By: Ishola Michael – Bauchi
The House of Representatives candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Dass/Bogoro/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency of Bauchi State, Barr Kefas Magaji, has rejected the outcome of Saturday’s election where Jafaru Gambo Leko of the APC was declared the winner by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The PDP candidate described his loss at the poll as a case of ‘stolen mandate’.
Meanwhile, not fewer than 10 supporters of the PDP were attacked and injured by hoodlums suspected to be political thugs.
Kefas Magaji, while speaking during an interview with Journalists in his Bauchi residence, alleged that the election was flawed and that the PDP was robbed of the victory it worked for through rigorous electioneering campaigns and deserved.
The PDP candidate alleged that the results were doctored in favour of the All Progressive Congress (APC) because of the sudden relocation of the collation center from Zwal to Bununu in Tafawa Balewa local government.
According to him, “The election was peaceful; voting was done peacefully in all the polling units with the exception of few areas that experienced challenges due to non-appearance of electoral officers, but where we had a problem was in the area of collation of results”
“My constituency consists of three LGA of Dass, Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro, there are 31 electoral wards, however, at the time of collation, 30 of the wards brought in their results in good time immediately after the election,” Kefas Magaji said.
He narrated that “counting started late in the evening, results started coming in. Surprisingly, in Bununu ward which is the host of the three LGAs, results were delayed. The next morning which was Sunday, results were turned in from the remaining 10 electoral wards of the LGAs but Bununu ward was not turned in until about 6 to 7 pm on Sunday which was very unusual.”
“The venue of the collation centre was so tight as there were thugs around and entrance was mounted with a heavy barricade which made it impossible for anybody to know what was happening.”
The PDP candidate further stated that “From reports, they collated the results about five times, surprisingly, when the collation officer took the results of the three LGAs to the collation centre in Bununu, the results were returned on grounds that the computations were not properly done and that there were so many errors.”
“For the first time, instead of allowing the presiding officers who are the masters of election results to compute the results, the electoral officer for Tafawa Balewa took over the whole exercise and at the end of the day, they came up with a result that was not in consonance with the votes that was cast in that ward,” he alleged.
According to him, “It is important to state that before the result in that ward was released, they made sure that thugs were recruited who were fully armed. It was at that time, they brought out the result from Bununu and it was late in the night.”
He also said that “They knew that bringing in the results at the time they were supposed to bring it in, APC will definitely lose that election, so what they did was to ensure that the election result was delayed and that is the area that we are not so comfortable with”
He said that “Despite all the delays and the manipulations that they did in the election result, we discovered so much of over-voting, issues were raised that wherever over-voting was found, the result of the polling unit should be cancelled, but that was not done.”
“They insisted it was computed in the overall result. The votes that the APC candidate got over me was about 1,800 votes, but if they had counted the votes genuinely, certainly by all standards, I would have won the election,” he stressed
“For me, we are taking up this matter before the election tribunal to ensure that this case is pursued through legitimate means in order to reclaim my mandate,” Kefas Magaji said.
He also claimed that his supporters were attacked by hoodlums imported from neighbouring Plateau State who destroyed not fewer than 10 cars and wounded many people in order to be able to perpetrate their evil plans.
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