Another aspirant in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senatorial primary which held on October 3 has accused a co-aspirant, Usman Tuggar, of lying about the election results.
Abdulkadir Isawa, who is one of the five aspirants who sought to represent the ruling party in the Senate from Bauchi North, spoke to PREMIUM TIMES in reaction to one of its reports over the weekend.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how Mr Tuggar’s name, despite winning the senatorial primary in six of the seven local government areas of Bauchi North, was substituted without any reason.
APC documents seen by this newspaper show he won in six local government areas: Itas/Gadau, Zaki, Jama’are, Giade, Gamawa and Shira. His closest challenger, Mohammed Bulkachuwa, won narrowly in Katagum local government by 7,263 votes to 6,278.
In total, Mr Tuggar scored 71,508 votes while Mr Bulkachuwa scored 16680 votes. None of the other three aspirants scored up to 10,000 votes in total – a victory that was ascertained by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), whose officials monitored the primaries.
However, Mr Isawa, who came third in the results seen by this newspaper, said there were no elections in three local governments, Zaki, Gamawa and Itas/Gadau.
He said Mr Tuggar’s claim of winning the primary was false.
“What he said is not true. There was no election in some local governments. The results were probably written in the hotel or somewhere.
“His claim of winning five or six of the seven local governments in Bauchi North is not true. In those local governments, voters were there up till 1 a.m., nobody came to conduct election. Elections did not hold there at all,” he said.
He also said Mr Tuggar’s results were fake because in “Jama’are local government, party members who came out to vote were not up to 2000 and voting did not start until 6p.m – which is against the law.”
“There was election in four local governments. I won the election in Giade and Shira local governments. Even in those local governments, officers ran away with the results. Tuggar only won in Jama’are local government and Bulkachuwa won in Katagum.”
One fact, however, Mr Isawa concurred with, was that the APC “imposed its own candidate after the election.”
“APC is also lying. Bulkachuwa did not win any election either. Results in these local governments were taken on plain sheets. After the electoral officers left the local governments, they changed the results in Bauchi but at an unknown location.”
He also said he wrote a petition to the APC national headquarters on October 3 and is yet to get feedback.
When asked to react to Mr Isawa’s claims, Mr Tuggar simply referred this paper to some electoral officers who conducted the election, for confirmation.
“Everybody will definitely have something to say – to defend himself. Just call the INEC officials and ask them if there were elections or not,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES contacted one of the electoral officers, Musa Azare, who was in Shira LGA – who attested to Mr Tuggar’s claims.
He said elections held in all the LGAs of Bauchi North and they were all successful. He also confirmed Mr Tuggar as the winner, accusing the APC headquarters of changing the results.
“There were elections in all the local governments of Bauchi North and it was successful. No election violence of any kind,” he said.
When asked about the results, he said “from the results we collated, Tugaar was the winner, so, yes, the APC changed the name.
“Isawa did not win in any local government. Even in his local government, Giade, Usman Tuggar defeated him.”
The controversy surrounding the Bauchi North senatorial primary continues to linger as most of the candidates have come out to cry foul. The candidates as well as other members of the party have accused the leaders of the APC of being partial with their leadership.
Politicians in Bauchi told PREMIUM TIMES they believe the APC headquarters took the action in order to benefit from Mr Bulkachuwa’s relationship. Mr Bulkachuwa is the husband of the President of the Nigerian Court of Appeal, Zainab Bulkachuwa.
PREMIUM TIMES could not confirm if that was the reason the manipulation was done especially as similar scenarios occurred in other parts of the country. The manipulations caused many Nigerians including the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, Aisha, to castigate the APC national chairman for the poor handling of the primaries across the country.
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