-By Musa Onoja
The Kogi State gubernatorial primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been described as anything but fair, credible and transparent.
Information reaching us has it that from the outset, the returning officer and Governor of Adamawa State, HE Fintiri was deployed to do a hatchet job in favor of Engr. Musa Wada.
The PDP which was quick to put the blame of the early morning gun attack at the nick of ballot sorting is said to be very complicit in the drama that played out. While the entire processes, but one, involved in the election took place at the originally designated venue (the stadium), the most important part of the exercise, the counting, is said to have taken place in the hotel the Governor lodged. Even worse, the Governor is said to have admitted over six hundred ballots said to have been ‘secured’ and returned by the agent of Engr. Musa Wada. The heroic agent was able to gather the ballots for his principal while under fire while the other agents took their heels in search of safety.
Two of the agents have revealed that at the time of the attack, they had mentally counted ballots in excess of 200 each for their various principals.
There are also indications that ballots were massively thumb printed in a hotel called Goshen within Lokoja metropolis.
Already, Senator Dino Melaye has rejected the entire process and outcome of the Primary election and we have it on good authority that five other aspirants are writing to the NWC of the Party to reject the election.
Another issue is the claim by the returning officer that the missing 247 ballot papers is immaterial to affect the outcome of the election. He seem to forget that, by his declared results, the difference (784 – 710) between the winner and second runner up is just 38 votes. Clearly, HE Fintiri was in a hurry to complete his assignment and forgot to put on his thinking cap.
As an opposition party in the state, the PDP does not seem to realize that there is a limit to impunity at such a time and one wonders if the party can make any impact in the forthcoming election with a deeply divided front.
Not a few members of the party have indicated willingness to jump ship and how this matter is handled by the NWC is a major determinant of the fortunes and future of the Party in Kogi State.