• As Tambuwal heads to court
• Buhari denies interference in Kano
By Ali Alkali, Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja and Ahmad Kaigama, Bauchi
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had yesterday alleged that the National Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu is executing the script of the ruling party by declaring results where All Progressives Congress (APC) is on the lead, while results were declared inconclusive and even truncated against the opposition party where PDP is on the lead.
This was even as Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal not only rejected the declaration of Sokoto Governorship polls as inconclusive but insisted that INEC must declare him the winner of the election in the state.
While Kano State governorship election result was yet to be declared by INEC at the time of writing this report, President Muhammadu Buhari had, in strong terms, disassociated self from news going round that he asked for cancelation of governorship election results of some local government areas in Kano State.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said, “Today, majority of Nigerians and the global democratic institutions are questioning the state of our democracy and electoral processes, which have been under siege under the supervision of President Buhari and Prof. Mahmood Yakubu.”
To put teeth to its rejection of INEC declaration of some states’ governorship election results as ‘inconclusive’ the opposition PDP called on its members nationwide to match to INEC offices in protest.
INEC had ealier declared the governorship elections results of Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Sokoto and Adamawa as inconclusive, while electoral processes in Rivers state have been suspended.
Ologbondiyan disclosed that party members have been directed to occupy all INEC offices in the affected states to ensure that the stolen mandate of the party is restored.
“In the light of these INEC’s manipulative tendencies, PDP therefore charges our leaders, teeming members and lovers of democracy in the affected states to immediately commence a march to INEC offices and use all legitimate means to protect our mandate as freely given by the people at the polling units across the nation”, he said.
He pointed out that the party has always conducted its protests in a peaceful manner and will recover all votes that were freely given to the PDP but declared inconclusive or suspended by the electoral umpire.
While the nation awaits the final outcome of Kano State guber result, President Muhammadu Buhari had, in strong terms, disassociated self from news going round that he asked for cancelation of governorship election results of some local government areas in the state.
In a short audio message aired by an international Hausa Service radio, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, debunked the fake news going round that President Buhari had interfered with the electoral process in Kano.
“We are appealing to those spreading this fake news and smear campaign, that President Buhari had directed that election results of some local governments in Kano be cancelled, so that Ganduje will emerge winner, to please fear God and stop,” Garba Shehu appealed.
He continued, “This news was not only fake but a deliberate fabrication to tarnish the image of the President. Anybody who knows President Buhari, knows that he will never do that. Also, anybody who knows the new Acting Inspector General of Police, knows that he, too, will not do that.
“It’s totally an attempt to drug the President’s image in the mud. We are appealing to people to wait for the decision the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will take on Kano governorship election.
“President Buhari is, at the moment, at his home in Daura; and he is not interfering on anything. Even the guests he sees are very few selected one; and they are not the type who will come and tell him things that are baseless.”
In Sokoto State, INEC declared the election inconclusive as the number of votes
cancelled was much higher than the winning margin.
Tambuwal, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP), was leading by 3,413, having scored 489,558 votes while Ahmed Aliyu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) got 486,145 votes.
But the number of votes canceled from across 136 polling units in 22 local government areas was 75,403.
Addressing a press conference, Tambuwal said there was nothing like inconclusive election in the constitution.
“It is not founded in the constitution; and there is a need for it to be tested in the court of law,” he said.
Tambuwal noted the need for the electoral body to reconsider its decision.
According to him, the constitution was explicit about the winner of the election, quoting section 179 (2) of the constitution.
“We will not allow anybody to subvert the mandate of our people. Every member of INEC has his name to protect,” he said.
In Bauchi State, the state chapter of the PDP had rejected INEC’s declaration of the state’s governorship election as inconclusive.
The Returning Officer of the elections in Bauchi, Prof. Mohammed Kyari, on Sunday declared that the election in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of the state was inconclusive.
According to him, the PDP candidate, Senator Bala Mohammed, got 469,512 votes to defeat his closest rival, the incumbent governor, Mohammed Abubabakar of the All Progressives Congress, who got 465,453 votes.
He had said that the margin between the two candidates were 4,059 votes, having cancelled the votes of Tafawa Balewa LG which had been 139,240.
Kyari added that the number of cancelled votes in the elections, even without that of Tafawa Balewa LGA, was 45,312 and had declared: “I,
therefore, based on Section 26 (53) of the Electoral Act, declare the
elections in Bauchi State as inconclusive.”
He also directed INEC to conduct a re-run elections in the affected
LGA within the next 21 days.