Wednesday, September 2, 2020 9:00 am
More than 48 hours after the Supreme Court confirmed the reelection of Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, the governor is yet to return to the State from Abuja, even as mixed feelings and reactions have characterized his expected return.
The Supreme Court had on Monday 31st August in separate verdicts dashed the hopes of ruling the Confluence State of two political parties namely the Peoplea Democratic Party, PDP and the Social Democratic Party, SDP.
The acrimony that attended the Governorship election forced four political parties to lodge complaints at the Kogi Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal. Notable among the complainants were Engr. Musa Wada of the PDP, who came second in the election and Barrister Natasha Akpoti SDP, who came third.
After unsuccessfully challenging Bello’s reelection at the tribunal and the Court of Appeal, they moved to the highest court in the country, urging it to void the poll. But the court instead confirmed the election.
It was gathered that Bello and his close aids have been absent from the state for about two weeks. The Apex Court had earlier heard the cases on Monday August 24th forcing the governor to relocate to the FCT several days ahead of the hearing. The court however opted for one week adjournment for ruling.
Expectations of a likely nullification of the poll had been high, hanging the hopes of all the parties in the balance. The 7-man panel of judges in a unanimous decision however dismissed the two cases for lack of evidence and upheld the victory of the governor in the November 16th poll.
Since the Monday ruling, the governor’s supporters have been celebrating his victory. But their songs have been mooted by his long absence from the State.
Following the judgement, a big canopy was erected within the premises of Government House Lokoja where a lavish reception for the governor is expected to take place.
It was gathered that a victory party encompassing a triumphal entry was first organized for his return on Monday. When he did not show up it was rescheduled and repackaged for Tuesday with some supporters moving to the Murtala Bridge in Jamaata. Again, it was called off, leaving some of the fans disappointed and demoralized.
An impeccable source explained that the security agencies, including members of the Peace Corps of Nigeria and the State Vigilante Service have been fully mobilised for the reception. He said since the governor’s entry has become infinite, the agencies have been told to remain on stand by.
Musa Dansebe a Lokoja based drummer in an interaction with this magazine regretted the development. “Our welcome party for the Governor have been called off again. Some of us are getting tired of it. He is supposed to be happy and return home to the people. Why is he still staying in Abuja or wherever?
People’s reaction have however been diverse on the matter. Most people feign indifference to the issue. Members of the opposition who have resigned to fate claim the victory does not deserve any celebration.
“If he likes let him remain in Abuja or come to Kogi. It is his business and I don’t care. There is nothing to celebrate in a stolen medal. If they have conscience, they should just allow sleeping dogs to lie. Victory my yansh.” A member of SDP said.