President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday advised the Peoples Democratic Party and other parties that were not satisfied with the results of governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states to seek redress in court.
Buhari gave this advice shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission declared the Kogi State Governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Yahaya Bello, winner of the Saturday governorship election in the state.
The APC candidate in Bayelsa State, David Lyon, had on Sunday won the governorship poll in the state. Lyon polled 352,552 votes to defeat his closest rival, Senator Duoye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party, who got 143,172 votes.
Buhari, in a statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina, congratulated Bello and Lyon, for winning Saturday’s governorship polls.
While he described Lyon’s victory as “impressive”, the President said Bello’s election was “a race well run and a victory well won.” Buhari asked those who were not happy with the outcome of the polls in the two states to go to court to seek redress.
The President commended the APC and the people of the states, who exercised their civic rights in a peaceful manner, “notwithstanding the pockets of unrest recorded in some locations.”
He stated, ‘Violence during elections vitiates our commitment to demonstrate to the world and upcoming generation that we are a people capable of electing leaders in a peaceful and orderly manner”, the statement quoted him as saying.
Pockets of violence sponsored by violent politicians
It added, “He notes that while officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission and security agencies did their best within the ambit of the law to ensure free, fair and credible elections, it is unfortunate that pockets of unrest, mostly sponsored by desperate politicians, were recorded during the polls.
“The President looks forward to working with the incoming government to improve the lives of the people in Bayelsa State, while ensuring the security of lives and property of all citizens.
“President Buhari urges the Governor-elect, Lyon, to carry other divergent interests along in the next phase of governance, imploring those not satisfied with the outcome of the polls to seek redress through the constitutionally established channels.”
You ran a good race, President tells Bello
Buhari also noted that in Kogi, Bello ran a good race and won it well. “The President describes the election and emergence of the APC candidate in Kogi State as “a race well run and a victory well won.” He condoled with families of those who lost their loved ones during the election in Kogi.
Buhari said, “President Buhari urges Governor Bello to see his renewed mandate as another opportunity to build on the foundation already laid towards improving the lives of the people of Kogi State.
Bello wins second term, beats PDP candidate with 216,518 margin
Earlier on Monday, INEC officially declared Bello as the winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi State.
Announcement of the result was put on hold on Sunday after results in 19 out of 21 council areas were released by INEC. The commission said that it was still awaiting results from Lokoja and Ibaji council areas. It added the result from Dekina needed clarifications.
After announcing the remaining results of the polls at INEC office in Lokoja on Monday, returning officer, Prof Ibrahim Umar, said Bello had 406,222 votes to defeat his closest rival, Musa Wada, who polled 189,704 votes.
Umar said, “Bello Yahaya, having scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner and therefore returned.”
Bello won in 12 of the 21 local government areas namely; Lokoja, Ibaji, Adavi, Okehi, Okene, Kabba Bunu, Ogori Magongo, Koton Karfi , Mopa Muro, Ajaokuta, and Olamaboro.
Wada won in Omala , Igalamela , Yagba East, Yagba West, Idah, Dekina, Bassa, Ofu, and Ankpa local government areas.
But after the announcement, the PDP agent refused to sign the results declared by INEC. The party had on Sunday dissociated itself from the results with Wada, alleging irregularities, voters’ intimidation by the APC thugs, and statewide violence during the conduct of the polls.