Dirisu Yakubu and Gbenga Odogun
A former deputy governor of Kogi State, Yomi Awoniyi, says the Peoples Democratic Party governorship primary in Kogi State on Sunday lacks credibility.
A former senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, emerged winner of the primary with 313 votes. Awoniyi came second with 77 votes.
But in a statement on Monday in Lokoja, Awoniyi described Melaye’s votes as products of “tainted delegates list.”
“Without an iota of doubt, I make bold to say Senator Melaye’s victory is a pyrrhic one. This victory portends great danger to the unity of our party and the prospect of winning the November 11 governorship election.
“The primary that threw up Senator Melaye was flawed; 158 delegates, who emerged from the state ad hoc congress of March 29, 2023, were replaced by the woeful Senator Abdul Ningi Congress Committee, working in concert with Senator Dino Melaye’s enablers within the party hierarchy at the highest level.”
Awoniyi contended that “to gift any aspirant, a total of 158 votes in a contest for 739 votes, involving eight aspirants is not a fair contest. It is fraudulent, duplicitous, sinful, and unwholesome because it confers an undue advantage on the favoured aspirant. Senator Dino Melaye won a fraudulent primary.
“This pyrrhic victory may look like a fait accompli, but the dust is unlikely to settle even beyond the November 11, 2023 governorship election. From the forgoing, it may surprise many that I do not necessarily blame Senator Dino Melaye for where we find ourselves today. He needs to search his heart to see if he has behaved well, as a counsellor of the celestial, which he claims to be. But I blame his enablers.”
Meanwhile, Melaye, in a statement on Monday, credited God for his emergence as the PDP governorship candidate for Kogi State.
He said, “Today (Sunday), April 16, 2023, the Almighty God proved himself in my life, by responding to my Biblical name, Daniel. He fought on my behalf, and delivered victory to me, which I received on behalf of all other aspirants, the great members of the Peoples Democratic Party in and outside Kogi State, and the good people of our dear Kogi State.
“Coming on the heels of the democratic sacrilege committed by the All Progressives Congress in Kogi State about 48 hours ago, and the electoral revulsion belching out of Adamawa State, it is soul-lifting to have the PDP demonstrate to the world that Nigeria is not the jungle that the APC paints it in the recently conducted elections over the last 50 days.
“I thank the leaders of our party at the national, State, local and ward levels, my dear brothers who advanced the cause of democracy in this contest and our numerous supporters who ensured that peace reigned , decorum prevailed, and conflicts were contained all through the process.”