The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, on Friday said there was no truth in the allegation of double voter’s registration recently leveled against him by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Bello spoke with State House correspondents shortly after joining Muslims to take part in the two-rakat Juma’at prayer at a mosque inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The INEC had accused Bello in the ongoing voter registration which started on April 27, 2017.
The commission’s Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Solomon Soyebi, had said in a statement last week Thursday that the governor registered as a voter for the second time at the Government House, Lokoja, on May 23.
He claimed that Bello had earlier carried out his first registration as a voter on January 30, 2011, at Wuse Zone 4, Abuja, adding that the governor’s decision to register twice and to do the registration in an undesignated area were a violation of the law.
But the governor described the allegation as a falsehood.
He said probably it was his ghost that committed the offence since he was outside the country as of the time the INEC commissioner mentioned in his statement that he carried out the second registration.
The governor said, “I travelled on the 19th (May) to Dubai for a brief break and I saw the press release and I was taken aback that I did double registration on 23rd (May). Probably it is my ghost that has done the double registration.
“I think INEC has earned itself a very high reputation and I think and I am very confident that the leadership of INEC will not allow some elements in the commission to drag its name through the mud.
“Surely that allegation was a falsehood. I did not do double registration of permanent voters card.”
Bello said he would not be distracted by criticism of his administration by some indigenes of the state, including the Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye.
He said the state had suffered under successive administrations for over 25 years and the people are happy about his giant strides.
“I don’t see anything coming out of that and I don’t think I have to waste my time in responding to whatever side distraction. Honestly speaking I am too focused to be distracted.
“Kogi State has suffered for over 25 years before I came on board and the good people of the state are really appreciative of the efforts we are putting forward to make sure that the state is well developed.
“So, any side distraction is not something I should pay attention to because the people are with me,” he said.
Bello said no indigene of the state could call for his removal in office because he had achieved a lot in 15 months.
He also admitted that the issue of salary arrears has remained a problem for many states, hence the Federal Government’s intervention.
He said the state governors have resolved to use a substantial part of the remaining tranche of the Paris Club Refund approved by the President to clear some of the arrears.