Alhaji Muritala Yakubu Ajaka, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate for the Kogi State governorship elections, has reiterated his trust in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a credible and transparent election on November 11, 2023.
In a statement issued by the director of communications of his campaign organization, Faruk Adejoh-Audu, Ajaka conveyed his vote of confidence while addressing a gathering of party stakeholders in Abuja over the weekend.
The candidate stated that the party leadership had thoroughly reviewed the anti-electoral fraud measures implemented by the commission and expressed satisfaction that the will of the voters would ultimately prevail.
Ajaka’s affirmation comes in response to allegations made by ID Ijele, the director of New Media for his campaign team, who claimed that some INEC personnel were accommodated at the Kogi State Government House since October 18, 2023. Ijele alleged that these INEC staff, contracted by the state governor, were involved in a covert operation to manipulate and personalize the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) devices.
In response, INEC, through its social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), refuted the claim, labeling it as “fake news.” INEC clarified that the individuals mentioned were not connected to the configuration of BVAS machines and were not present in Kogi State at the time.
Meanwhile, Ajaka expressed concern over what he described as Governor Yahaya Bello’s desperation to abuse the authority of his office by arming thugs and manipulating security agents to create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation in the state ahead of the elections. He criticized the governor for deviating from his duty to protect citizens’ lives and property and for compromising state security personnel by turning them into political thugs.
Ajaka also revealed his shock at discovering that a thug apprehended by his security team in a failed ambush turned out to be a serving Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).