My ghost did double registration, not me, says Yahaya Bello
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has denied allegations that he registered for the second time in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration [CVR) exercise being conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) across the country.
The Governor said he travelled out of the country on May 19 to Dubai on a short break and was shocked when he saw the press release accusing him of double registration for voters card, while he was still abroad, saying it could be his ghost that did the double registration.
Specifically, INEC recently alleged that Governor Bello had registered twice as a voter. The umpire said the governor first registered in Abuja in January, 2011 and subsequently on May 19 in Lokoja.
The commission vowed to deal decisively with any of its staff that may have collaborated in the illegal double registration.
However, the Governor who was in the State House, Abuja to observe Friday’s Ju’maat prayer yesterday, advised the electoral umpire not to allow elements within its fold to drag the name of commission in the mud.
“I travelled on May 19 to Dubai for a brief break and I saw the press release and I was taken aback that I did double registration on the 23rd. Probably it is my ghost that has done the double registration.
“I think INEC has earned itself a very high reputation and I think and I am very confident that the leadership of INEC will not allow some elements in INEC to drag the name of the Commission into the mud.
“Surely that’s a falsehood. I did not do double registration of permanent voters card.”
Recall that Senator Dino Melaye had asked Bello to step down over alleged electoral fraud.
Reacting to Melaye’s call, the governor said: “Honestly speaking, when a human being is talking, then I will respond. Surely I don’t see anything coming out of that and I don’t think I have to waste my time in responding to whatever side distractions. Honestly speaking, I’m too focused to be distracted.
“Kogi State has suffered for over 25 years before I came on board and the good people of Kogi state are really appreciative of the efforts we are putting forward to make sure that the state is well developed, so any side distraction is not something I should pay attention to because the people are with me.”
On the call by prominent elders in the state that the State House of Assembly should impeach him over his poor performance, Bello said, “When you talk of prominent Kogi people, I don’t think there is any prominent person in Kogi State that would say anything like that. So far so good there are many achievements from security to infrastructural development to civil service reforms and pension reform scheme, to job creation.
“You can see that there is a whole lot of multilateral agencies, ambassadors are all visiting Kogi State. It is owing to the development and the efforts we’ve put forward to put Kogi State on the development map. That is why you see them coming over.
Go to the Kogi State website, you will see what we have done in 15 months that we have been in the office.”
On why APC was factionalised in his state, the governor replied, “APC in Kogi State is one and indivisible, no faction no division and by the grace of God we are all strong and united.”
When asked how realistic is the resolution by the governors forum to clear salary arrears and pension backlog with the remains of the Paris Club refund, Bello said, “The issue of salary arrears is a very worrisome problem to all of us, the governors and Mr. President. With the other tranche of Paris Club refund that will be paid to all the states now, we all met and we resolved to make use of a substantial part of that refund to clear some of the areas that are being owed workers, so it’s very realistic.”