Political analysts have shed light on the reasons behind the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) declaration of Usman Ododo, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, as the winner of the Kogi state off-cycle governorship election. This decision comes despite INEC’s earlier announcement of plans to conduct fresh polls in specific polling units.
After collating results from the Kogi state governorship election, INEC disclosed its intentions to hold fresh polls in 59 Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area polling units. The new election was scheduled for November 18, 2023, as INEC National Commissioner Mohammed Haruna stated in a Sunday night statement.
While some expressed surprise at the returning officer’s decision to declare Ododo the winner, political analysts, including Olaitan Abidemi, provided insights. Abidemi explained that INEC likely made this decision after assessing the results from the identified polling units would not significantly alter the overall election outcome.
Decoding INEC’s Decision: Analysts Clarify Usman Ododo’s Victory in Kogi Election”
Abidemi stated, “The question on many Nigerians’ lips is why INEC declared Ododo the winner after announcing plans for fresh polls in 59 units. The answer is simple: the results from these units would not be enough to change the election narrative.”
Tony Adeoba, a member of the African Action Congress (AAC), supported this perspective, noting that even if INEC has seven days to review the result, the wide margin of victory between Ododo and his opposition likely influenced the decision.
“Although the commission has seven days to review the election result, I do not think that INEC’s statement will change the narrative of Ododo’s victory because even if Melaye or the SDP candidate wins at the 59 polling units with Ododo scoring zero, it still will not change the narrative of the election,” Adeoba explained.
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