…Let INEC carry out verification -Bello
From Emmanuel Adeyemi,Lokoja
embattled Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, has alleged that the number of signatures collected for his recall and presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were forged.
Addressing newsmen in Lokoja at the weekend, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory noted that his investigations revealed that even the dead signed the recall register across the seven local government councils of the senatorial district.
Senator Melaye, who spoke through one of his legislative aides, Mallam Abubakar Sadiq, stressed that the name of the former governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state, who died last year, late Chief Yakubu Rotimi Obadofin from Ijumu Local Government Council, was included in the list.
“Here in Lokoja Local Government Council, several others, whose names and signatures appeared on the list of the signatories to this exercise were identified and known to us as being dead long before now.
“This recall was hatched in Government House, due to the manner in which senator Dino Melaye had consistently challenged and engaged the government of Kogi State over non-payment of workers salaries and pensioners for over 15 months so also, closure of tertiary institutions ,” he stated.
Melaye, added that they claimed to have gotten over 188,000 signatories of electorate in Kogi West where as the total vote cast in the last senatorial election of 2015 was merely 111,000 for all the candidates that participated at the election both valid and rejected votes.
In response, Governor Yahaya Bello said senator Melaye should stop worrying about INEC.
The governor, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs.Petra Onyegbule Akinti said “the fact about the people who registered is with INEC, INEC has the responsibility of verifying the signatures so it has nothing to do with the Kogi State Government.
“There is nothing for the distinguished senator to be worried about; INEC has set July 3, 2017 for public verification of signatures and the date is around the corner. There is no point burning energy all over the place”, the governor said.
Meanwhile, the people of Iyara, the headquarters of Ijumu Local Government Area of Kogi State have cried out to the state government to urgently come to their aid saying the town has been long abandoned.
President of Iyara Development Movement, Chief Benjamin Ojo , who spoke during Iyara Day said the community is lacking social amenities and added that the township road is in bad shape while the community had no potable water and good health centre.