Kogi West: APC And PDP Battle For Control Of Kogi State Finally Settled

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. 

Senator Melaye: Loses Kogi West Senatorial Seat

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.

Oshiomhole: National Chairman, APC, Laughs Last

 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.

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