LOKOJA- Protesting youths across major political parties, including the PDP in Kogi on Thursday called on the authorities to call Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its Governorship Candidate, Alhaji Muritala Ajaka, to order over their alleged unlawful activities in the state.
The youth, who staged a peaceful protest at the INEC office in Lokoja metropolis, called on the commission and security agencies to ignore “the anti-democratic tendencies of the SDP and Ajaka and concentrate on delivering on their mandates”.
The PDP Youth Leader for Kabba Bunu Local Government Area, Oluwakayode Emmanuel, said: “For the first time in the history of Kogi, we had a very peaceful and orderly election that was violence-free.”
“It is normal in election tribunal cases to ask for inspection of election materials but a situation in which INEC officials will continue to be intimidated in line with the alleged sinister motives of the SDP and its candidate would be resisted.
“While we commend INEC for the credible conduct of the election, we advise the SDP to toe the path of integrity and accept the wishes of the people, which they demonstrated with their votes on Nov. 11.
“Therefore, the recent threat by SDP and Muritala Ajaka to burn down INEC is but a threat to democracy.
“We want to commend our PDP Governorship Candidate, Sen. Dino Melaye, who accepted the outcome of the election and said he was not going to challenge the process at the tribunal.
“We are calling on INEC not to succumb to any intimation by the SDP. The election was the freest and most credible we have ever witnessed in the state.
“We are also using this medium to call on security agencies to call Muritala Ajaka to order, not to create crisis in Kogi State.”
Also, Bello Hassan, former Majority Leader, Kogi House of Assembly, urged security agencies, the Presidency and other authorities to call the SDP candidate to order, to avoid a breakdown of law and order in the state.
“We are using this medium to ask President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to call Alhaji Muritala Ajaka to order. He cannot be above the law. The Kogi election was without mincing words, the best we have ever had.
“The people of Kogi State have spoken and no amount of threat to democracy, wanting to disrupt the activities of INEC, will change the results. The people of the state will resist any attempt to undermine their wishes and aspirations as displayed by voting for the APC,” he stated.
Another protester, who gave his name as Jimoh Suleiman, said, “People should be allowed to go about their lawful business. We are at peace in Kogi State except for the present crisis.
“For the first time, we had a peaceful and orderly election devoid of violence. INEC and security agencies did there best,” he said, wondering why SDP and their sponsors were trying to undermine INEC and security agencies for alleged dubious motives.
On his part, Mr Richard Otitoleke, described the threat by the SDP as a threat to democracy.
Otitoleke said: “We are worried that a party threatened to burn down INEC and undermine the credibility of the commission; it’s an anomaly that must not be allowed to stand.
“The Kogi election has been won and lost, we call on the SDP to take a cue from the PDP and not heighten tension in the State. INEC has conducted the best election ever in the state,” he said.
Adding their voices, Adams Ahmed and Mr Gege Hussaini said the state had been peaceful after the election, and that the afterthought by the SDP to discredit INEC was uncalled for.
Responding, Farouk Adejoh-Audu, SDP Governorship Campaign Council Spokesman, said the allegations against the party and its candidate were very absurd and laughable.
“We are in the election petition tribunal, desiring to inspect all electoral materials used during the Nov. 11 election. How could it be us again wanting to burn down iNEC office?
“This allegations are all fabricated with ulterior motives but the security operatives should rise to the occasion and nip every evil plan in the bud, ” he said. (NAN)