UPDATED: PDP raises alarm over fresh plot to cancel declared results in Bauchi
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has raised the alarm over fresh plot by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel more governorship election results in Bauchi State, ahead of the March 23 supplementary poll.
Specifically, the main opposition party accused the electoral body of planning to extend the cancellation of results to more areas.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, stated this at a press conference in Abuja on Friday.
He also accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of bribing ‘top ranking officials of INEC’ with huge sums of money to widen the scope of result cancellation beyond Tafawa Balewa to 14 more Local Government Areas and hike the number of cancelled votes from 70,000 to 184,555.
It would be recalled that the Returning Officer for the governorship election of Bauchi State, Mohammed Kyari, a Professor, had declared the February 23 election inconclusive.
According to him, the PDP candidate, Bala Mohammed got 469,512 votes to defeat his closest rival, the All Progressives Congress Candidate, incumbent Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, who came very close with 465,453 votes.
He, however, declared the polls inconclusive on the grounds that the total number of cancelled votes which stood at 45,312 exceeded the margin between the leading PDP candidate and the APC standard bearer – 4,059 votes.
He said: “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 states that such a wicked plot cannot stand, as the people of Bauchi state have fully rallied themselves for a firm resistance.
“Our party is already in possession of a leaked document from the Bauchi INEC office, which exposed details of this wicked plot against the people of Bauchi state.
“This plot further justifies our stance that even the cancellation of Tafawa Balewa results was orchestrated by the APC and INEC in the ignoble bid to forcefully rob the people of Bauchi state of their choice of the PDP candidate, Senator Bala Mohammed, as their governor”.
The party urged the INEC fact-finding committee to be guided by the extant rules as established in court rulings that the polling units is a base of elections and that once declaration has been made and return of votes established, the Commission has no powers to influence the results from such units.
Ologbondiyan also advised the APC to accept defeat not only in Bauchi State but also in other states where governorship elections were declared inconclusive namely: Sokoto, Benue, Plateau, Kano and Adamawa.
OWEDE AGBAJILEKE, Abuja