CPC candidate wins bye-election in Nasarawa

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday, announced Umaru Tanko-Tunga of the Congress for Progressive Change as winner of the bye-election held to determine the representative of Awe North Constituency of the state  assembly.

The Returning Officer, Usman Abubakar, said Mr. Tunga polled 10,836 votes to defeat his opponent, Musa Saidu of PDP, who polled 3,279 votes.

Mr. Abubakar said out of 34,707 registered voters, 14,205 votes were cast out of which 264 were rejected.

He explained that results of five polling units were cancelled because the ballot boxes for those units were snatched by thugs before the election.

The assembly seat became vacant in May following the death of the occupant, Yakubu Faransa.

Aggrieved PDP

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The Nasarawa State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),  has called for the cancellation of the election.

The Chairman of the party in the state, Yunana Iliya, told newsmen in Lafia on Sunday that the bye-election was characterised by massive corruption.

He said the corrupt practices ranged from the stuffing of ballot boxes with thumb-printed ballot papers, snatching of electoral materials and intimidation of voters.

Mr. Iliya said six ballot boxes and other electoral materials meant for Madaki, Agudu in Tunga and Abuni in Kanje wards were snatched, thereby disenfranchising the people in those areas.

He accused INEC of complacency in the situation saying,  “INEC did not do anything to salvage the situation despite the time it had to act”.

Mr. Iliya also claimed that village and district heads were threatened against voting for the PDP by the state government, adding that some district heads were used as agents and presiding officers in Baure, Abuni, Kanje and Tunga Wards.

“In view of the foregoing, the party wishes to dissociate itself from the Awe North constituency bye-election of July 7”. The PDP chairman asked for the election to be cancelled in order for a reorganization of a free, fair and credible one. We call on our supporters to remain calm,” Mr. Iliya said.

Corps members illicit involvement

The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Ahmed Makama, confirmed the arrest of eight NYSC members over allegation of being in possession of thumb-printed ballot papers during the election.

He said the corps members had been handed over to the police for further investigation.

Mr. Makama added that the results for Kofar Sarki, and Jangarigari 1 and 2 polling units in Madaki wards were consequently cancelled.

Also, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Abayomi Akeremale, confirmed the arrest of the corps members, saying that he had directed the investigation bureau of the command to further investigate the matter.

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