In a controversial turn of events, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Usman Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the Kogi state governorship election.
The announcement by the Returning Officer, Prof. Johnson Urama of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, at the INEC state collation centre in Lokoja on Sunday night has stirred controversy due to reported irregularities during the electoral process.
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Ododo secured victory with 446,237 votes, defeating Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who secured 259,052 votes. Dino Melaye, representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), trailed with 46,362 votes.
Despite concerns over irregularities, including reported incidents of violence and logistical challenges, Prof. Urama declared Ododo the winner, stating, “Ahmed Ododo, having certified the requirements of the law, is hereby declared winner and returned elected.”
Notably, he acknowledged that the number of cancelled votes in areas where the election did not occur amounted to 16,247. However, he asserted that these cancellations were not substantial enough to affect the overall outcome.
“APC’s Usman Ododo Emerges Victorious in Kogi Governorship Election Amidst Irregularities”
The victory of Usman Ododo has ignited debates about the credibility of the electoral process, especially in the face of reported irregularities. Critics argue that the declared winner should be held accountable for addressing concerns raised during the election, while supporters of Ododo celebrate his triumph.
The controversy surrounding the Kogi governorship election underscores the need for thorough scrutiny of electoral processes and the importance of addressing irregularities to maintain the integrity of democratic practices. As the political landscape in Kogi evolves post-election, attention will likely focus on the aftermath, potential legal challenges, and calls for electoral reforms to ensure transparent and fair elections in the future.
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