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Dino Melaye’s recall experience Low turnout as youth threaten INEC officials

The recall process of Senator Dino Melaye witnessed a low turnout on Saturday in Lokoja.

Felele Oworo Ward 4, one of the biggest polling units in Lokoja Local Government Area of Kogi State has not recorded signature of any petitioner seeking to recall the embattled senator Dino Melaye.

Residents stayed away from the exercise in Mopa, and Yagba East LGAs

The verification started exercise which start 8 a.m. in 552 of 560 polling units in the seven local governments that make up Kogi West Senatorial District today, no electorate had appeared to be verified as of the time of this report.

In Mopa and polling units in Egbe, Yagba West, there was a complete boycott as of the time of this report with INEC and Security officials, sitting and waiting for electorates to appear for verification.

At unit 001, Open Mammy Market, opposite Chari Meigumeri Barracks also in Lokoja, voters were yet to arrive.

Banda Kunebani polling unit as at 12:40pm. Out of 1500 registered voters and 512, petitioners, 40 electorate showed up to verify their signatures.

At Ohogasi, out of 991registered voters and 500 petitioners, 43 people showed up as at 12:40pm.
Also at Hamza polling unit Lokoja, out of 1251 only 32 people showed up.

Voters in Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal Constituency in Kogi have shunned the ongoing verification exercise organised by INEC to authenticate the signatures of voters seeking to recall Sen. Dino Melaye (APC/Kogi West).

Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), monitoring the exercise in Mr Melaye’s Kogi West Senatorial District, observed that the polling units were empty, with many people claiming that they were not aware of it.

At some areas, youth protested against the move to recall the senator who they described as “an excellent representative”.

An NYSC member, Opemipo Solomon, the INEC officer at Akafe Lane polling unit, said that no one had showed up since they arrived the voting venue at 6.45 a.m.

“No one has come to sign the recall papers; what we have had so far are threats from people asking us leave this place.

“The people do not appear interested in what we are doing. Some youths have come to warn us against staying here,” she said.

Another corps member, David Adah, INEC presiding officer at the Odo Akete polling unit also in Kabba, said that many youth were angry over the recall process.

“So many youths from the community are angry; they have alleged that their signatures were forged to endorse the recall process.

“Most of the youths, who saw their names among those that signed for the recall of Melaye, have disowned the signatures and insisted that they are happy with the Senator,” he said.

At the embattled senator’s polling unit in Ayetoro Gbede, a traditional ruler, Ojo Adekunle, who led some youth to protest against the recall process, said they were not aware of Mr Melaye’s offence.

“Melaye has done so well and we are happy with him; we have no reason to want to recall him,” he said.

Mr Adekunle told NAN that Mr Melaye was the best Senator Kogi West had ever produced, and urged his people not to betray their representative at this trying period.

Vicoria Ajewole, APC Woman Leader in Kabba Local Government, expressed surprise at the recall process, and declared that “it won”t work”.

“Melaye is our son; there is no way anyone can recall him,” she said.

At the central area of Kabba town, youth were seen chanting songs in praise of Mr Melaye.

They vowed to resist attempt to disgrace him.

Efforts to speak with INEC officials at the commission’s office in Kabba proved abortive as they refused to comment on the exercise

Policemen keeping watch at the polling points also refused to comment on the exercise.

It was gathered that the resident of the Yoruba speaking community are furious over what they termed  fake publication of their names on the recall list.