In a rather surprising 180 degrees turn of events in the Kogi West senatorial district politics, Senator Smart Adeyemi was on Saturday eventually declared the winner of the controversy-laden elections in the zonal district.
The Returning Officer for the Kogi West supplementary elections, Professor Olajide Lawal, declared that Senator Smart Adeyemi scored a total of 88,373 votes to beat his closest rival and incumbent senator for the zone, Senator Dino Melaye who got 62,133 votes. At the March 2019 polls, Melaye beat Adeyemi a second time after doing same in the 2015 elections. Adeyemi is, therefore, once again returned to the upper chambers of the National Assembly after the March 2019 election which the Court of Appeal nullified.
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While Melaye took to social media to once again deride the person of Smart as his political wife, Smart while being interviewed on a Nigerian TV station portrayed Melaye as not being a good representation of the good people of Kogi West senatorial district even as he apologized to Nigerians for the embarrassment he alleged Melaye has caused them.
Some background to the political rivalry between Melaye and Adeyemi dates back to when Dino left the PDP in the famous walkout staged by old PDP members before the 2015 elections. Dino left the PDP and helped to form the All Progressives Congress (APC) while Adeyemi eventually cross-carpeted to the APC in 2016. Adeyemi has been a PDP member in the Senate since May 2007 when Melaye was in the House of Representatives still cutting his teeth in political waters – until Melaye defeated him twice.
In April 2018, months before the general elections where legislators in Kogi state were also elected, an attempt to recall Dino Melaye – then sitting Senator for the zone under the PDP – failed blatantly. Though the petition to recall Melaye stood but the voters who said ‘YES’ at the referendum to sack Melaye from the parliament was not up to the required over 50 percent. Barring all complaints about the inconsistencies of the 2019 general elections, that Smart Adeyemi could still not unseat Dino Melaye in March foreshadows the grip which Melaye had in the region.
Fast forward to November, with the just declared results of Kogi West, one wonders what has changed in the minds of the electorate and the voters at large that Adeyemi is now their choice once again. As Melaye has again sworn to contest the results of the polls in court for the umpteenth time, Kogi West senatorial district may become another political infinite loop started by these two bigwigs from the zone – Adeyemi and Melaye.
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And if the appeal which Melaye has sworn to file and pursue to a lasting end eventually upturns the just concluded polls on grounds of inconsistencies and electoral malpractices, will the people be eager to troop out to vote one more time? Will INEC be bold enough to account for the taxpayer’s monies being spent every time a rerun election is being done because of its own incompetence?
Only time shall tell who the victor or the vanquished will be between Dino Melaye, Smart Adeyemi, and the good people of Kogi West senatorial district that are caught between the crossfire of the political and administrative mess.
Featured Image Source: Daily Post NG
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