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Senator Dino Melaye, Cat with 9 lives, survives recall 

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The attempt to recall the Senator Dino Melaye of Kogi West flopped on Saturday following a low turn-out for the signature verification exercise.

Results announced by INEC at the end of the exercise showed that only 18,742 signatories to the recall petition were verified out of the 189,870 signatories on the petition.

The verified signatories fell well below the requirement of the law that 50 per cent and one of the signatories must be verified before the recall process can continue.

Consequently, the embattled Senator Melaye who is in the hospital owing to the drama that followed his arrest has survived the recall attempt.

Here is how the verification exercise turned out in the seven local government areas in the senatorial district, which has 351,146 registered voters.

KOTON KARFE LGA

TOTAL NUMBERS OF REGISTERED VOTERS – 46,727.

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES ON THE PETITIONS – 24,459.

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES AT VERIFICATION – 2,566.

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES VERIFIED – 2, 335.

KABBA BUNU LGA

TOTAL NUMBERS OF REGISTERED VOTERS – 59,319

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES ON THE PETITIONS – 27,910

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATORIES AT VERIFICATION – 2,151

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNAT7S VERIFIED – 2,085.

IJUMU

TOTAL NUMBERS OF REGISTERED VOTERS – 46,810.

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURE ON THE PETITION – 24,389.

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES AT VERIFICATION – 2,811.

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES VERIFIED – 2,664.

YAGBA EAST

TOTAL NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS – 35,329.

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURE ON THE PETITION – 18,229.

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES AT VERIFICATION – 3,580.

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES VERIFIED – 3,506.

MOPA AMURO

TOTAL NUMBERS OF REGISTERED VOTERS – 18, 350

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES ON THE PETITION – 9,173.

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES AT VERIFICATION – 729.

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATARIES VERIFIED – 710.

There was violence in Mopa Amuro towards the end of the exercise. Six polling units were reportedly affected. As a result, the exercise in six out of the 10 wards in the LGA were cancelled.

YAGBA WEST LGA

TOTAL NUMBERS OF REGISTERED VOTERS – 35,506

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES ON THE PETITION – 19,444

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES AT VERIFICATION – 4,221

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATORIES VERIFIED – 3,729.

LOKOJA LGA

TOTAL NUMBERS OF REGISTERED VOTERS – 109,105

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES ON THE PETITION – 66,266.

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATURES AT VERIFICATION – 4,810.

TOTAL NUMBERS OF SIGNATARIES VERIFIED – 3,763.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier assured the people that it was only concerned with transparency in the exercise and could not be held responsible for the poor turnout of petitioners.

The INEC Federal Commissioner in-charge of Kogi, Kwara and Nasarawa states, Alhaji Mohammed Haruna, made the statement in Lokoja shortly after the end of the exercise.

Haruna said that the main concern of INEC was to ensure transparency in the process, insisting that the organisation was neutral in the bid to recall Melaye from the Senate.

“Turnout is not our problem; turnout is the problem of parties concerned, ours is to ensure transparency,” Haruna said.

Commenting on insinuations that INEC might tamper with the wish of the people, the commissioner said that nothing like that would happen, stressing that the agency had no interest in who won or lost in the matter.

“Nothing untoward will happen, I assure you . Whatever happened at the polling units is what INEC will announce,” he stated.

Commenting on the mix up in the list of petitioners, Haruna said that mistakes in such exercise was normal but gave an assurance that the mistakes would be corrected.

He lauded the peaceful conduct of the people before and during the exercise.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in Koton Karfe and Lokoja, the people conducted themselves well, although the turnout was poor.

During the exercise, there was no case of malfunctioning of card reader machines while security personnel adequately manned the polling centres.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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