• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Security agencies disperse SDP protesters at INEC Office in Kogi State

Security agencies in Kogi State took action today, dispersing a group of supporters from the Social Democratic Party (SDP) who had gathered at the State Secretariat of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lokoja. The protesters were expressing their discontent against what they claimed was “INEC’s dubious tampering with election materials.”

The situation escalated as the security agencies moved in Wednesday morning to prevent any potential attack on the INEC Office. Using tear gas, they dispersed the protesters while also barricading the road leading to the office.

Initially, the protest had been peaceful until some SDP supporters allegedly began throwing harmful objects and harassing passers-by. The core demand of the protesters was the immediate relocation of election materials to Abuja.

One of the protesters, identifying himself as Danjuma, expressed their suspicions regarding the integrity of the materials housed in the INEC Office. “We have reliable information that the APC and Yahaya Bello have interfered with the election materials. The materials they plan to submit to the tribunal have been manipulated. We urge INEC to transfer the original material to Abuja. If not, we will take drastic measures to make Kogi State ungovernable,” Danjuma stated emphatically.

“We won’t let those who stole Kogi East’s mandate enjoy it. We call upon the President and the National Chairman of INEC to ensure the original materials are promptly replaced before they are presented at the tribunal. Failure to comply will face strong resistance,” he added.

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Responding to the allegations, Kingsley Fanwo, Director of Media and Publicity/Spokesperson of the Kogi APC Governorship Campaign Council, labeled the accusations as baseless. He urged authorities to rein in the SDP, dismissing their claims as an attempt to shift blame.

“The SDP lacks evidence to support their claims. They are using victimhood to mask their defeat,” Fanwo asserted. He mentioned that an official statement from the APC would follow, emphasizing the need for the SDP to respect the Tribunal process and allow INEC the space to fulfill its legal obligations.

The governorship election held on November 11 saw Usman Ododo of the APC emerge victorious, securing 446,237 votes, while Murtala Ajaka of the SDP came in second with 259,052 votes. Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party obtained 46,362 votes in the contest.