PRESS STATEMENT : We Reject the Debasement of Democracy in Kogi State.
Good Morning People of Kogi State.
The supplementary national assembly elections and the state house of assembly elections ended about 48 hours ago across the various voting points in our dear state.
Whereas the exercise has ended and formally declared conclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission, it did not end without clearly validating initial concerns of majority of Kogi people about the willingness of the INEC to conduct credible elections.
It is pursuant to the various infractions which characterized the process that the Mohammed Adah Shaibu Tettes Integrated Campaign Group rejects in entirety the outcome of the elections in Kogi State.
Kogi people may recall that few months ago, a research project sponsored by a US based good governance advocacy group; the United State Institute for Peace (USIP) identified Kogi State as one of the locations in Nigeria where there are strong chances of rigging and electoral violence amongst other infractions.
Kogi people may also recall that shortly after the USIP report was published by local media including This Day Newspapers and The Guardian, credible sources especially private staff of former and serving members of the state cabinet in Lokoja, disenchanted staff of the state government and even security operatives revealed the existence of questionable relationships between key staff of the INEC in Kogi State and various individuals especially government appointees all of whom have various interests in the just concluded elections.
Details of these reports indicated that already, large sums of money and other non cash items including brand new SUV’s, sacks of rice, beans, sugar and garri e.t.c meant to induce key officials of the INEC, interfere with the voting process and influence the outcome of the elections thereby subverting the will of the people had exchanged hands.
Amongst other exceptions raised, the USIP report specifically disclosed that the ruling party in Kogi state is likely to utilize “intimidating tactics to shore up the votes, as well as deter large turnout of electorates in opposition strongholds”.
To this end, the Mohammed Adah Shaibu Tettes Integrated Campaign Group announces that indeed, the INEC in Kogi State provided sufficient leeway for the projections of the USIP to materialize just as it was a paid and active collaborator in the distortion of the electoral process as witnessed by Kogi people and the world.
Not only were deaths recorded in Ankpa, Okehi, Anyigba and Lokoja local government areas, there were cases of abduction of members of the Peoples Democratic Party in Dekina, Ajaokuta and Kabba Bunu areas.
In major flashpoints in Bassa, Ofu, Idah, Adavi, Isanlu, Olamaboro and Ogori local government areas, there was a curious absence of security operatives; a development which emboldened thugs disguised as operatives of the Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad to move freely from point to point in the course of which voting materials were confiscated and taken to unknown locations where mass thumb printing took place.
In Abocho, Egume and Koto-Karfe areas, under the watch of security operatives, guns and other weapons wielding thugs disrupted voting, confiscated card readers and absconded before voting commenced only for results to be announced in the affected areas to the advantage of the All Progressives Congress.
The elections in Kogi State clearly fell below known standards. The processes which led to the announcement of fake results constitute an embarrassment to Nigeria and is a conspicuous dent on the electoral process that was bequeathed to the All Progressives Congress by the administration of former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR.
The Mohammed Adah Shaibu Tettes Integrated Campaign Group doubts the integrity of the Kogi State resident electoral commissioner, Prof. James Akpam and therefore demand a forensic audit of the security of the ICT infrastructure of the INEC in Kogi State to determine the level of complicity of key staff of the commission.
We affirm that Kogi people did not turn up for the elections with an intent to reward politicians who have performed abysmally with another tenure in their respective offices.
The determination of our people to #RebuildKogi by ending bad governance which can only come by voting out the APC was crystal clear, resolute, strong and unwavering.
Consequently, the results of voting as declared by INEC is not a reflection of the desires of our people who risked their personal comfort and lives to protect their votes.
Conclusively, the #RebuildKogi team assures Kogi people that the deliberate debasement of democracy which took place in Kogi State in the name of the 2019 elections will not stand as every known legal option will be explored to a logical conclusion towards reversing the abberations that occured.
We urge Kogi people to brace up because the journey to reclaim the mandates they freely gave to the Peoples Democratic Party across board will be long.
However, the mandates they gave the PDP will be retrieved as means of ensuring that power remains with the people.
We also encourage members of the public who are in possession of evidences of electoral misconduct to submit same to us via 08153238832 – our official situation room Whatsapp channel for collation and further action.
In the interim, we encourage our members and supporters to remain hopeful because notwithstanding the temporal setback, justice will prevail and the wishes of Kogi people will be upheld.
God Bless Kogi State.
Salamatu Oyiza Abdulkareem
Head, Media and Publicity.
The Mohammed Adah Shaibu Tettes Integrated Campaign Group.