By Ominijei Favour
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said it was more concerned with ensuring a peaceful and violence-free atmosphere in both Kogi and Bayelsa States during the last Saturday’s election, knowing the odds were in its favour.
The party, in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, on Sunday evening, however commended security forces for standing their ground and ensuring the elections were well covered in both states for the governorship elections and the Kogi West Senatorial District’s by-election
The party also alleged of main opposition party in the elections, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) attempted to circumvent the electoral processes in Kogi by importing suspected political thugs from Osun and Oyo states, adding that all plots to rig the election in both states were effectively quashed.
It also accused the opposition of engagement in ballot box snatching and mass thumbprinting of ballot papers in both states, even as it alleged to discredit the electoral process in both state, but added that the efforts failed as the process, according to the ruling party, came to a successful end in both states.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) hails our security agencies for the security arrangements put in place for Saturday’s Governorship elections in Bayelsa and Kogi States.
“We are aware of several hoodlums brought into Kogi State from Osun and Oyo States few days before the elections, just as we monitored the grand preparation to unleash violence in Bayelsa State. We are delighted that the forces of darkness have failed. The subterfuge deployed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to rig the election in both states, including the Kogi West senatorial rerun election was thwarted.
“In Kogi and Bayelsa states, we were certain of securing the majority votes for the two governorship seats and the Kogi West senatorial seat. For this, we knew we must ensure a peaceful atmosphere for voters to freely turn out and exercise their franchise.
“As expected, not being in the tradition of PDP to thrive under orderly and credible electoral process, they did their best to discredit the process. We are glad that the voting processes came to a successful end in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
“The Party thanks security agencies and other officials who did their best to minimize the impact of the PDP thugs whose sole agenda was to create chaos and scare voters from coming out to vote. Of course, the PDP did not achieve their objective of winning through violence.
“We note the effort by the PDP to employ their usual manipulation through ballot box snatching, massive thumb printing of ballot papers and vote buying. We also note for instance the video now in circulation of self-help ballot paper thumb printing at the polling unit of the PDP governorshop candidate, Musa Wada and vote buying by the PDP’s Senatorial candidate, Dino Melaye.
“We thank all our supporters for standing their ground to protect the ballot and ensure credibility of the electoral process. While we wait for the collation process to complete and for the final results to be announced, we urge our members in both states to remain calm and peaceful”, the statement said.