The Chairman of All Progressive Congress (APC) in Taraba State, Ibrahim El-sudi, has faulted the Taraba State Independent Electoral Commission (TSIC) over the conduct of last Saturday’s local government election in the state.
While the commission and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are claiming that the election was free and fair, Mr El-sudi has accused TSIEC officials of compromising the exercise.
Early results from the poll put the PDP in the lead.
While speaking to journalists on Saturday evening in Jalingo, he said the state governor, Agbu Kefas, and TSIEC gave the impression that everything was going to work perfectly but it turned out the other way.
Mr El-Sudi said information across all the local government areas, especially where the APC was fully involved indicated that there was no election. He called the exercise a sham.
He said the election has exposed the lack of sincerity of Mr Kefas and the electoral body in the state.
He said the election was a deliberate effort to ridicule democracy.
“It has become imperative for me to address you at this time, ordinarily, local government elections are supposed to be going on across the state and all of us should be busy with that.
“Unfortunately, electoral materials are taken to the homes of political stalwarts of the PDP, this confirmed our earlier intelligence information that the results have already been written.
“In Ibi, the electoral officers have been nowhere to be found since yesterday. I informed the security who said their responsibility is only to safeguard the election materials. I also informed the Chairman of TSIEC who assured me that the right thing would be done and yet nothing is happening.
“The situation in other locations such as Zing, Gashaka and other places is the same. Even in Jalingo here, there is no election at all in most of the polling units. This is very unfortunate.
“I am therefore calling for the complete cancellation of the election. This is just a mere sham and disgrace and so we, as a party, can not be associated with it. We have gathered since yesterday that all local governments have already written their results. Today’s development has vindicated our earlier intelligence.
“I also want to very specially call on the INEC to be handling Local Government elections henceforth otherwise, this is an abuse of democracy. We need a referendum as the state Assemblies are already compromised and may never consent to any constitutional amendments to this effect” he said.
While reacting to the allegations, the governor’s spokesperson, Emmanuel Bello, said that the APC was being a terrible loser.
In a phone conversation with PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Bello said Mr Kefas gave direct instructions for the election to be done with utmost transparency and has refused to interfere except to support the success of the process.
“I understand that this is politics and in every election, you will expect such reactions from the losers. One would have expected the APC to hold on to the end of the process before tongue lashing at everyone but no, they are aware that they did not do their homework and so are looking for soft landings.
“Well, I can assure you that what is happening at the polls today is a protest against the inhuman treatment meted on the people by the APC government. It is a protest against them.
“It is also the people’s way of saying we have passed an overwhelming vote of confidence in our amiable governor who has shown a clear sense of direction that will not only ameliorate our pains but will set the state on the path of development.
“I am in the field as we speak and the election is going on smoothly. As a matter of fact, I am getting fillers from several locations and so far, the process is commendable. Remember that even national elections, planned by INEC with limitless resources usually have some issues. You can’t have a perfect process and so I can not say that the elections are perfect. But we have a great exercise that we should all be proud of,” Mr Bello said.
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