The Maku Campaign Organisation has rejected the result of the Nasarawa State governorship election declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on 13th April, 2015.
The outcome of the election results is unacceptable. This is because there were of the widespread fraud, conspiracy and collusion between INEC, the police, the military and the Al-Makura Regime, which led to criminal and large-scale rigging of the vote to impose Tanko Al-Makura on the people of Nasarawa State.
What happened in Nasarawa does not qualify to be called an election. It was an electoral coup executed by the INEC and the security chiefs in Nasarawa State purely for ethno-religious reasons.
I did not lose the gubernatorial election to Al-Makura of APC. This was rather due to INEC and security agencies who obviously and completely colluded and aligned with the APC to disrupt the electoral process and allocate votes across constituencies to the APC regime in Nasarawa State.
The INEC Commissioner, the Commissioner of Police and the military completely aligned with the state in distorting and disrupting the electoral process leading to one of the most fraudulent elections in the history of Nigeria. What took place in Nasarawa State could only be compared to the widely condemned 2007 general elections when the authorities used INEC and security agencies in the states and simply coerced them to rig the vote.
` From the process of materials distribution and appointment of Adhoc electoral staff and even the posting of INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner to Nasarawa State, it was clear that the agenda was to massively rig the votes in Nasarawa State for Al-Makura to continue in power. Most of the INEC Adhoc staff were either core APC members or sympathizers. The rest were bought over by the regime.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner ensured that materials were delivered mainly to places where APC would have the opportunity to rig. All the places dominated by APGA either suffered shortage of electoral materials or were supplied card readers programmed to fail.
In many cases, results sheets were not available. In most cases, card readers were set aside to allow massive rigging to take place in various units and unspecified localities outside electoral units.
INEC Adhoc staff played the role of APC agents and manipulated the voting process to favour the APC. Mercenaries and thugs were equally deployed to make sure that places where APC was losing were disrupted through attacks on polling and collation centres.
Ballot box snatching was rampant. There was intimidation of voters, destruction of election results and other coordinated crimes by the thugs supported by police in some cases that made the so-called re-election of Tanko Al-Makura laughable and a charade.
In Lafia Local Government, the Governor and security services shut down the entire exercise through widespread intimidation by thugs and security personnel acting together to frustrate tens of thousands of voters.
There were attacks by mercenaries in Awe, Doma, Obi, Lafia and Kokona Local Government Areas, aside from the fake policemen and soldiers recruited by Al-Makura to unleash terror on hapless electorate.
In Keffi, Lafia Metropolis and Nasarawa, widespread ballot box stuffing occurred.
In Karu collation centres, soldiers stormed the place, beat up everyone at site and carted away materials only to cook up outrageous figures for the APC at Mararaba, which is a known stronghold of APGA.
What happened in Kokona was a shame. A local government APC could never dream of winning was suddenly manipulated by rigging the vote in Agwada, Sabon Gida and Hadari to cook up figures for the APC.
Nasarawa and Toto witnessed freelance rigging to contrive figures for Al-Makura.
Most of Saturday and Sunday was suffused with widespread reports of ballot theft and thumb-printing at Government House, NADP home of the Governor, Sandaji Hotel and on a notorious farm in Keffi known for shady deals since the National Assembly and the Presidential elections of March 28, 2015.
The worse forms of violence and abuses occurred at Awe, Giza, Bassa, Dadare, Adudu, Ikposogye, Akwaika of Obi Local Government Area as well as Lafia Metropolis where armed APC thugs operating under the tacit cover of the police attacked APGA supporters, voters and stabbed to death one APGA supporter in the premises of the Ibrahim Abacha Youth Centre in the full glare of the police. Other thugs in Lafia attacked voting centres at Tudun Gwandara and Chiroma Electoral Ward.
The scale of abuses is exemplified by widespread cancellation of APGA votes by the INEC in collusion with security personnel and the APC. In Doma Local Government Area, over 10,000 votes belonging to APGA were cancelled on flimsy grounds.
In Akwanga Local Government Area, all returning officers were replaced shortly before the vote with APC members/sympathizers. This led to flawless rigging in Akwanga.
Wamba Local Government Area witnessed the same systemic rigging of the vote.
In several ward collation centres, returning officers simply ran away, leaving voters and materials stranded for hours on end! Lafia Local Government was the worse case scenario where returning officers abandoned the job and fled on the instruction of the state government because APGA was in the lead. The whole of Lafia East witnessed disappearance of returning officers, only for soldiers and the police to storm the collation centres to seize the results and electoral materials to unknown destinations. The police later re-appeared at collation centres in Lafia claiming that they were “kidnapped” by voters, which was a blatant lie to justify the criminal refusal by INEC staff to complete the voting process.
Everywhere figures were cooked up and announced to a dumb-founded public who stayed shell-shocked as this absurdity in the name of election lasted in Nasarawa State.
The INEC then ensured allocation of votes in the various local governments completely in contrast to the actual votes cast by the people!
If what happened in Nasarawa State is a sample of the new APC regime in Nigeria, our country is up to a long long night of state criminality that will surely tarnish the electoral process reforms and the new standards set by President Goodluck Jonathan, which have been applauded by the whole world.
Nasarawa’s case was worsened by the ethno-religious conspiracy in the North, which continues to see our state as a fiefdom for the theocratic domination of the indigenous people of the state.
Shortly before the election, the system quickly posted Police Commissioner who hails from Bauchi, INEC Commissioner who hails from Niger State and Mobile Police Commander, all from the far north to prepare for the electoral coup against my candidacy in APGA for purely ethno-religious reasons.
Some traditional rulers were deployed to intimidate voters in their domains not to vote for me. While in several cases many were intimidated and threatened if their communities voted against the APC.
I am a victim of an electoral fraud committed by the INEC and the police, which led the fight against me in order to continue the policy of ethnic and religious exclusion in the governance of Nasarawa State.
In this fraud, the PDP chiefs at the national level who had earlier frustrated me out of PDP also joined the APC regime in fighting against my candidacy under APGA in the election, and collaborated at every junction in ensuring that the vote was rigged against me.
It was an ethno-religious electoral coup perpetrated by the INEC, the police, the APC regime in Nasarawa State, the PDP candidate, Yusuf Agabi, some members of the State Traditional Council and some bigwigs from outside the state who are bent on the domination of Nasarawa State.
The system was deployed against me by powerful forces to achieve a long term objective of keeping our state in serfdom.
I therefore totally condemn and reject the outcome of the electoral coup in Nasarawa State and after full consultations with stakeholders at all levels, will very soon come up with a definite path for the actualization of the struggle for justice, liberty and peace for the broken tribes of Nasarawa State.
I remain eternally grateful to all our people across ethnic and religious lines who stood firm and fought to give me overwhelming victory at the polls. That the vote was criminally robbed by the INEC, the police and the Al-Makura regime does not in any way diminish the heroic struggle and determination of our people to free Nasarawa State from oppression, exclusion and domination by a few.
We will fight on till freedom, liberty and justice is attained for all our people regardless of ethnic, religious and social origins.
The struggle continues!
LABARAN MAKU (CON)
Governorship Candidate of APGA