Security agencies have dispersed supporters of the SDP in Kogi State, who stormed the State Secretariat of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in Lokoja, to protest against what they termed “INEC’s dubious tampering with election materials”.
The security agencies moved in on Wednesday morning, to prevent an attack on the INEC Office, dispersing the protesters with tear gas while barricading the road leading to the office.
The protest started peacefully, until some of the SDP supporters started throwing harmful objects and harassing passers-by.
The SDP protesters were demanding that the election materials be moved to Abuja.
One of the protesters who identified himself as Danjuma told newsmen that they were sure the materials at the INEC Office had been compromised by the APC.
“We have it on good authority that the APC and Yahaya Bello have tampered with the election materials. The materials they are taking to the tribunal have already been doctored. So we are calling on INEC to take the original material to INEC, or we will make Kogi State ungovernable.
“Those who stole the mandate of Kogi East must not live to enjoy it. We are calling on the President and also the National Chairman of INEC to ensure the doctored materials are immediately replaced with the original ones before they are presented at the tribunal. Anything other than that will be resisted,” he said.
When contacted, the Director, Media and Publicity/Spokesperson of the Kogi APC Governorship Campaign Council, Kingsley Fanwo, dismissed the allegations as senseless and called on the authorities to call the SDP to order.
He said the APC would assess the situation and issue an official statement on it later, noting that “the SDP people know they have no evidence to back their claims. They are playing the victim to cover their shame.”
He, however, said the SDP should allow the Tribunal to sit peacefully and give INEC the breathing space to do their work as required by the law.
Usman Ododo of the APC won the November 11 governorship election with a wide margin, polling 446,237 votes to defeat his closest rival, Murtala Ajaka of the SDP, who got 259,052 votes. Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party polled 46,362 votes.