Saturday, April 9, 2016 6:08 pm
The candidates of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday differed over the credibility of the council polls in Abaji Area Council.
While the PDP candidates alleged some discreet manipulations in favour of the APC, saying it could affect the outcome of the elections, however, the latter expressed confidence in the exercise.
The incumbent Chairman of Abaji Area Council and PDP candidate, Alhaji Yahaya Garba alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) manipulated the process in favour of APC.
“There is connivance in this election because voters have been denied their franchise in some polling units.
“In my polling unit, Janmigbe 003, there is no result sheet and we confirmed that the sheet was given to the presiding officer.
“We don’t know what has happened. Where did the sheet go? Somebody had to travel all the way from Gawu to Abaji before the election was allowed to hold,” he said.
Garba added: “When voting finally began, after about three or four people voted, they said that the two card readers there had failed. We said they should allow voting to continue manually, but the presiding officer refused.
“The same thing is happening in Mawogi 005. So, I see this as connivance between the electoral officer and the APC. We have complained to the INEC electoral officer and he said that some officials were coming to resolve the situation, but up till now, we have not seen anybody.
“The turnout is impressive, security arrangement is okay but INEC officials, I can tell you are biased,” he alleged.
When NAN contacted the Electoral Officer, Mr Fayor Emmanuel, he confirmed the problem with result sheet and card readers but denied any manipulations.
“There was a problem of result sheet but the issue has since been solved; you have to understand that the distance from here to Gawu is far.
“I sought permission from my headquarters and I was allowed to appoint some other officials to take the result sheets and conduct the elections there.
“They said that the Presiding Officer absconded from duty but I’ve sent other officials to replace him; I’ve not been able to get in touch with him even on phone.”
On the issue of card reader, Emmanuel said: “I sent my technical staff there to rectify it and those voters that card readers did not capture, we have Incidence Forms.
“These politicians are just too difficult and I am fed up because no matter what you do, they will just make a big issue out of no issue,” he said.
On his part, the APC chairmanship candidate, Abdulrahman Ajiya, commended the peaceful nature of the election, saying “the process is credible’’.
“So far, the election has been peaceful, the situation is calm as you can see at least for now and we hope it remains like that. On the card reader malfunctioning, we’ve been calling on the electoral officer to quickly respond. For now, most of the complaints have been rectified.
“I have confidence in the process because power belongs to God and I believe He will give it to the right person in this election,” he said.