Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has announced Usman Ododo, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), winner of the Kogi State Governorship Election held on November 11, 2023.
The declaration was made by Prof Johnson Urama, the State Returning Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, at 10:23 pm on Sunday. Amid a room filled with party agents and election observers, Urama officially declared Ododo as the winner, stating, “Ahmed Usman Ododo of APC, having satisfied the requirement of the law, is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected.”
Ododo secured a total of 446,237 votes, surpassing his closest contender, Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who garnered 259,052 votes. Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) trailed behind with 46,362 votes.
Results from all 21 local government areas (LGAs) in the state were consolidated late on Sunday, revealing Ododo’s dominance in over half of the LGAs. As the chosen candidate of Governor Yahaya Bello, who is concluding his double terms of eight years, Ododo’s victory solidifies the APC’s position in the state.
On the election day, concerns were raised by Melaye and civil rights groups about pre-filled result sheets in the Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area, leading to the suspension of the exercise in nine wards by INEC. The electoral body announced that fresh polls in 59 polling units in the affected area would take place on November 18, 2023, in adherence to its margin of lead principle.
The total registered voters in the affected units were 15,136, a number deemed insignificant compared to the substantial lead of approximately 200,000 votes garnered by the APC candidate ahead of Ajaka. Consequently, the initially scheduled elections in the 59 polling units for the following Saturday were canceled.
Both Ajaka and Melaye have contested the election outcome, expressing disappointment in INEC and accusing security agencies of collusion with the ruling APC in Kogi.
The breakdown of votes polled by each party is as follows:
The total valid votes cast were 782,289, with 9,601 votes rejected, making the total votes cast 791,890.