The Kano State governorship supplementary election held last week with incumbent governor, Abduallhi Ganduje emerging victorious. ABDULLAHI YAKUBU, in this report writes on the intrigues and horsetrading thgat trailed the exercise.
There is no doubt that the Kano state governorship election like in every other state of the federation was conducted peacefully in some polling units while the exercise was marred with violence, intimidation, ballot box snatching and disenfranchisement of voters in some other places in the state.
One must give kudos to the electoral body that make it possible for the employment of adhoc staff to support their regular staff, who were fully on ground to do their job without fear or favour.
Professor Shehu Risqua Arabu is the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), saddled with the responsibility of conducting free and fair election that will be acceptable to all and sundry.
He told reporters at a press conference held at the INEC headquarters few days to the commencement of the governorship election, that the electoral body was highly prepared to organise a hitch-free election throughout the state.
The REC said all the electoral materials ranging from sensitive to non-sensitive materials had arrived the state in good time and kept in the safe custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) before it was later distributed to all the nooks and cranies of the state.
However, the governorship election later went on smoothly across the state as all the parties big and small partook in the election. It was regarded as one of the most peaceful election ever in the history of state.
Besides, it was the collation of the governorship results from Gama ward of Nasarawa local government that caused hitches because some aggrieved politicians went to the local government collation center and disrupted the process, thereby making the pendulum to swing anti-clock wise .
It could be recalled that when the votes were counted after the exercise, the PDP, which had Engineer Abba K. Yusuf as its governorship candidate polled 1,014,474 against the APC’s candidate and incumbent governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who scored 987,819 votes, a development that paved way for INEC to declare the election inconclusive as a result of high number of cancelled votes following violence and over-voting in some centres.
The declaration of the election by INEC as inconclusive, angered the opposition PDP who felt that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is silent over the issue. But as agued by the Electoral body the electoral laws is so specific on the controversial inconclusiveness of an election especially where the cancelled votes outnumbered the total votes cast for a particular Candidate.
Since INEC slated 23th of Match 19 for the supplementary election to be held in Six states including Kano state tongues began to wax over the illegeability of the process. In fact the opposition PDP in the state especially members of the Kwankwassiyya group outrightly pointed accusing fingers on INEC as well raising objection on the scheduled re run election which they described as a sham.
The PDP rejected the out come of the election which scored Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of the as having polled 1, 033, 695 votes while that of the PDP Engineer Abba K. Yusuf who scored 1, 024, 713 votes to emerged second in the contest.
This impliedly means that the APC has defeated his opponent with 8, 982 votes margin to emerged the overall winner of the re run election.
The position of the domestic and international observers is some thing to bring to fore as far as the Kano state governorship election is concerned.
The Pan African Women Projects is a national and international election observers Group with multi faceted capacities and multi dimensional experiences in election observations with the aid of the state of art technological approach in compliance with international best practice.
It posited that the Kano supplementary election conducted by INEC was characterised by violence, intimidation, partnership on the part of Security agents as well voters disenfranchisement thereby condemning the process describing it as a sham.
On the part of the coalition of 18 accredited observers described the re run election as free, fair and peaceful the reby giving kudos to INEC Security agencies for good conduct and maintain ing the highest level of professionalism before, during and after the conduct of supplemeny election.
In a statement signed by Mustapha Muhammad ibrahim Dalhatu who led members of Kano Civil Soceity organisation to the NUJ Press Centre informed the press on how his NGO observed the election.
According to him, Electoral violence, poor conduct of the Security personnel was a source concerned by the CSOs that the organization is bewildered by the situation in Kano state wherein the deployment of Senior Policers could not stem the incident of political thuggery and intimidation as well as the violence that occurred in so many places.
The Cso cited as an example some of the polling units affected by the electoral malpractices such as Vote buying, and disenfranchisement of voters.
In it’s recommendation the CSO said all those who felt aggrieved should follow legal means of channelling their grievances. Among others.
On their stand the opposition PDP who felt aggrieved said in a position paper signed by Alhaji Sanusi Bature Dawaki Tofa that going by the political history of Kano, we have undergone the most horrific elections ever
where the ruling APC and Kano State Government deployed all mechanisms to Orchestrate violence against the PDP. and Indeed, the good people of Kano state who have witnessed a broad daylight robbery of their mandate by the enemies of democracy.
It is with tremendous zeal and courage that we joined the 2019 Kano gubernatorial contest, believing in the impartiality of the umpire – the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Security Agencies, being on a mission to
restore the lost glory of our dear state from the hand of political Predators who
destroyed every meaningful programme and policies set by the previous administration of Dr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso.
The “deliberate disruption of results Collation process in Nasarawa Local Government, which led to the cancellation of Gama Ward, alongside numerous other Polling Units across the 28 Local Government Areas and the appalling conduct of the players in the sham called inconclusive Election, has raised huge doubts about the professionalism of the security agencies and the effectiveness, credibility and fairness of INEC as an organization as well as professionalism and neutrality of the security agencies..
We have written to INEC at the beginning of the exercise calling for the cancellation of the ongoing rerun election, but the electoral body decided to shelve our request and go ahead with the process of the election in the rascal way.
It was reliably gathered that most INEC representatives were compromised by the Kano State Government
.The declaration of a winner on the basis of the charade of 23rd March 2019 is most unfortunate to say the least.
A process scarred by reports of massive violence, Intimidation and financial inducement was sanctioned by INEC officials and accepted by Security agencies as peaceful, particularly the DIG Micheal Anthony who was brought to Kano to allegedly usuro the role of the State Police Commissioner, by allowing thuggery to reign.
While publicly certifying such horrible abuse of voters it is indeed saddening that the commission abandoned the basic tenets of fairness and allowed a process characterized by large-scale fraud such as thuggery, vote buying and voter disenfranchisement sponsored by the ruling APC to be admitted Into the records of electioneering with a sole aim of favouring the incumbent Governor Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
Several independent organizations, International and Domestic observers, the local and international media have reported massive violence, intimidation, harassment, flagrant violation and abuse of electoral laws, in most of the polling stations PDP agents were frightened away and denied access to their assigned polling units. Yet, the INEC and its cronies turned blind eye to all the happenings and deemed this charade as worthy of being accepted.
It is clear that the will of Kano people has been subverted, with the security agencies as willing accomplices and the INEC representatives as enablers. The 23rd of March2019 blew a wind of sorrow for families that lost loved ones and those that sustained various degrees of injuries. At this juncture, we want to sincerely express our heartfelt sympathies to all those who suffered injustice in one way or the other during the rerun elections.
The PDP in Kano is proud to be distinctly civil and uniquely peace-loving. We condemn this fraud in its entirety. We have decided to take legal action through the Election Petition Tribunal with overwhelming evidences that has been gathered soonest.
On it’s part the ruling APC who is the winner of the election described as false and exaggerative the position of the PDP who always Spread falsehood against the ruling party.
The APC who spoke through the Commissioner of Information Malam Mohammed Garba described as false and a deliberate act for PDP to keep condemning the process that make possible for Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to stage a come back.
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