The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the Kogi State governorship election inconclusive.
Declaring the results of the election, the Returning Officer, Professor Emmanuel Kucha, said the electoral body’s decision was reached after collation of results showed a number of cancelled votes that was higher than the margin between the leading candidate and the runner-up.
After election results from the 21 local government areas were collated on Sunday, the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Abubakar Audu, was leading while the incumbent Governor, Captain Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) trailed by a margin less than the number of cancelled votes.
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress had 240,867 votes while that of the PDP got 199,514 votes.
The commission said 49,953 votes were canceled, which was higher than the margin between the leading candidate and the runner-up.
No date was fixed by INEC for a supplementary election in Kogi State.
The Kogi governorship election is the first election that the new leadership of the INEC is conducting.
It is also the first election under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC, after the ruling party won the March 28 Presidential election, taking power from the Peoples Democratic Party that had ruled the Nigeria for 16 years.
Earlier, observers monitoring the governorship election in Kogi State called on political parties to ensure their supporters and members remain calm as collation of election results continue in Kogi State.
A human rights lawyer, Onyeisi Chiemeka, also told Channels Television that the polls appeared to have been free and fair although there were some challenges recorded by INEC especially with logistics.
Truncated Dreams As Audu Dies
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State, Mr Abubakar Audu, is dead.
Mr Audu is reported to have died of undisclosed medical reasons shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the governorship election inconclusive on Sunday.
He was leading in the results announced so far by INEC
State government sources have confirmed news of Mr Audu’s death.
The first word from, many was that he had died on receiving the news that the election was declared inconclusive, but that may not be the case. He may not have died as a result of the news
Audu’s health problems are reported to have started on Saturday evening.
A relative told PREMIUM TIMES his problem started when he complained of stomach cramps on Saturday.
“He suffered a stroke this morning…another one occurred this afternoon and that was fatal.”
A close friend and close associate of the late politician had confirmed his passing
“Audu is gone,” the distraught associate, who requested not to be named, told the paper on the telephone.
Though too shattered to provide details of the politician’s passing, he confirmed he was in the candidate’s company when he passed on.
The source said the former governor suddenly took ill and was being rushed to Abuja preparatory to being flown abroad when he passed on.
Many people had gathered in his family home weeping over the sudden passing away of the APC governorship candidate. Some mourners were weeping uncontrollably.
Sympathizers had started gathering at the residence some hours ago anxious to confirm news of the politician’s death.
A supporter of the politician said news of the sudden illness, and later death, of Mr. Audu stalled celebration at his residence Saturday afternoon.
“As we were preparing for the celebration (of his victory at the election) and awaiting Prince Audu, one politician came and said we should stop drumming,” the supporter said.
He will be buried on Monday by 9:00am in his home town, Ogbonicha, in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi State.
Mr Audu was born on 27 October 1947 to the family of his Royal Highness, the late Pa Audu Oyidi, Orego Atta of Igala Land and the paramount ruler of Ogbonicha-Alloma
Prince Abubakar Audu was twice the Governor of Kogi state. His first tenure was from January 1992 until November 1993 and the second from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2003.
During campaigns, Mr Audu unveiled a three-point agenda, which he said he would pursue if elected.
He promised to focus on power shift, declare a state of emergency in critical sectors of the state and concentrate on the interest of the people.
“Let me make my three-point agenda known to the people of the state because I want to be held responsible for my word later when I gain power. First, I will make sure that power shift becomes sacrosanct. I will be the first governor to change power in the state. I must honour my agreement that after my full tenure I will ensure power rotation either to Kogi West or Kogi Central.
“I will declare state of emergency on the critical sectors of the state especially in the infrastructural sector.
“The welfare of the people of the state remains a priority to me. Let no one deceive you, I have nothing but the best interest of the people at heart,” he said.