Austine Tsenzughul ,Bauchi.
Bauchi chapter of People’s Democratic Party(PDP)has condemned and has rejected what it said “arbitrary and unconstitutional decision of the Resident Electoral Commission(REC) and State Returning Officer declaring Bauchi state governorship election as inconclusive.
It has also outrightly rejected the order for supplementary election within 21 days,describing it as “j warranted and illegal as no condition precedent for for such directive had existed”.
At a press conference at Nigeria Union of Journalists secretariat,Bauchi,PDP state chairman Alh.Hamza Koshi Akuyam said”the State Returning Officer,lacks the legal competence to cancel an election fully conducted by various Presiding Officers and validly collated at Ward and Local government levels devoid of and opposition by any political party”.
Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP)while giving reasons for the demand said collation began Saturday,March 9,2019on conclusion of election at Zwall,Tafawa Balewa local government.At about 3 a.m.,Sarkin Yamma Lere,(Bauchi state chairman,Board of Internal Revenue,Khalid G. Musa(Wakilin Jahr),and 3 others,led a team of thugs to the collation center.
“The thugs broke into the center and carted away uncompleyed result sheets(Form EC 8 C meant for the colla5ion of Governorship Election result from 11 wards of the local government “
“Police refused to arrest the thugs,but were chased away by members of the public.The thugs abandoned a 4WD Jeep with registration No AAA 769 EW,Lagos,owned by Murtala,APC House of Assembly candidate,Tafawa Balewa state constituency”.
“After the collation the Returning Office,Mrs Dominion Anosike,the Electoral Officer,security and all the parties’ agents unanimously agreed to use Form EC 8 B for the collation,and the House of Assembly and Governorship declared at the Zwall collation center”.
“But on submitting the same result at Bauchi INEC headquarters,State Collation Center,State Returning Officer,Prof. Kyari Mohammed,Police Commissionerrefused to accept the result,on grounds that a wrong result sheet Form EC 8 B,meant for Ward Collation was used”This was in spite of a unanimous agreement by Returning Officer Electoral Officer,Security and Party agents”.
“The 11 Electoral Wards in Tafawa Balewa local government had computed results from the Polling Units within their jurisdiction without any complain,and the collation center at Zwall accepted the Ward results without any complain”.
He added that each Ward Returned Officer submitted the result sheet to Local Government Returning Officer after presenting their results.
Akuyam who was accompanied by Rt.Hon.Yakubu Dogara,Speaker,House of Representatives,Sen.Bala MOhammed,Bauchi Governorship candidate,his deputy,Sen. Bala Tela,and other top party officials insisted”the results from the 11 Electoral Wards as computed on Form EC 8 B and announced at local government collation center be accepted.
According to him”since nobody other than a competent Court of Law has the powers to disenfranchise anybody of his lawful votes. To cancel the results of the election on the ground of using wrong result sheet by the Returning Officer amounts to disenfranchising the people.
PDP has further accused the REC and State Returning Officer(names not mentioned in their press statement)of “being party to the sadistic plan orchestrated by Gov.Mohammed Abubakar (incumbent Gov,and APC Gov.candidate) designed to return to office at all costs”.
Additionally the party also alleged”Police Commissioner and O/C Rapid Response Squad(RRS) have personally masterminded physical assault of PDP members,supporters and the manhandling of PDP Chief Returning Officer”.
“We demand the removal,deployment of Commissioner of Police,C/C RRS,Resident Electoral Commissioner from Bauchi state as they evidently biased,and partisan”.
And the prosecution of Sarkin Yamma Lere,Khalid G. Musa,Sadiq,Suleiman Danladi Madonna, Bala Burga,and Mrs.Dominion Anosike,Returning Officer,Tafawa Balewa for false information and perjury.
It will be recalled that Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) had declared election in 11 wards in Tafawa Balewa local government area inconclusive saying the results of the election was not entered onto the appropriate result sheet.