From Ahmad Mohammed, Bauchi
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bauchi State chapter, has rejected the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the weekend in the Bauchi South Senatorial by-election which All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, Lawal Yahya Gumau, was declared winner.
The party therefore threatened to take legal action against the Bauchi state government and APC if the result is not cancelled.
State Chairman of PDP, Hamza Akoshe Akuyam, who was flanked by the party’s candidate in the election, Ladan Salihu, stated this when he addressed a press conference at the PDP secretariat in Bauchi on Monday.
He said the election was characterised with massive rigging, malpractices, inducement of electorates with money and accused the electoral body of cancelling over 80,000 votes at PDP stronghold, saying “all the votes cancelled are in favor of PDP candidate”.
Akuyam described the election as the worst in the history of democracy in the country, due to the massive rigging witnessed during the poll.
PDP Chairman said “The win-at-all cost and by all means attitude of the Bauchi state government poses a clear danger to our democracy. It is unacceptable and can be accepted only at our own peril. The party will institute a legal action through the establishment mechanism of the law”.
Akuyam also accused officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for conniving with the state government to rig the election.
He said “it is regrettable that the state office of INEC became a theater of electoral malpractice and manipulation where figures were scandalously re-jigged to favor APC.
“This was done without any consideration for voters who stood in cues for long, some traveled miles and under extreme conditions only for INEC officials to disenfranchise them with a stroke of the pen, this is unacceptable, the state government perfected the election rigging which was carefully rehearsed and executed with active connivance of law enforcement agencies and officials of INEC”, he said.
He also alleged that vote buying was widespread and conducted in the open, noting “the APC led government in the state openly lured citizens with cash for their votes, which were sold for anything between 100, 200, 500, 1,000 and in some cases 5000 naira per vote. Simply put, the ballot paper became the most sought after commodity in the senatorial zone.
“This shameless act was responsible for the low turnout of voters, especially women and youth refused to vote until they get paid or settled. In some voting centers, security officials chased away voters and agents, even before voting process and counting were conducted”, according to him.