibrahim Itodo, former chairman of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC), observed the collation process, stating, “There is a substantial compliance with election laws, although challenges of overvoting have been speculated. Elections are not won by emotions; if you are not happy with the result, go to court where every detail will be analyzed.”
Yusuf Zakari Emeve, a Member representing Okene 2 in the Kogi State House of Assembly, laudedthe election’s conduct, stating, “The election was wonderful. It was well-monitored and properly conducted by INEC. If INEC did not deliver, why are there massive deployments of security agents to maintain peace?”
Despite calls for result cancellations by SDP Agent David Ehimomy, citing overvoting in two local governments, INEC, in a press statement, announced that fresh elections would be held in the affected polling units on Saturday, November 18, 2023.
Reacting to the call for cancellations, the Okene 2 Representative acknowledged it as a normal response to defeat, emphasising the subjective nature of such requests.
Amidst the political fervour, a Kogi resident named Victor Adukanya celebrated the double delight of his candidate’s victory and his football club, Chelsea, securing a point in a draw against Manchester City in the English Premier League.