Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate for the Kogi State governorship elections Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka has reiterated confidence in the resolve of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a free and fair election on November 11,2023.
Ajaka, in a statement by the director of communications of his campaign organisation, Faruk Adejoh-Audu, passed the vote of confidence while addressing a meeting of party stakeholders in Abuja at the weekend.
The candidate said the party leadership had exhaustively examined the measures against electoral fraud introduced by the commission and are satisfied that the votes of the electorate will ultimately prevail.
Ajaka’s affirmation comes against the backdrop of an allegation by the director of New Media of his campaign team, ID Ijele, that some INEC staff were lodged in the Kogi State Government House since Wednesday, October 18, 2023.
Ijele claimed the INEC staff were contracted by the state governor, and are heavily involved in “a covert operation aiming to reconfigure and personalize Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) devices.”
Reacting, INEC, on its social media platform X (formally known as twitter) described the claim as “fake news”, adding that the three persons mentioned are not associated with the configuration of the BVAS machines and are not in Kogi State at the moment.
“Mr. Nicholas Ocholi is on his duty post in our Ondo State office in Akure. Ibrahim Egbunu is attending to a very close family member hospitalised in Abuja. Mohammed Adara retired last year and is no longer a staff of the Commission,” INEC said.
Meanwhile, Ajaka told Journalists at the weekend that his campaign was rather concerned with the desperation of Governor Yahaya Bello abusing the authority of his sacred office to foist anarchy on the state through arming of thugs and procuring security agents to create an atmosphere of fear and terror before the elections.
Ajaka said it’s unfortunate that the state governor had now abandoned his oath of office to protect the lives and properties of citizens to be compromising the official security personnel of state and turning them into political thugs.
He said he was still shocked that a thug pursued into the bush and arrested by his security operatives last Wednesday night after a failed ambush turned out to be a serving Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).