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How Adeyemi outsmarted Melaye to win Kogi West

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the Kogi West senatorial seat after…

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the Kogi West senatorial seat after Saturday’s supplementary election in the state.

INEC Returning Officer, Prof Olaide Lawal, said Adeyemi polled a total of 88,373 votes to defeat his main challenger, PDP’s Senator Dino Melaye who polled 62,133 votes.

Daily Trust reports that Adeyemi was leading with 20,570 votes during the November 16 senatorial rerun election before the poll was declared inconclusive on grounds of winning margin between the two leading candidates.

The supplementary election was held in 53 polling units across the seven local government areas in the West senatorial district.

INEC’s decision to conduct a fresh election in the senatorial district was in line with the order of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which dismissed an appeal filed by Senator Melaye challenging the nullification of his February 23 victory by the election tribunal.

The results declared by INEC after the supplementary polls indicate that APC polled 4,649 votes in Lokoja while PDP got 376 votes. In Mopamuro, APC polled 309 while PDP got 09 votes, in Kogi-Kotonkarfe, APC polled 287 votes while the PDP got 376 votes while the results from Ijumu showed that APC got 364 votes while the PDP polled 577.

In Yagba West, APC got 165 against PDP’s 22; Yagba East recorded 580 votes for APC and 135 for PDP just as APC polled 1,901 votes in Kabba-Bunu as against PDP’s 546 votes.

Smart Adeyemi’s victory to represent Kogi West senatorial district at the upper chamber of the National Assembly for the third time was made possible by some key factors, according to pundits.

One of the factors, according to them, was Adeyemi’s crossing over from PDP to the ruling APC and subsequent political realignment with Governor Yahaya Bello prior to the last general elections.

Given the political ‘fight’ between Governor Yahaya Bello and Senator Dino Melaye, Adeyemi’s coming into the contest against embattled Dino Melaye made him (Adeyemi) enjoy significant support from the powers that be in the state to ensure the ouster of Melaye.

Besides, Melaye was said to have stepped on some “powerful toes” at the national level who were also said to have worked behind the scenes to ensure he didn’t return to the Red Chamber.

Pundits also said federal might and forces from the national level played significant roles in the outcome of the Kogi West senatorial rerun election.

Meanwhile, Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello on has congratulated Adeyemi on his victory.

The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed in Lokoja, commended the people of Kogi West senatorial district for the mandate given to Adeyemi.

Also Adeyemi has described the stay of Senator Dino Melaye, who he defeated at the rerun for the Kogi West Senatorial District seat at the National Assembly, as total disaster.

For his part, the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has said that the victory Adeyemi has again affirmed the general acceptance of the party by the people of Kogi State who just few weeks ago re-elected Governor Yahaya Bello for a second term.

Oshiomhole, in a statement issued in Abuja, congratulated the newly elected Senator Adeyemi on what he called his well-deserved victory in the Kogi West re-run election.

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