Smart Adeyemi, the senator representing Kogi West, and a contestant for the governorship ticket for the All-Progressive’s Party (APC) has claimed that no voting process took place in Kogi State during the primary election for the governorship seat of the APC.
Adeyemi, while speaking with ARISE NEWS in an interview on Monday, said, “There was no election as far as the primary election of the APC was concerned. What happened in Kogi was criminality.
“None of us had the privilege to vote. In essence, there was no voting anywhere. What they did was to write the result. It was a sham, a rape of democracy, a disgrace, a betrayal of all those who laid down their lives for the enthronement of democracy in Nigeria.”
He alao claimed that the results that were announced were irrelevant, as the electoral materials were shared to the Local Government chairmen and other officials, who, allegedly, were instructed to ensure that a preferred candidate won the primaries.
Adeyemi also pointed out that the result of the primaries was not read by the chairman of the electoral panel in Kogi State – that is, the governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle – as is the norm.
However, the results were announced by the chairman’s secretary, which is against the rules, as the rules state that if the chairman of the panel is unavailable, another chairman should be brought in to announce the results.
Adeyemi expressed his grievances with the process, as he claimed that this was a new form of electoral malpractice that was not to be tolerated.
He said, “If I was defeated, I will admit I was defeated,” but he said that they were not even given the opportunity to vote, as they were still waiting for electoral materials in order for them to exercise their voting franchise, when the results were announced.
He said that this act should be dealt with appropriately, because if left unchecked, it could cause problems for the democracy of the country.
“This is a new phenomenon that must not stand, because if Kogi state gets away with it, other governors will copy it. This is something that should not be allowed, or else, democracy will collapse.”
The Senator then said that the matter had already been submitted before the electoral tribunal.
“I’ve petitioned the appeal committee,” he said, adding that they had submitted visuals as well in order to back up their appeal.
“By all consideration, the purported election was null and void and we are going to pursue this, if possible, to the supreme court.”
Adeyemi then appealed to the authorities not to let this issue go unresolved, as he said that if it was left unchecked, the problem will go beyond Kogi State.
He said, “Injustice anywhere must be seen as injustice everywhere.”