Connect with us
Advertise With Us

COVER STORIES

NASS By-elections: APC Maintains Grip In Kogi, Katsina, Bauchi

Published

on


There were indications yesterday that despite the gale of defections that blew across the country’s political landscape, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is still in control, as early results of the by-elections in Katsina, Bauchi and Kogi to fill vacant seats in the National Assembly showed that the party was on the verge on clinching the three federal legislative seats.   

Our sister publication, LEADERSHIP Weekend had reported yesterday that in the aftermath of the mass defections that hit both the ruling APC and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the two leading political parties in the country were poised to test their might and popularity in yesterday’s senatorial and House of Representatives by-elections in the three states.

Stakeholders from both camps had said the two parties consider the polls crucial because it would determine how Nigerians view them after the gales of defection in both the APC and PDP, as well as determine which party is the majority in the National Assembly.

In Katsina State, early results from some local government areas in the Katsina North Senatorial Bye-election showed that the APC was inching closer to victory yesterday.

In a swift reaction to the much-anticipated result, the state chairman of the PDP, Saiisu Yusuf Majigiri, protested over alleged voting buying before and during the by-election, saying the development was a bad pointer to the 2019 general election.

The state commissioner for resource development, who contested the primary of the APC, Mustapha Kanti Bello, however said, “They (PDP) are preparing their minds for the imminent loss at the poll because of the achievements of the late APC Senator, Mustapha Bukar, who represented the constituency until his death.

LEADERSHIP Sunday findings revealed that the election recorded an impressive turn out in the 12 local government areas of Daura senatorial zone, particularly in Daura Emirate where President Muhammadu Buhari comes from.

Major stakeholders in both political parties generally described the by-election as peaceful and hitch-free.

They lauded the delivery of the electoral materials in the early hours of yesterday and timely commencement of the accreditation and voting simultaneously in virtually polling units.

“INEC did its best by bringing the materials on time to various destinations and the people have come out en masse and they are voting for us (APC). My impression is that we will win the election with wide margin because the voters are ours and they are voting for our party. God willing we will win”, Alhaji Abubakar Yahaya Kusada, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, told journalists.

On his part, governorship candidate of the PDP in 2015, Engr Musa Nashuni, who witnessed the accreditation and voting in his polling unit at Kankia local government headquarters, said nothing untoward had been observed in the area, adding that they would remain vigilant.

He however gave the impression that the PDP would win the bye-election.

In Bauchi, the APC was also in early lead in the South Senatorial district by-election in the state.

But the PDP and other opposition parties cried foul, saying the poll were marred by low turn out of voters who were nonchalant attitude about the voting process.

The Bauchi South Senatorial bye-election was equally marked by network failure, which delayed accreditation of voters, while late arrival of voting materials also contributed to the late voting.

When LEADERSHIP SUNDAY visited some of the polling units within Bauchi metropolis, the story was the same as late arrival of electoral officials delayed the commencement of accreditation of voters.

The accreditation, which was scheduled to commence by 8:00am was delayed as most of the officials arrived the polling unit between 9am and 10am.

The presiding officer at New state 1 polling unit, Olamide Olajimbiti, told our correspondent that the officials came late to the unit due to delay in collecting voting materials at INEC office.

Our correspondent who monitored the election in Bauchi metropolis reports that the conduct of the election was peaceful and orderly even though accreditation and voting started late.

Some of the polling units visited by our correspondents are Nasarawa Manama, Dan-Ningi, Majidadi, Baba Sidi and Kofan ran polling units.

Some of the INEC officials who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity called for deployment of more security agencies to the polling units for fear of being attack by political thugs.

The three major political parties that participated in the Lokoja/Kogi federal constituency election on Saturday have called for a total cancellation of the process.

The parties include the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in a joint statement said the bye election as was conducted was a rape on democracy.

The party lamented that with the level of irregularities and violence that characterised the poll, the result had been predetermined.

The statement, which was signed by the state publicity secretary of the PDP, Bode Ogunmola and his counterpart from the ADC, Ade Ismail, said the developments in the state on Saturday had shown that democracy was dead in the country.

The parties said, “Today is a black day in Kogi state as we witnessed a broad daylight rape of democracy, human right and the rule of law through wanton destruction of electoral materials, snatching of ballot boxes, obvious physical assault on innocent electorates as well as destruction of public and private properties of perceived enemies of the APC led government”.

The parties regretted that many of the atrocities were committed under the watchful eyes of the security agents, saying that the election should not stand.

In Kogi, the by-election to fill the vacant seat in Lokoja-Kogi federal constituency, which started on a peaceful note was alleged to be marred by violence, vote buying and intimidation in Lokoja.

Political thugs were said to be going from one polling unit to another to perpetrate fraud despite the presence of Policemen and other security agents at the polling stations.

At the polling unit at Paparanda Square, voting could not hold as thugs allegedly invaded the venue, snatching election materials and beating up people queuing to vote.

The same scenario played out at polling units at Mary Primary School, Karaworo, Adnakolo and Crowther Secondary School, where thugs also disrupted voting.

At Adankolo, some thugs threw stones on people queuing to cast their votes at one of the polling units, chasing them away.

Some of voters who came in their vehicles had their windscreens smashed.

At St. Peter’s Primary School, Felele, voters were seen receiving N2, 000 each after being certified to have voted for particular candidates.

Some Kogi Government officials could be seen moving from one polling unit to another in convoys, accompanied by heavily armed policemen and other security operatives.

The Federal Commissioner of INEC in charge of Kogi, Niger and Nasarawa States, Alhaji Mohammed Haruna, however, said that the election would be cancelled where discrepancies and violence were recorded.

“INEC will review every case of violence, ballot snatching, voter intimidation and vote buying and take appropriate action,’’ he said.

Haruna stated that the rules guiding conduct of elections in Nigeria were clear, noting that election would be voided at any polling unit where rules had been violated.

Meanwhile, the three major political parties that participated in the Lokoja/Kogi federal constituency by-election yesterday have called for a total cancellation of the process.

The parties include the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

In a joint statement, the three parties said the bye election as conducted was a rape on democracy, even as they alleged that with the level of irregularities and violence that characterized the poll, the result had been predetermined.

The statement, which was signed by the state publicity secretary of the PDP, Bode Ogunmola and his counterpart from the ADC, Ade Ismail, noted that the developments in the state has shown that democracy was dead in the country.

The parties said, “Today is a black day in Kogi state as we witnessed a broad daylight rape of democracy, human right and the rule of law through wanton destruction of electoral materials, snatching of ballot boxes, obvious physical assault on innocent electorates as well as destruction of public and private properties of perceived enemies of the APC led government”.

The parties regretted that many of the atrocities were committed under the watchful eyes of the security agents, just as they maintained that the election will not stand.

PDP Moves To Placate S/West With Minority Leader Position

Indications have emerged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has agreed to zone the minority leadership position in the Senate to the South-west.

A source in the party told our correspondent that the party decided to zone the seat to the region in order to placate them over the national chairmanship position of the party which eluded them during the 2017 national convention of the party.

In the build up to the 2017 national convention of PDP, party chieftains from the zoned had lobbied for the position to be given to them. They had advocated that the geopolitical zone has never produced the national chairman of the party since the party’s formation in 1998.

However, Prince Uche Secondus, who hails from Rivers State in the South-south geo-political zone clinched the position, despite over five aspirants from the South-west that contested for the position as well.

Meanwhile, the senate minority seat became vacant after Sen Godswill Akpabio, who occupied the position defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) and resigned the position.

However the source said the move is aimed at balancing the positions available in the party.

“The position is being reserved for the South-west to placate them. The South-south already has national chairman. They can no longer have the national chairman and minority leader. It cannot work again. And if you go to the House of Representatives the minority leader there is from South-south. So they need to expand it and get it done. For now it appears to be a done deal,” the source said.



Copyright LEADERSHIP.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from LEADERSHIP Nigeria Newspapers. Contact: editor@leadership.ng







Advertisement
Comments

MOST POPULAR

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!