Dino Melaye, the winner of the recent Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary in Kogi State, on Tuesday, refuted claims made by rival candidates that the process was rigged.
At a news conference, some of the runners-up from the primary election on Sunday, including former deputy governor Yomi Awoniyi, questioned the process and urged that the “right thing” be done.
Awoniyi said, “We demand that the delegate list that emerged from the processes put in place by the party on March 29 and April 8, we demand that these lists are used.”
“It is not acceptable to us that we are being coaxed to use a delegates list that is foreign to the process that took place.”
However, Melaye responded in a live interview on the Tuesday night episode of Politics Today on Channels Television, contending that the candidates’ allegations were unfounded.
“Initially, they said 153 names were altered in the delegate list. After the appeal committee sat and did some amendments, they said, ‘It is now 60 names that were tampered with’,” he said.
“Nobody will come and tell you that the election proper is not transparent. It’s the fairest and most transparent primary ever conducted in Kogi State and INEC adjudged it as that yesterday.”
The senator stated that the aspirants were not the ones who conducted the congress, adding that those who conducted the congress are the ones who can speak on the the names on the list.
“So, what I’m saying, in essence, is that I polled 313 votes. The next person who came second polled 124 votes. So, even if you go by their complaints of 60 names added, deduct 60 from 313, I would still win,” he said.
“Deduct even the 153 – before they claimed there was a correction – from my votes, I would still win. My brother, the former deputy governor, scored 77 votes. Take the 150, add the 60 and still add to his votes, it still would not measure up to the number of votes I have.
“The man who came third scored 121, before Yomi Awoniyi [who] scored 77. But we kept quiet because we will not make noise, the truth will always be the truth, and we went to the contest and a winner has emerged.”