ABDULAHI YAKUBU in this report examines issues surrounding the just-concluded governorship election in Kano State.
The dust raised after the just concluded Governorship election in the Kano State is yet to settle. This has become a source of concern, not only to the electorate and political pundits but also to the electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Since the election was concluded, both the major parties that participated in the poll, that is, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have been on each other’s throat, each claiming to have won the poll.
Prior to the supplementary poll, PDP being the strongest opposition party with Engineer Abba Yusuf as it’s candidate, had the APC’s candidate and incumbent governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje who scored 987, 819.
The party believes that with the margin of about 26, 000 votes, the electoral umpire should have declared its the candidate the winner of the poll.
But INEC proved the PDP wrong on its premature judegment of the electoral verdict when the electoral body through its Commissioner, Professor Shehu Risqua Arabu, cited the provision of the Electoral Act before declaring the election inconclusive.
In fact, this declaration of the election as inconclusive gave the APC a second chance to bounce from the losing wing, to win the election with 1,033, 695, votes while the PDP scored 1, 024, 713, votes to emerge second in the contest.
With the result announced by the electoral umpire, there was a margin of 8, 982, votes in favour of the APC being the overall winner of the election.
Although Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje was declared the winner of the election and has since received his Certificate of Return from INEC at the Kofar Mata indoor Sports Complex, the controversy raised after poll is yet to abate.
Hence, the PDP has files its case before a three-man Election Petition Tribunal which was inaugurated recently in the state.
LEADERSHIP recalls that no fewer than 42 political parties under the auspices of Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) came out boldly to reject the results of the re-run governorship election of March 23. They alleged that the process was characterised by gross irregularities.
Making this position known at a press conference was the chairman of CUPP in the state, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi Rahi, who said thuggery and voter intimidation were reported in all the polling units where the re-run election took place.
He went further to disclose that a lot of lives were lost, while open vote buying and other electoral malpractices took the lead during the supplementary election.
Rahi alleged that “It was clear that the level of violence recorded during the March 9 election that led to cancellation of results of some polling units is by far less than what was recorded during March 23 election, yet the electoral body turned a blind eye on the happenings by accepting and announcing the results.
According to him, the declaration of Ganduje as governor-elect was against the constitution, based on what he termed gross irregularities and alleged electoral frauds committed before, during and after the election.
He declares that the coalition has concluded plans to challenge Ganduje’s victory at the tribunal.
As that was ongoing, another group from the CUPP dissociated itself from reports that it had concluded plans to challenge the outcome of the supplementary election before election Petition Tribunal.
A CUPP faction which paid solidarity and congratulatory visit to the Kano State Governor-elect, led by another Chairman, Alhaji Isah Nuhu Isah, expressed dismay over a purported news conference on the governorship supplementary election, where it was reported that the coalition condemned the entire process due to alleged electoral irregularities.
According to him, “CUPP was shocked and perplexed to read the contents of the news conference discrediting the whole conduct of the process, security agencies, INEC and worst still the declaration to challenge the outcome of the exercise before the tribunal.
“We, in CUPP comprising the representatives of the 42 political parties in the coalition, and joined by the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), categorically disowned and disassociate the coalition from the sham Press Conference as well as condemned it in its entirety as it does not reflect our true assessment of the election.”
Isah said the first group just used the name of the coalition to expressed their personal views about the election and not the CUPP.
He disclosed that they monitored the supplementary election in Kano state and can testify to the fact that the election was free, fair and peaceful, but acknowledged that there were pockets of violence in some polling units.
He noted that the magnitude of the violence was indeed insignificant to warrant any call and agitation for cancellation of the election or seek legal redress at the Election Petition Tribunal.
On his part, Governor Ganduje wondered why only the PDP faulted the re-run election while it was not the only party that participated, as clearly shown by these 42 political parties that were also fully involved in the process. The governor noted that “Why is PDP crying more than the bereaved, are they hiding some mischievous anti-Kano mission?”
He, however, promised he would run a government of unity with members of other political parties that participated in the election.
Also, Emir Muhammadu Sanusi 11 who after studying the mood of his subjects after the declaration of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as the Governor-elect, called for a special prayer, which involved all the Village Heads, District Heads, and Ward Heads Ulamas to pray for lasting peace and tranquility in the state.
Sanusi used the occasion to called on the politicians to eschew violence and other forms of political thuggery. He admonished Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje on the need to carry everybody along.
He said,” As I always said political positions are based on the tenure of office if one is patient four years from now by God grace is a just a stone throw and one stands a better opportunity to try his luck when the time comes.”
The Election Petition Tribunal had already been inaugurated and PDP has filed it’s petition praying the tribunal to declare its candidate winner of the poll.
LEADERSHIP reliably gathered that the party is gathering all the relevant data concerning the alleged irregularities for onward presentation before the Tribunal, after filing that of the state and National Assembly.
Whether the party will scale through or not at the Tribunal, only time will provide the answer.
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