ABUJA – The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Thursday urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to either uphold the results from the April 11 governorship elections in Taraba or conduct fresh elections.
Chief John Oyegun, the National Chairman of the party, made the appeal while addressing newsmen after the meeting of the National Working Committee of the party in Abuja.
The chairman said members of NEC of the party were of the view that the declaration of the elections as inconclusive was a disservice.
He also said that the development was a display of bias toward the APC governorship candidate, Sen. Aisha Alhasan, who had allegedly won based on the results announced so far.
“As at the date of the election, as results came in, it became very clear that she was destined to be the next governor of Taraba State.
“Unfortunately, powers that be influenced the process from all indications and that process of re-engineering she has been placed at a relative disadvantaged position.
“This has been done to prevent and frustrate the will of the people that the distinguished senator becomes their next governor,’’ he said.
According to Oyegun, the transgressions during the elections are of such magnitude that elections in Wukari be totally discountenanced and fresh elections held in the area or the entire governorship elections re-conducted.
“Our candidate is so confident that should this happen, she can give an undertaking today that she will accept the outcome of the result.
“ But what will not be acceptable is the gradual re-engineering of the results in a way that places our candidate at an unacceptable disadvantage,’’ Oyegun said.
On her part, Alhasan said INEC was simply misguided into taking such decision, adding that the issues raised did not reflect what really transpired in the elections.
“Alternatively, the results of the entire state should be cancelled and a fresh election conducted after which a fresh collation should be done and a winner declared.
According to her, this is in view of the reported widespread irregularities in most of the local government areas of the state.
She further called for the overhaul of INEC staff that supervised the elections.
She said the commission should conduct a probe into the activities of its staff, to extract the truth.
“In the event that the overall result is cancelled and a fresh election ordered, such should not be conducted under the supervision of the current INEC officials in Taraba.
“They have shown sufficient evidence of bias and complicity in the April 11 elections and a total overhaul should be a pre-requisite for any fresh election in the state.
“This is to ensure that the rights of the people of Taraba to choose their leaders are not abridged by conniving INEC officials,’’ she said.
She further alleged that considering the partisan posture of the security agents during the elections, there should be massive redeployments in the interest of fairness and justice.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalled that INEC declared the governorship election inconclusive.
The commission said it discovered that the number of cancelled votes was more than the difference between the votes gathered by the candidates of the APC and the PDP.
However, Alhassan said: “The conclusion arrived at by INEC does not reflect what really transpired in the elections.
“In many wards cutting across many local governments, the elections did not hold in accordance with INEC guidelines.
“In spite of several reports, complaints and protests to INEC officials by our party field officers on the ongoing irregularities, INEC failed to react.
NAN reports that the affected local government areas are Wukari, Kurmi, Yorro, Karim Lamido, Ardo Kola, Sardauna, Zing, Bali, Lau, Donga and Takum.
Alhasan said other reasons for the call for an out-right cancellation stemmed from widespread non-use of card readers, non accreditation of voters and snatching of ballot papers.
“ There were cases of kidnap of electoral officials, ballot stuffing, collation of results in non-INEC designated areas, and the non-delivery of electoral materials in many parts of the state,’’ she said. (NAN)
you may also like: