Kogi Polls: INEC Office Razed In An Effort To Stall Supplementary Election


Just few hours to Saturday’s supplementary governorship election in some polling units in Kogi state, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Dekina, Dekina local government area of the state has been burnt in part.

According to The Nations reports, some thugs entered  the office at about 5am and set it on fire. The gangsters who drove in with a bus, are said to have shot randomly before setting the office on fire. The office was set ablaze and the materials for Saturday’s supplementary governorship election in the area were also razed.

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Malam Halilu Pai, the resident electoral commissioner in Kogi confirmed the incident saying,

We will not succumb to the undemocratic antics of some few, replacement of the election materials are already on the way; the election will go on as scheduled.” 

He further stated that INEC had moved into a temporary office in the area. Many bespoke the aggressive event targeted to ruin the supplementary election, while some others suggested it happened due to the indiscriminate bush burning by some youths who are hunting.

Investigators are looking into the incident in search of clues to the reason for the fire and the people responsible. Dekina is alleged to have the highest polling units given that 29 units out of the 91 polling units where the supplementary election is supposed to take place are in Dekina.

Capt. Idris Ichala Wada after dishing out a cautionary advice to the people of Kogi yesterday concerning the crisis that has plagued the ruling party APC in Kogi State over choosing a substitute for the deceased Abubakar Audu in the upcoming supplementary gubernatorial election on Saturday, Governor Idris Wada has just presented another heartwarming advice once again.

According to Vanguard reports, Capt. Idris Ichala Wada, the state governor, has asked the people of the state not to take the law into their hands, .

While addressing a statewide broadcast, the governor stated that the demise of Abubakar Audu, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress and the declaration of the election as inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has placed Kogi in a deep predicament.

He urged the people to keep in mind that they are all brothers and sisters, thus, the need to preserve the peace in the state.

The Governor stated:

My administration believes in the rule of law and the ability of the judiciary to do justice. I have therefore approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, for the resolution of the present stalemate. Judgment is expected to be delivered by the Court on Friday, 4th December, 2015.

“I therefore urge you all, to remain calm, orderly and law abiding as we await the decision of the Court. All our people across party lines and Senatorial Zones must remain peaceful. Nobody should contemplate taking the laws into their hands.

“The Security Agencies will not hesitate to deal with anyone or group who may attempt any actions that may breach the peace and security of our state.”

The state has seen several protests over the death of Prince Abubakar Audu and the decision of the of the leading party in the election to replace the late Audu with Alhaji Yahaya Bello from Kogi Central.

A team of lawyers have cautioned INEC to cancel the supplementary Kogi election, affirming that the All Progressives Congress (APC) could not substitute a candidate to take the place of its dead governorship candidate, Audu. But a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has struck out all four cases instituted before it in respect of the November 21 governorship election in Kogi state. Which means that Kogi supplementary election will go ahead as scheduled.

Audu met his death on Sunday, November 22, just hours before the inconclusive gubernatorial election was announced and his party has replaced him with Yahaya Bello, who will contest on Saturday, December 5 in the supplementary election.