Stakeholders from the Social Democratic Party, SDP in Kogi state said the party didn’t file any petition against the election of the Governor-elect, Ahmed Usman Ododo in the interest of democracy.
The National Stakeholders Forum Chairman, Honourable Ayo Momodu who briefed newsmen in Abuja on the outcome of the poll said the participation of the SDP in the election was an indication of the interest the people of Kogi State had in the electoral process that culminated in winners and losers.
He said the SDP Stakeholders Forum acknowledges this fact with equanimity.
Momodu said it is essential to state that the election in Kogi state that produced the candidate of the All Progressive Congress as the winner is indeed the people’s wishes.
Momodu said given the prevailing realities on the ground, all stakeholders of the SDP have accepted this fact.
He said, “The SDP Stakeholders Forum, after extensive scrutiny of the results submitted by party agents across the wards and local government areas in Kogi State, we wish to state that the elections were free, fair, and credible.
“The SDP has reviewed its earlier stance by accepting the election’s outcome as the people’s wish. The people of Kogi State also demonstrated the desire to take their destinies into their own hands, evident in the election outcome.
“There is no element of doubt that the preferred candidate won the election. It is also a demonstration of the people’s will to exercise their electoral rights to choose leaders that would work in the state’s interest towards translating our hopes and aspirations into tangible reality.
“The Secretary of the Election Petition Tribunal in Kogi State has claimed that he was attacked and petitions have been stolen. Let truth be told that the petitions are not filled before the Secretaries of Tribunals but the registry. We wish to reiterate again that the SDP nor its candidate didn’t fill any petitions at the election tribunal
“What transpired in Kogi state should serve as a reference point in the conduct of elections. The people came out in their numbers, and their votes counted across the divide” he added
He also thanked the leadership of the Social Democratic Party for its conduct during and after the country’s general elections. It indicates the ideology of the party that emphasized entrenching democratic principles at all times.
“Sustainable growth and development are essential to the party’s leadership; hence, playing politics without bitterness, all political parties must take a cue from the Social Democratic Party.
Democracy in Nigeria has come to stay. However, we are duty-bound to respect the people’s wishes before, during, and after elections. The case of Kogi state gubernatorial elections serves as a good example” he added
“The SDP Stakeholders Forum congratulates the winner of the gubernatorial election in Kogi state. We have accepted the outcome in good faith and pledge our support to the incoming administration in Kogi state.
“Our position is that those challenging the election’s outcome in court are going on a wild goose chase as there is nothing to question—the need to come to terms with this reality of importance at the risk of chasing shadows.
“The SDP Stakeholders Forum calls on other political parties to be magnanimous in defeat, accept the election’s outcome, and give peace a chance. The issues in Kogi state require collective action regardless of party affiliations.
“We desire to put it on record that the Social Democratic Party didn’t file any petition against the winner of the gubernatorial elections in Kogi state. Our hands of fellowship have been extended to the election winner, and we are willing to be partners in progress in the onerous task ahead.
“As a political party, we always stand on the people’s side. It is incumbent on us to respect the wishes of the people who trooped out in their numbers to vote for the candidate of their choice.
“Nigerians can understand the position of the SDP Stakeholders Forum, which is hinged on peace and progress in the country. The position of the SDP in Kogi state is indicative of this ideology.
“The SDP didn’t file any petition at the Kogi State Governorship Election Tribunal for the above reasons. The Chief Justice of Nigeria should beware. The President of the Court of Appeal and other stakeholders in the judiciary are invited to take notice of that fact.
“Nigerians and all the supporters of the SDP in Kogi State and the world over should know that it is in the philosophy of the SDP not to go to court especially when there’s enough justification that the election remains very credible and INEC did its best to improve on past lapses” he added