The PDP yesterday criticised INEC’s decision to return APC’s Alhaji Yahaya Bello as the governor-elect in Kogi State, describing the move as a waste of time, a waste of scarce national resources and a case of ridiculous shadow-chasing.
PDP, in a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, contended that someone who did not participate in the overall election cannot be the winner of the poll.
The PDP said, “INEC, in the bid to satisfy the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC federal government, succeeded only in making a mockery of itself and the entire electoral process, by trying to illegally install an individual who, apart from not being a valid candidate, scored, under his name, a paltry 6,885 vote in the so-called supplementary election as against the 204,877 votes polled by the PDP candidate, Governor Idris Wada, in the overall election.
“The action of INEC in trying to transfer the votes earlier garnered by the dead APC candidate, Prince Audu Abubakar, to another individual is completely impractical and alien to the nation’s constitution and the Electoral Act.
“The declaration by INEC that one Yahaya Bello polled the highest number of votes is an embarrassing travesty of the nation’s democracy and electoral process. Not only that this individual is not in any way a valid candidate in the election, he also did not score the overall votes declared against his name by INEC and cannot be declared winner under any circumstance within the provisions of our laws.
“The provisions of the constitution and the electoral act are clear to the effect that with the unfortunate death of Prince Abubakar Audu before the conclusion of the election, and the fact that the laws do not permit the replacement of candidates once the balloting has commenced, the APC crashed out of the race, leaving the PDP candidate, Governor Idris Wada, as the clear winner, having garnered 204,877 votes to top all other contestants since Prince Ababakar Audu, the hitherto leading contestant, died with his votes.
“It is therefore unfortunate that INEC disregarded the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act, which left it with no other legitimate option than to declare Governor Idris Wada the governor-elect. Instead, it went ahead to preside over a charade, for which it is now attempting to illicitly hand over the votes cast for a dead man to another person, who did not participate in the overall election.”
In the statement, the PDP stated that nothing other than declaring Governor Idris Wada winner of the election fulfils the requirements of the law under the circumstance.