Nov 16 date sacrosanct for Kogi poll, says INEC
• Bello warns opposition over rigging
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has foreclosed the postponement of the Kogi State governorship election scheduled for Saturday, November 16, 2019.
Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the INEC chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, disclosed this yesterday in an interview with The Guardian in Abuja.
This was in reaction to the move by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate, Natasha Akpoti, to prevail on the electoral umpire to shift the date of the election.
INEC had excluded Mrs. Akpoti and her party from the ballot on the ground that she nominated an underage running mate.
The decision of the electoral commission was, however, set aside by an Abuja Federal High Court last week, directing INEC to restore SDP and its candidate on the ballot paper.
In her reaction to the judgement, Akpoti said her party would ask for the “postponement of the election to allow us meet up with our opponents in preparation for the election.”
But dismissing any possibility of shifting the election date, the INEC chairman said the decision to postpone an election was not at the pleasure of any candidate or political party, insisting that the election would take place as scheduled.
According to him, the grounds on which an election could be postponed have been clearly spelt out in the Electoral Act, adding that “the commission will not act in the contrary.”
Meanwhile, Governor Yahaya Bello has warned the opposition parties in Kogi against alleged plans to import mercenaries from other states to unleash terror and disrupt the election in order to win by all means.
Bello, who stated this at Anyigba at the weekend during Dekina/Bassa federal constituency rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the November 16 election, said no amount of evil or sinister plan could hamper the integrity of the election.
He warned that anybody caught in the act would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
“It is only a bastard that will invite a foreigner to come and kill his people because of election.
“Please do me a favour; youths, women and residents of Igala kingdom, you know yourselves, do not take the laws into your hands. We are not unaware of their plans to import into Kogi State mercenaries from Port Harcourt, Nasarawa, Ekiti, Kwara, Taraba, Taraba and Benue states.
“I am assuring them, if they have ever succeeded in doing that in others states, Kogi State November 16 governorship election will be exceptional and will be the last state they will ever intrude to cause mayhem during election. We are resolute to maintain and sustain the existing peace in the state.”
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