The National Secretary of the Social Democratic Party, Olu Agunloye, has said that with the relocation of the Kogi Election Petition Tribunal to Abuja, the party’s governorship candidate, Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, stolen mandate would be reclaimed.
Vanguard reported that Agunloye, in a statement issued on Thursday, called for the investigation of the attacks which necessitated the relocation of the tribunal to Abuja.
He noted that the tribunal will no longer sit in Lokoja because the secretary of the state governorship election Tribunal, Mr David Umar Mike, was attacked and made away with sensitive petition documents on the just concluded gubernatorial election in the state.
He said that the gunmen carted away “all the documents including Petitions filed by four Parties, namely Action Alliance (AA), Action People’s Party (APP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP)”, against the declaration of APC’s Alhaji Usman Ododo as Governor-Elect.
The national Secretary of the party said that the attack “is purely a criminal activity which the law enforcement agents should tackle.
“That the locations of INEC and its officials in Kogi have been attacked by thugs and arsonists is another criminal act that should be investigated and tackled.
“Also, that videos of persons thumbprinting ballot papers in Kogi State days after the election are flying around is yet another criminal act staring at the face of law enforcement agencies.
“Although these criminal acts are not out of character or unexpected, they go a long way to support the strong views that the mandate of Alh Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, which was indeed stolen, is set to be retrieved and claimed by Muri and the good people of Kogi State.
“None of these criminal acts will stop the Tribunal which is now set to sit at the Federal Capital in Abuja.
“Even when the Tribunal had lost all its documents and Petitions to gunmen, who appeared sympathetic with declared Governor-elect Usman Ododo, the tribunal will still sit.
“All that will be required is that the respective parties would be called upon to deliver copies of their Petitions to the Tribunal along with the payment receipts.
“The SDP is ready with theirs.Now that the Tribunal has been relocated to Abuja, hope is again restored that all will be well.
“Nigerians expect that justice will be served without any or much criminal interferences, and Alhaji Muritala Ajaka will claim his mandate back.
“The goodness of this is that for vast majority of Kogi people, mostly disenfranchised or deprived over the years, a new era of creating and spreading wealth instead of violence will soon commence under Alhaji Muritala Ajaka.
“Muri and the people of Kogi will then take over and start to chart new paths for the Kogi development agenda for youths’ employment and empowerment, women emancipation, and technological and industrial transformation with no time or space for witch-hunting, retaliations, or false flag operations. Indeed, a new era of development is beckoning in Kogi State.*