The pro-Dino Melaye recall group says it has gathered about 188,588 signatures of the potential voters in Kogi West Senatorial district to endorse moves to recall the Senator from the National Assembly. The number, they said, represents about 52.3 per cent of the 360, 098 registered voter population required to remove him from office.
But supporters of the embattled senator described the exercise as a comedy.
The Special Adviser to the state governor on political affairs, Mr. Pius Kolawole announced on Monday in Lokoja while addressing party members from the district. He said that the collation of signatures of voters to that effect was carried out successfully on June 17. Kolawole commended voters in the district for turning out en masse for the exercise, saying that Section 69 of the 1999 constitution backed their action.
“In 2015, we voted for Dino and now we are using the same method to return him home,” he said. Announcing the result of the collation, the Returning Officer, Mr. Adamu Yusuf said that 188, 588 out of the 360,098 in the senatorial district endowed Melaye’s recall. While giving the breakdown of the result per the seven local governments in the district, Yusuf said 18, 374 of the total number of 35,331 registered voters in Yagba East approved the recall. Others are 9, 186, out of 18,356 voters in Mopa-Muro local government, 24, 703 out of 46, 810 voters in Yagba West, 63,736 out of 116,296 in Lokoja Local Government and 24,283 out of 46,819 in Ijumu Local Government. In Kabba/Bunu Local Government, 28,277 out of 60, 520 voters endorsed the recall, while 24,703 out of 46,810 voters in Kogi Local Government voted for move to recall Melaye.
According to Yusuf, with this, the next move is to submit the document to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the next action.
But the Pro Dino’s group under the aegis of Coalition of Enlightened Voters, non-partisan group of electorate in Yagba Federal constituency distanced itself from the recall, describing it as a ‘comedy”. The group, in a statement titled “Yagba people not part of Senator Dino Melaiye recall farce” signed by Kehinde Abayomi (Yagba East), Temitope Olajide (Yagba West) and Adebayo Michael (Mopamuro), said, “We dissociate Yagba people in the three local government areas of Yagba West, Yagba East and Mopamuro, and the 34 electoral wards in Yagba Federal Constituency, from the farce tagged recall process.
The coalition said: “We note that the comedy falls short of the expectations of the drafters of the relevant law on the recall of a parliamentarian. It is not in our character as Yagba people to orchestrate the recall of elected representatives especially when such a project is not founded on proven allegations of misrepresentation or non-performance. “Our findings showed that the recall process did not emanate from the electorate, but is a sponsored enterprise based on political malice, initiated by interests outside Kogi West Senatorial District and anchored by state and local government appointees.
“To make things worse, through inducement involving cash and materials, gullible electorate were lured into the submission of their Permanent Voters’ Cards, after being deceived that the collection of the cards was for the purpose of population census. “The Forum views the foregoing as farcical, ludicrous, absurd and criminal, capable of creating confusion and further divisions among Okun brothers. We condemn the act in its entirety and cal on the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, to commence full investigations into the activities of the purveyors of the farcical recall process.”