The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has condemned in its entirety , the gross breach of the law and electoral infractions committed by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) in the conduct of the just- concluded Kogi Governorship election. The Party has also rejected the result of the election due to INEC’s utter disregard for the rule of law, due process and lack of transparency in the conduct of the election.
In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, by the Party’s Director of Media and Publicity, Hon. Yemi Akinbode said the Party will challenge the outcome of the election in court because INEC refused to include the logo of the SDP on the ballot despite the ruling of the Abuja Federal High Court which compelled the commission to restore the candidate and logo of the SDP in the ballot for the Saturday’s election.
The statement reads “The Social Democratic Party (SDP) wishes to condemn and reject the process and outcome of the governorship poll held on Saturday 16 November 2019 in Kogi State in its entirety. The process leading to the election fell far short of the irreducible minimum standards required for a free, fair and credible election. It failed in the face of rule of law, due process, transparency and a level playing ground for all participants. The world witnessed the victimization and horror to which our candidate, Natasha Akpoti, was subjected. The election itself was bloody, characterized by harassment, unbridled violence, undisguised vote-buying, intimidating use of firearms, ballot box hijacking and stuffing and reckless misuse of the government machinery. What happened in Kogi State was a charade, an electoral farce unprecedented in its ramifications as a deadly blow on the prospects of democracy in Nigeria. It is unacceptable. Aside from this, the election umpire threw caution to the wind and wilfully disregarded the ruling of the Abuja High Court which order the restoration of the SDP candidate and its logo on the ballot. This is a flagrant rape on the rule of law and due process. It is an affront on the Nigerian constitution and the Electoral Act”.
It added that the SDP as a party viewed the shenegian and terror that characterised the election as an indication that our democratic process is under siege, such that the ugly Kogi incident has cut short the benefits and gains of our 20 years of political rejuvenation which began with the return to democratic rule in 1999.
The statement continued ” The search for credible and decent democratic process in Nigeria has suffered a huge setback with the unfortunate incident of Saturday in Kogi State. As a stakeholder, the SDP can not fold its arms and allow our nascent democracy to slide to this abysmal level of decay. We are suppose to focus on how to grow our democracy and strengthen the rule of law. The wanton destruction of properties, the senseless killings and Electoral infractions that took place in Kogi represent a great decline in our March towards a strong and equitable democratic order. We cannot pretend that all is well. Based on this, our party, the SDP will challenge the outcome of this election in the law court” the statement ended.
Thank you and God bless
Hon. Yemi Akinbode
Director Media and Publicity
Social Democratic Party(SDP)