By Suleiman Umaru
The battle for political supremacy and control of Kogi state, north central Nigeria, between the All Peoples Congress, APC, under the Chairmanship of Adams Oshiomhole, a former governor of Edo state and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, under the close watch of the Rivers state born politician, Uche Secondus appears to have finally ended on Saturday, November 30, 2019.
It was said to have ended with a victory for the Oshiomhole’s led party Candidate in the Kogi West Senatorial election, Adeyi Smart, described in Media circles as an axe Photographer, forcing the controversial Dino Melaye, a sitting Senator, of the Secondus led PDP to a second position. The loss of the election, according to close associates of the Kogi state born politician was a bad news to him. He was said to have who said to have gone to Court to stop the election in order to retain his Seat in the Seat in the enate but no luck.
The duo, Smart, an axe photo Journalist and Melaye , have been alternating each other in the Senate, representing Kogi West, over the past eight years . The Kogi Senator may have proved that he was a political force in the state when he abandoned the APC, on which platform . he was elected in 2015, to join Bukola Saraki, a former governor of Kwara state and later Senate President and fourteen others, bringing the number to 16, to rebel against the Party.
He had decamped to PDP his former party, and tried to use the platform to test his political popularity in the state, with his arch rival, Smart, also a one – time Senator in the state. Note that the Kogi West born Senator, who was seeking a re-election to the Senate as against Smart , the APC , Candidate, who was seeking to reclaim his mandate from Melaye. He may have done his work and thus, became convinced that he will win Smart, the APC, Candidate. He got it wrong.
This is because the ruling APC under the leadership President Muhammadu Buhari, in Collaboration with Oshiomhole, the party National Chairman, have done their ground work on how to win Kogi statelast governorship election including the Kogi West , Senatorial District election, which was said to have been declared inclusive in the Saturday, November 16, 2019, election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in the state.
The Kogi West , Senatorial election, which was won at the first instance by Smart, the PC, Candidate, was said to have been declared inconclusive by the returning Officer, on the grounds that that the margin of 20,570 votes between the APC and PDP Candidates, which won the highest number of votes cast by the electorate was lower than the number of cancelled votes in the 53 polling units of the Senatorial district.
The APC flag bearer was said to have polled 80,118 votes to Melaye, the PDP Candiates 59,548 in the November 16 election.. Recall that Melaye and the PDP officials in the state including the party agents at the Senatorial District, election, had raised alarm that it was marred by violence and other electoral malpractices including rigging by the ruling APC in the state.
The declaration of the Kogi West Senatorial election may have forced the APC Chieftains both at the state and the national leve,l to go back to the drawing the board to draw a master plan on how to capture the Senatorial Senate under contention in order to reduce the number of PDP Senators in the Hallowed Chamber.
Yahaya Bello, the governor of the state , who had won his re-election on the ticket of the APC, with the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the party leadership , on the Novemeber 16, 2019, governorship election may have sent a message to Melaye, the PDP Candidate, that even if the Kogi West Senatorial election was conducted one hundred times, he would still lose the Seat to Smart, the APC Candidate. He may not have taken the message serious as he was still barking on the euphoria that he will win .
Political analysts averred that he should have read the handwriting on the wall that he has no chances of returning back to the Senate in Kogi, which had been mapped out as a an APC state. He was said to have continued his electioneering Campaigns , spending time and money to reach out to some power brokers in the Senatorial District to win their support.
The Value News learnt that even before the parties went in for the election, on Saturday, November 16, 2019, Smart, the Candidate of the APC, had already started singing a victory song, thus destablising the Melaye Camp.
Indeed ,the APC Candidate may have proved book makers right that he will defeaed t Melaye , whose popularity was said to have dwindled over the last four years for dumping the APC that had facilitated his election into the Senate in 2015, without proper Consultation with the power brokers in the Senatorial district to join the PDP.
,It was not surprising why virtually all the local government that make up the Kogi West Senatorial District slipped out of his hand back to the APC with ease. The last Senatorial District election won by Smart , the APC, Candidate, may have finally nailed Melaye political coffin in Kogi, described by political watchers as an APC state.
In announcing the Kogi West Senatorial District, rerun election result, Olajide Lawal, a Professor, and the INEC, appointed Returning Officer, had declared that Smart, the APC, Candidate polled a total of 88,373 votes to beat Melaye, the PDP Cadidate, who was said to have scored 62,133 votes.
There is no gain saying the fact the Candidates of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, African Democratic Congress, ADC, , Nigeria Elements Progressive Party, NEPP among others , were mere joiners in the election as they did not make any impact, let alone win a pooling unit.
Take for instance, Rufus Aiyenigba, a one- time, Ambassador, of Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Candidate of the SDP, in the Kogi West Senatorial election, who was said to have come a distant third position with 659 votes. These could also be said of Adeyi Taiwo , of ADC, and the NEPP, Candidates , who were said to have garnered 262 and 119 votes respectively. Political Observers see them spoilers to Meleaye ‘s Candidature in the Senatorial election, in order to pave the way for Senator Smart, the APC , Cadindate , to win, the election. Smart had described Melaye as a bad advertisement to Kogi West, warning that ‘’May Nigeria never get a kind of Senator like Melaye.
With the takeover of the Kogi West Senatorial District by the APC, from the PDP, the question on the lips of most people is: Will Melaye, throw away shame into the dust bin and return back to the APC, which he had dumped a couple of years ago in order to maintain his political relevance in the state? Many believe that this may not be out of place, after all, Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice president , has been jumping between PDP to APC , in order to realise his political ambition of ruling the country.
The country politicians, according to political analysts, have no shame compared to Politicians groomed in the United States, US, United Kingdom, UK, Germany, France and the other Industralised nations, who, once they join a party, remain and work for the party to grow instead of being in politics for the pecuniary gains of accumulating wealth.
An APC, source, told The Magazine, that even if Melaye, may want to go back to APC, Oshiomhole , the party national Chairman, would prove a stumbling block for him that he may be forced to retire from active politics. He may not have forgiven him, Saraki, and the other fourteen Senators who dumped the APC, when it matters most , causing the party to lose the 2015 Presidential election to then, President Goodluck Jonathan and Candidate of the PDP.
The APC national Chairman recent Statement speaks volume: the’’ broom has swept away the entire sixteen Senators, Melaye, the PDP , Candidate in the West Senatorial election being the last’’. His anger: they had tried to disrabilise the APC for’’ their personal interest’’. This may have informed why he received Senator Smart with open arms, assuring him that the party look forward him in the march towards taking the country to the next level by ‘’our Dear President, Muhammadu Buhari’’, as the party leadership fondly address him.
But Melaye may want to prove book makers wrong that he will in PDP, describing Smart as his ‘’political wife’’ on the ground that he joined politics before him in the state, before rising to national prominence.