From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The Niger state Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC) has declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of 23 out of the 25 local government chairmanship seats in the local government elections held at the weekend in the state.
The Chairman of the State Independent Electoral Commission (NSIEC), Alhaji Aminu Baba, however declared the result for Mashegu Local Government, which went in favour of the APC on Monday morning, but said the entire chairmanship result for Tafa council has been cancelled.
Baba who briefed newsmen, said the returning officer for Tafa had disappeared without announcing the results at the local government as expected.
“We want peace in the local government especially because of its location. Anything there will bring serious implication to the state and the country. So we have come to the conclusion that we should cancel the election.
“Tafa Local Government chairmanship election is hereby cancelled. A new date will be announced,” he said.
However, the PDP in a protest letter to the NSIEC signed by the state Chairman Tanko Beji, asked the commission to direct the returning officer to return to Tafa to declare the result.
According to him “we maintain that election have been won by the PDP and any attempt to change the result will be matched with reaction, the people have spent two nights at the collation Centre already and will remain there if it will take a month to declare the results.
He added that “if the returning officer could not be found, another returning officer should be appointed and made to announce the result which we won successfully”.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which won one chairmanship seat, has protested the alleged disappearance of the returning officer for Tafa Local Government.
Findings have it that the Returning officer with the aid of Police, absconded despite collating the results of the election which was conducted since Saturday, the 30th of November 2019.
The PDP Chairman in the state, said, “when they (APC) sensed that PDP has won 8 out of the 10 wards in the LGA, a high ranking APC member in collaboration with the police highjacked the Returning officer from the venue of the result collation at the LGA secretariat in Sabon Wuse.
“Ever since then, the people of the LGA numbering in thousands have besieged the Secretariat, for days running, they have slept at the Secretariat for 2 days now and have vowed to remain there till the votes are declared.”
While responding to the receipt of the letter from the PDP, the NSIEC chairman said, “there was no collation of results in Tafa. And so, the party could not have won the election.”
In a similar development, some PDP supporters from Tudun-wada ward in Chanchaga Local Government on besieged the NSIEC office, protesting the non-release of the councillorship election for the area, claiming their party (PDP) won the election.
The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions, calling on NSIEC to declare their candidate the winner of the election.