The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday cautioned the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, against tampering with the declared results in 14 local government areas in the Bauchi governorship election. The opposition party claimed at a press briefing in Abuja that INEC plans to cancel results in more local government areas so as to give an advantage to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“INEC has been instructed by the All Progressives Congress to cancel already declared results in 230 polling units in 15 LGAs in the state to cause confusion and pave the way for the APC to manipulate the March 23 supplementary elections,” said Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP’s national spokesman.
The party said its candidate, Bala Mohammed, was “coasting” to victory and so any attempt by INEC to tamper with the announced results would bring serious consequences.
INEC does the exact opposite: Rather than cancelling votes in Bauchi as the PDP alleged, INEC has taken two decisions that greatly favor the PDP.
- There was supposed to be a supplementary election in Bauchi next Saturday. INEC has shelved that election and instead approved the resumption and conclusion of the collation of results of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area. INEC’s decision was based on the recommendation of a committee it set up to review the disruption of the collation process at the Tafawa Balewa Collation Centre which led to the cancellation of results for the entire Local Government. The collation officer in the local government recorded the results on a wrong sheet following the destruction by thugs of the proper result sheet that should have been used. As a result, the state returning officer rejected the result. INEC however said that since the correct results from the Polling Units and Registration Areas are “available and in safe custody”, the collation process should continue, followed by the resumption, conclusion and announcement of results.
This is good news for the PDP because it has a healthy lead in that local government area.
- The second decision that favors the PDP came from Ningi local government area where it was initially recorded that the cancelled votes from 4 polling units amounted to 25,330. However the committee established that the actual figure is 2,533. Consequently, INEC has “directed that the error in the total number of canceled votes in four polling units in Ningi Local Government Area should be corrected from 25,330 to 2,533.”
This is good news for the PDP because they were actually alleging that number of cancelled votes will be increased, but with the correction by INEC, it has reduced. As a result, the need for a supplementary election in the state may not arise if the difference in votes between the PDP candidate, Mohammed, and the APC candidate, Gov. Mohammadu Abubakar, is more than cancelled votes.