The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Taraba State, Aisha Alhassan, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to reverse its declaration of the Taraba State elections inconclusive.
Mrs. Alhassan said instead, a fresh collation of results should be done in areas affected by irregularities in 11 local governments, after which a winner is declared.
Alternatively, she urged INEC to cancel the entire election in the state and order another poll, as irregularities spread beyond the 11 local government areas acknowledged by INEC.
The commission had said that election in the state was inconclusive because the number of cancelled votes was more than the difference between the votes received by the two main candidates — APC’s Alhassan and Darius Ishaku of the PDP.
It also announced that supplementary election between the two candidates would hold in some areas in 11 local government areas on April 25.
Mrs. Alhassan, who addressed a press conference at the APC National secretariat in Abuja on Thursday, said the results of all the areas affected by irregularities in the 11 local governments should be cancelled out right, after which a fresh collation should be done and a winner declared.
The APC candidate said INEC’s claims do not reflect what really transpired in the elections.
“In many Wards cutting across many local governments, the elections did not hold in accordance with INEC guidelines,” she said.
She also said despite several reports, complaints and protests, INEC went ahead to accept many flawed results.
The affected Local Governments according to Mrs. Alhassan are Wukari, Kurmi, Yorro, Karim Lamido, Ardo Kola, Sardauna, Zing, Bali, Lau, Donga and Takum.
That’s 11 out of the 16 local governments in which various irregularities were recorded in the State.
She added that after much pressure and complaints at the state collation center, INEC cancelled only the results of Donga local government and some few units in the remaining local governments complained of, leaving a chunk of results of other areas.
The APC candidate listed some of the irregularities in the election to include widespread non-use of Card Readers or destruction of the machines, non-accreditation of voters, subversion of the rights of the people to exercise their franchise, as well as the use of security agencies in aid of the ruling PDP.
She also accused the security agents of aiding the PDP to kidnap electoral officials and also stuff ballot boxes.
There were also cases of collation of results in non-INEC designated areas, and the non-delivery of electoral materials in many parts of the eleven local government areas.
She said INEC in Taraba simply allocated votes on result sheets. She added the election was marred by widespread violence resulting to injuries and loss of lives.
The APC candidate also gave a rundown of what she said really transpired on Saturday in Taraba state.
She said at Jibu Ward in Wukari town, voting took place in only three out of 27 polling units, while at Bantaje Ward also in Wukari, voting took place in only 11 out of 56 polling units, but results for all the polling units were returned.
“In Kurmi, card readers were not used at all and election did not take place. The PDP simply relied on security agencies to rig the polls and write results.
“In Yorro, voting materials were snatched while residences of PDP officials were used for ballot stuffing and writing results. APC agents were brutally beaten and chased out of voting centers.
“In Karim Lamido, the local government of the present Acting Governor who personally, with the aid of his security escorts, spearheaded ballot snatching and abduction of electoral officials, Card Readers were not used in many places APC agents were chased away and results written in favour of the PDP.
“In Sardauna, PDP officials colluded with INEC officials to reduce APC Governorship votes from 72,584 to 28,860, after having declared the initial result of 72,584 in favour of the APC at the polling units.
“And in Takum, APC agents were chased away, with some of them shot at and injured by security agents, Card Readers were not used and INEC Collation Officers refused to collate results in several Wards. In some wards of Takum LGA like Kashimbila and chanchangi, there was violence and destruction of sensitive materials but results were still returned,” she said.
Mrs. Alhassan also condemned the blatantly “partisan and shameful role of INEC in the conduct of the Gubernatorial elections in the state”.
She said the Resident Electoral Commissioner never hid his partisanship and bias, as he ignored all APC complaints and petitions.
Mrs. Alhassan asked INEC to cancel the entire result of the election in the state and order a fresh poll.
She also said once the results are cancelled and fresh one ordered, it such should not be conducted under the supervision of the current INEC officials in Taraba State.
She also called on the INEC to immediately launch a probe into the conduct of the April 11 governorship election in Taraba.