By Uche Amunike
Former senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, Dino Melaye, has won the Kogi PDP primary election held, Saturday, in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital, thereby becoming the flag bearer of the Kogi state governorship election which is scheduled for November 11, 2023.
Announcing the Kogi PDP primary election result, Sunday, after the polls, Chairman of the PDP Primary Election Committee, Ahmed Markafi, stated that Dino polled 313 votes, defeating his closest opponent, Kabiru Usman, who polled 127 votes. The Kogi state former Deputy Governor, Yomi Awoniyi, on his part, garnered 77 votes, while PDP governorship candidate, Musa Wada polled 56 votes. Also among those floored by Dino Melaye were Kingsley Ilona who polled 124 votes, Ojaja Enama who scored 5 votes and Olufemi Olarewaju that polled 2 votes.
According to Markafi, a total of six votes were recorded as void, while one of the candidates, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Abdullah Haruna, suddenly stepped down from the race before the voting started.
The Kogi PDP primary election winner, Dino Melaye, will lock horns with the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Usman Ododo, as well as the contestants of the other parties for the election on November 11, 2023.
Meanwhile, Yomi Awoniyi, alongside some other candidates, Saturday, rejected the delegates list put together for the PDP primaries, scheduled for Sunday.
They made this disclosure during a press conference held in the state on Saturday. Also present at the press conference were party chairmen, leaders and stakeholders of the PDP.
Speaking to journalists at the conference, Awoniyi stated that there was a manipulation of the delegates’ list that was assembled at the March 29 and April 8th ad hoc and delegates congresses to favor a particular aspirant.
His words: ‘We are calling this meeting to address the great anomalies that have come to the fore regarding the PDP primary election slated for Sunday.’
‘With me here are photocopies of the authentic delegates list, which had been duly certified by INEC as the result of what transpired on March 29 at the PDP congress in Kogi.”
‘We have copies of the delegates list for the twenty-one local government areas and the entire two hundred thirty-nine wards across the state supported by the state’s PDP executives.’
‘It’s trite to say that while the party sets up guidelines for due process and the process is adhered to, it’s unreasonable to have the same party jeopardizing the same process by importing strange names into the delegates list.’
He maintained that there would be serious consequences for the party if the approved delegates list is not used.
Frontline aspirant, Dr Bolufemi Rotimi has also said that the entire process would be cancelled if the authentic list is not used, adding that if the list to be used for the election on Sunday is forged it would lead to a serious crisis.
The Kogi West PDP senatorial candidate, Tajudeen Yusuf, was also not left out, as he branded the delegates list as manipulated, describing it as a terrible development and an attempt to perpetrate fraudulence.