Kogi Tribunal Unsettled by Mismatches in Presidential, Governorship Votes

by Ohepo Ohepo

Abuja, Nigeria – In the aftermath of Nigeria’s 2023 electoral cycle, the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal finds itself at the heart of a brewing controversy. Central to the tribunal’s concerns are glaring mismatches between the presidential and governorship vote counts in Kogi State, raising serious questions about the electoral process’s integrity and the promises made by key political figures.

Alh Yahaya Bello, Kogi State’s former governor, had pledged unwavering support for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s (GCFR) campaign following his own defeat in the presidential primaries. Despite Bello’s commitment and significant financial contributions aimed at mobilizing youth and voter support across Nigeria, the election results tell a different story. President Tinubu secured 22,000 votes from Okene LGA, Bello’s own stronghold, a figure significantly lower than the 138,000 votes the APC’s gubernatorial candidate, Alh Ahmed Usman Ododo, received in the same area.

This stark contrast in vote tallies has sparked a wave of speculation and concern. Without any notable increase in voter registration or demographic shifts to account for such discrepancies, the situation points towards possible internal conflicts and unfulfilled commitments within the political ranks. Rumors have even circulated about Bello’s potential under-the-table dealings with opposition parties, aiming to thwart Tinubu’s electoral chances—a notion that, if true, would underscore a deep-seated betrayal within the APC’s ranks.

As the tribunal delves into these issues, it is also tasked with addressing accusations surrounding the governorship election in Kogi Central. The allegations of pre-filled results, overvoting, and questions about the APC candidate’s qualifications have only added layers to an already complex investigation. With the tribunal’s proceedings moving into critical phases, the responses from the defense will be pivotal in unraveling the truth behind these electoral anomalies.

The discrepancies between the presidential and governorship election outcomes in Kogi State have not just unsettled the tribunal; they have cast a long shadow over the political landscape, challenging the trust and credibility of the electoral process. As the tribunal continues its scrutiny, its findings and decisions could have far-reaching implications for electoral conduct and political accountability in Nigeria.

Stay tuned to The Bureau Newspaper as we keep a close watch on the tribunal’s proceedings, bringing you the latest developments from this pivotal examination of Kogi’s electoral integrity.

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