Kabba-Bunu Ijumu Federal Constituency in Focus: Crooked Mandate Rejected by Electorate

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It is no longer news that the All Progressives Congress (APC) Primary election for Kabba-Bunu Ijumu Federal Constituency held in May last year was nothing but a sham.

Before the Primary election, stakeholders in the Federal Constituency had called for presentation of a popular candidate as the only antidote to taking over power from the PDP that has occupied the seat for a long time.

This call was outrightly neglected as the power that be anointed Prince Matthew Kolawole as the Chairmen of Kabba-Bunu and his Ijumu counterpart were directed by “Oga at the Top” to deliver the number 3 citizen.

The election was greeted by change of delegate lists in Favour of the present Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Right Hon. Matthew Kolawole, which other contestants protested but the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello during a stakeholders meeting, appealed to all aspirants to withdraw all cases.

Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker was unlucky as his name was not uploaded on the INEC portal by his party, APC after winning fraudulently.

This made him to approach a Lokoja Federal High Court to compel INEC to include his name on its website as Candidate of APC in the February 25th Election.

Since it was a stolen mandate, he lost at the High Court but won at the Supreme Court on the ground that the “Sheriff and Civil Process Act 2004 does not apply to the Federal High Court, as such the trial Court ought not to have applied the Act in dismissing the Appellant’s originating Summons.”

The Apex Court in a unanimous judgment by the five man panel juries, Justice Lawal Garba (PJ), Justice I.M.M Saulawa, Justice Helen M. Ogunwumiju, Justice Adamu Jauro, Justice Emmanuel A. Agim also held that on the request made by the Appellant for the Apex Court to hear and determine the suit on the merit by invoking section 22 of the Supreme Court Act, this request was declined by the Apex Court because the 180 days allowed by section 285 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) has passed.

Having passed through the legal battles, Right Hon. Kolawole faced the reality of election as the plan for APC to take over the Federal Constituency seat was dashed as he lost in Kabba where he hails from, Kabba-Bunu Local Government and gallantly in the other Local Government Area, Ijumu.

Losing in Kolawole’s Local Government is a clear testimony that the Kogi number 3 citizen does not have political value but was only out to force himself on the innocent people of Kabba-Bunu Ijumu Federal Constituency against their will.

This is shameful and irresponsive for a second term Speaker of the State legislative arm to lose in an election adjudged as free, fair and credible.

A look into the result Local Government by Local Government shows that Prince Matthew Kolawole was defeated by the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party PDP by 7801 votes against 7117 of the APC Candidate, while the flag bearer of the African Democratic Congress ADC, Salman Idris garnered 6274 votes in Kabba-Bunu Local Government alone.

In Ijumu also, candidate of the ADC, Salman Idris, who hails from Aiyegunle Gbede, same community with the Director General of Yomi Kola Campaign Oganization, defeated the Speaker with about 7593 votes, while the APC Candidate scored 6488 votes and PDP 3166 votes.

From the foregoing, the mandate of other primary election that the Speaker claimed to have won was rejected by the electorate who are better enlightened and informed on the capacity of who can represent them, hence the victory of Salman Idris of the ADC.

On the blame game among the members of the ruling Party in the Federal Constituency, this is needless as a man that is good politically don’t need to beg to win election.

The votes from Ijumu is least expected despite the fact that the Local Government has not produced Reps in the last 12 years as they voted against their Brother.

Therefore, nobody should be blamed for the woeful defeat of the Speaker at the poll as you can only take a horse to the River but you cannot force it to drink water.

  • Rotimi Aledare writes from Kabba.

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