APC, PDP take INEC to task

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday alleged moves to tamper with the results of last weekend’s governorship election in Bauchi State and warned of dire consequences if the ‘plan’ is not halted. The State Police imposed a ban on political rallies in the state as tension heightened over the outcome of the elections. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) plans to hold supplementary elections next Saturday in parts of Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto States to complete the governorship election process in the states. Representatives of the two parties in some of the affected states are claiming victory and want INEC to declare their candidates as winners, immediately. The PDP in a statement in Abuja alleged that INEC officials were making attempts to tamper with and further cancel already tallied and declared results in 14 more local governments in the Bauchi Governorship election. It said the plan was to  “widen the scope of result cancellation beyond Tafawa Balewa to 14 more Local Government Areas and hike the number of canceled votes from 70,000 to 184, 555.” It added:”to achieve this, INEC has been instructed by the APC to cancel already declared results in 230 polling units in 15 LGAs in the state, cause confusion and pave the way for the APC to manipulate the March 23 Supplementary elections. “Seeing that our party, the PDP, and our candidate, Senator Bala Mohammed, are inevitably coasting to victory, being that Tafawa Balewa is home to the PDP, the APC is instructing INEC to cancel elections in more local governments where it plans to manipulate the processes and allocate fictitious results for the APC at the March 23 polls. “The PDP therefore urges the INEC fact-finding committee headed by a National Commissioner to be guided by the extant rules as established in court rulings that the polling units is a base of our elections and that once declaration has been made at the polling units and return of votes established, INEC no longer has powers to influence the results from such polling units.” Police ban rallies in Bauchi The Bauchi State Police command said yesterday that it decided to ban political rallies because of the violence that broke out in parts of the metropolis during a protest over the planned supplementary election. It said: “Sequel to the declaration of Bauchi State Gubernatorial Election held on 09/03/2019 as inconclusive by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and subsequent scheduling of rerun election on 23/03/2019 in some parts of the State,the Bauchi State Police Command calls on the good people of the State to remain calm and avoid any act capable of causing breakdown of law and order at this critical time. “With regards to some reported cases of attacks on innocent members of the public by suspected Sara-Suka thugs which most times emanated from political rallies in Bauchi metropolis, the Command wishes to assure the members of the public that, it is on top of the situation and is  taking necessary measures to deal with the menace once and for all” “Consequently, for the interest of peace and harmony, the Command has placed a total ban on all forms of rallies and procession in the State without its approval” “It is done in the best interest of peace loving people of the State and to ensure that, the relative peace and security in the State is sustained” it assures. The re-run will be held in 20 polling units spread across nine local government areas of Plateau State. But the state publicity secretary of PDP, Mr. John Akans said the party has already  “set up a committee to work out modalities for our victory. We have strong hope we will come up victorious no matter the desperation of the ruling APC and their federal might.” The state Commissioner for Information and Communication Yakubu Dati disputed Akans claim. He said: “Governor Simon Bako Lalong  (who is seeking re-election on the platform of the APC) should have been declared winner of the election having polled the highest number of votes in the elections and having met the constitutional requirement of scoring 2/3rd in 2/3rd of the 17  local government areas of the state. But the INEC had to play by the rules. “The March 23 supplementary election is needless because unlike other states where elections were declared inconclusive, in the case of Plateau, a winner had already emerged and he is no other person than the incumbent governor, Simon Bako Lalong. Governor Lalong, who is the APC candidate scored 583, 255 votes in the election while the PDP candidate, Jeremiah Useni polled 538, 326 votes. This places the margin of votes between the two leading candidates at 44, 929. The number of voters in the areas affected, however, stand at 49, 377. “INEC in its explanation said it acted on the basis that the total margin of votes between the APC and PDP can...

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