Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC-Kogi West) has faulted the position of the United States of America that the gubernatorial election conducted in Kogi and Bayelsa States in November last year were not credible.
Adeyemi kicked against US’s categorisation of elections conducted in Kogi and Bayelsa States on the 16th of November, 2019, as sham in Lokoja on Saturday in his remarks at the 2020 Senate Press Corps Retreat.
The Senator said the United States government was misinformed to believe that Governor Yahaya Bello and other party leaders in Kogi committed electoral offences during the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.
The US had, in September, imposed visa ban on some politicians it said undermined democratic process during the 2019 governorship election in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
Though the US did not reveal the names of the affected politicians, Governor Yahaya Bello protested the American government’s action.
Senator Adeyemi said contrary to insinuations that Yahaya Bello won the election in Kogi state through violence and other infractions, the governor actually won his second term bid in a free, fair and credible poll.
He attributed Bello’s victory to unprecedented achievements recorded in his first term in office.
“US was misled on what transpired during the elections, particularly that of Kogi State, where I served as the Director-General of the campaign team of Governor Yahaya Bello and as well ran for the senatorial seat of Kogi West in the election.
“Peculiar factors required for winning such elections were in our favour because Governor Yahaya Bello used his first term in office to get the hitherto divided people of the State united, aside performing excellently by confronting the problem of insecurity in the state as well as age long institutional corruption within the state’s civil service.
“When I took up the appointment as the DG of the campaign, quite a number of our colleagues warned me and asked why I took up the assignment.
“I told them I did because of government of inclusiveness Governor Yahaya Bello is running.
“Besides, the East Senatorial District, where his PDP (Peoples Democratic Party) opponent came from, had the privilege of producing three different governors between 1999 and 2016.
“The people of the state, particularly Kogi Central and Kogi West, felt that the Central person should be re-elected in paving for Kogi West candidate in 2024.
“Even a lot of electorate in Kogi East also bought into the idea by voting for Governor Yahaya Bello for second term,” he said.