Kogi Elections: SDP ignores peace accord after alleged attack on candidate’s entourage – INEC

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has refused to sign the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) peace accord on the Kogi State governorship election, the spokesperson of the commission, Rotimi Oyekanmi, told journalists on Tuesday.

The development reportedly emerged after the campaign team of the party’s governorship candidate, Natasha Akpoti, was allegedly attacked by some individuals at the venue of the consultative meeting with political stakeholders organised by INEC in Lokoja, the state capital, on Tuesday.

Ms Akpoti, who was cleared by the Federal High Court in Abuja last week to contest the elections, was said to have been refused entry into the venue after she arrived late.

She was, therefore, forced to leave with her team after attempts to get her into the venue were unsuccessful.

Mr Oyekanmi frowned at how the governorship candidate was not allowed into the event.

”We are inside the hall and wouldn’t know what is going on outside. One thing is sure: she did not arrive in good time as at the time the event started. But that is not enough reason for anybody to prevent her from coming inside.

”She has a right to take her place inside the hall. We had heard that she was outside and efforts are currently being made to bring her inside the hall. We need her to sign the Peace Accord, the process of which is currently on.”

He also said the SDP representative on the ground, whose name could not be identified, refused to endorse the peace accord after the incident.

“We asked the Legal Officer of our Kogi State Office to go outside the hall and look for Natasha Akpoti, but he came back and reported that he searched the entire premises but could neither locate her nor her entourage,” he said.

“Now, the representative of the SDP inside the hall was asked to endorse the Peace Accord, but he refused,” he said.

Efforts were ongoing at the time of this report to get a reaction from Ms Akpoti and the SDP.

Ms Akpoti has faced several hurdles since her decision to contest the November 16 governorship election.

INEC initially disqualified her for nominating an unqualified running mate. That disqualification was upturned by the court last week.

Also, PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, reported how suspected thugs set fire to the secretariat of the SDP in Lokoja.

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