Death Of Prince Abubakar Audu Blights Outcome Of Kogi State Governorship Election Which Was Declared Inconclusive
All Progressives Congress (APC) is in deep confusion over what becomes of its position in the run-off election to conclude the governorship election in Kogi state as its preferred candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, would be interred today.
Audu, who led Captain Idris Wada in the election declared inconclusive by the Returning Officer, Prof. Emmanuel Kucha, was said to have slumped and died in the morning hours of yesterday prior to the conclusion of collation and declaration of official position by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Audu had scored 240,867 votes to lead the incumbent governor who garnered 199, 514 votes.
Sources close to Prince Audu said he died at his home in Ogbonicha, in Aloma district of Ofu local government area of the state.
His internment, The UNION was informed, has been scheduled for today, in accordance with Islamic injunctions.
His aide, Dr. Tom Ohikere could not confirm details to The UNION but said “we are still trying to get the details”.
But other sources close to Prince Audu said the APC candidate suffered stroke three days ago and “has not been himself since then”.
Government sources also refused to speak on his death but confirmed hearing of it, but a family source hinted The UNION that the Prince passed on in the morning hours of Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Returning Officer Kogi state governorship election, Professor Emmanuel Kucha has declared the Kogi Decides election inconclusive, saying the margin between the winner in the runner up is more than the cancelled votes in 19 local government areas of the state.
He said the margin between APC and PDP was 41,353 stressing that the cancelled votes were 49,953 which he noted is against the electoral act.
According to him “applying the provision of the INEC guidelines regulation for the conduct of the 2015 election in page 22 and 23, Paragraph 4 Section M, the Returning Officer is directed to act thus and I quote.
“Whenever the margin of win between the two candidate is not in excess of the total number of registered voters in the polling units were election are cancelled the returning officer is to decline to declare the winner until another poll is conducted and the result computed into a new form for declaration”, he said.
In a keenly contested governorship election in Kogi state over the weekend, the former governor of the state and the candidate of the All Progressive Congress Prince Abubakar Audu has over ran the incumbent governor and the candidate of the People Democratic Party Captain Idris Wada to take over the Lugard House.
The election which was adjudged free, fair and credible by both foreign and local observers started as early as 8:30 am in most local government area of the state.
Audu who defeated 21 other contestants including the current governor of the state scored 240,867 votes while the Captain Wada pulled 199, 514 votes.
Announcing the result at the INEC headquarters in Lokoja yesterday, Kucha disclosed that the total valid votes was 459,983 ; total vote casted was 481,334 while the rejected or invalid votes was 21,351.
He also hinted that the total registered voters were 1379971 adding that 511,648 voters were accredited.
He added that out of the 21 local government areas where election took place APC won in 16 leaving only 5 for PDP.
According to him “APC won in Okehi, Ajaokuta, Adavi, Kogi , Ijumu, Yagba West, Yagba East, Idah, Kabba/ Bunu, Ofu, Ankpa, Olamaboro, Lokoja, Igalamela/ Odolu, Bassa and Ibaji while PDP won in Okene, Ogori /Magongo, Dekina, Mopa/Amuro and Omala”.
Kucha who is also the current Vice Chancellor of University of Agriculture Makurdi commended the security agents for maintaining peace and order during the election.
Reacting to the election result, the PDP agent Joe Agada said the result declared by INEC was not what they expected, lamenting that the presence of armed security men at the PDP strong hold discouraged the party’s supporters from coming out to cast their vote for the candidate of their choice.
He also lamented that in some local government in the eastern part of the state, there was complains of malfunctioning of the card reader, expressing disappointment that INEC could not replace them as promised by the election umpire.
Also in her remark, the APC agent, Hajia Halimat Alfa, commended the commission for conducting a free, fair and credible election in the state.
She said that the massive votes for APC was borne out of their desire to effect positive change in their lives, assuring that APC, under Prince Audu, would transform the state.
– Joseph Amedu, Lokoja