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Controversy dogs Kaduna LG polls Results

- APC wins 13 LGs, PDP victorious in 3 LGs
- Officials abscond from collation centres
- We will challenge results – PDP
- Process was transparent – APC

Results of Saturday’s local government elections in Kaduna State have been dogged by controversies as officials of the Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KADSIECOM) in many polling units absconded from their posts leaving vital documents after conclusion of voting.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) is leading in the results so far announced by media houses in the state.

The KADSIECOM headquarters was deserted when our correspondent visited the place. There were no officers to respond to enquiries.

Results monitored by our correspondents showed that the APC won the chairmanship and councillorship seats in 13 local governments while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won three local governments so far.

The PDP has however rejected the results.

The party said it will soon release its field results to challenge the results being announced on media platforms.

PDP State Chairman, Felix Hassan Hyet, said at a press conference that his party has been short-changed in the results announced so far in the 13 local government areas of the state.

He said most of the results announced so far were through radio stations rather than through the returning officers whom he said disappeared from their posts.

Hyet said some electronic voting machines were snatched and taken to unknown destinations.

“At the moment we have some local government areas like, Kaduna South, Chikun, Kajuru, Jema, Kagarko, Sanga, still awaiting to be announced as the returning officers are nowhere to be found. The returning officers have disappeared completely. Even, some wards returning officers also disappeared.

“We are waiting for the returning officers to come out and announce the results in local government areas yet to be announced. Our agents have submitted the results to us and we will take necessary legal steps to address the injustices,” he said.

Kaduna has 23 LG councils but elections were suspended in two - Jaba and Kaura - of them.

The APC won in mainly northern and central parts of the state but was able to win one local government in the south.

The LGs won by APC are Soba, Zaria, Lere, Ikara, Makarfi, Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Kagarko, Kudan, Igabi, Kajuru and Kaduna North local councils.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) however won the chairmanship and councillorship election in Zangon Kataf, Kauru and Sanga local government areas of the state.

The Returning Officer for Zangon Kataf, Danjuma Baye Luka, announced the results on Sunday morning in Zonkwa.

He said Elias Maza of the PDP scored 55,643 votes to defeat APC’s John Hassan who polled 31,514 votes.

The council elections were conducted using electronic voting machines in the area.

In Zaria, APC polled 42,859 votes, while PDP got 16,033. In Soba, APC got 40,903, while PDP scored 13,835.

In Kaduna North, Saleh Shu’aibu of the APC emerged winner.

Announcing the results of the polls, the local government election returning officer, Umar Hayatu, said the APC won with total of 168,572 votes.

Shuaibu beat Muhammad Sabo Babayaro of the Peoples Democratic Party who got 12,467 votes.

Kaduna North is Governor Nasiru El-Rufai’s local government area.

The PDP in Jema’a local government area however raised concerns over alleged plans by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to manipulate results in its favour. 

Rep Shehu N. Garba (Jema’a/Sanga Federal constituency) told journalists in Kafanchan yesterday that their party (PDP) learnt that the eight returning officers, who were yet to bring their results to the collation centre in Kafanchan, were in Kaduna.

“We all know that PDP swept the election in 10 out of 12 wards in Jema’ a Local Government. Therefore we are calling on the government to honour due process and respect what the people decided for themselves,” he said, adding that “This plan is only tantamount to gross act of electoral malpractice and we hereby condemn it in its totality.” 

When contacted, Mr Harold Makeri, Returning Officer for Jema’a local government, said he was only answerable to KAD-SIECOM explaining that only four results from four wards had so far been returned.

The national secretariat of the PDP also said the LG election in Kaduna is fraudulent, adding that the final results of units won by the PDP were altered.

PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said from the reports of results at the polling centres, it is clear that the PDP defeated the APC in most of the areas where elections held across the state, including Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s ward.

He said, “The result of this election is a clear testimony of our popularity in the state. As such, PDP rejects the fraud by Kaduna State Independent Electoral Commission (KADSIECOM) in altering the results in favour of APC.

“It is totally intolerable for KADSIECOM, working in cahoots with the discredited APC, to engage in the manipulation of the collation process by changing the figures and announcing final results that are different from figures tallied at the polling centres.

“Such daylight robbery by the APC is absolutely unacceptable, particularly, given the precarious security situation in the state.”

The PDP cautioned the Chairman of KADSIECOM, Dr. Saratu Binta Dikko-Audu “to save the state from avoidable stress by resisting the APC, withdrawing all altered final results and announcing only results that reflect the actual wishes of the people as expressed in the ballot.”

This is the first time a state has adopted the use of electronic machines to conduct elections in Nigeria.

The atmosphere in the state was calm as results in other councils are still being awaited.

Process was transparent – APC

The APC in Kaduna State however said, as far it is concerned, the process of the local government elections were free and fair, while the results announced so far were credible.

APC acting secretary, Yahaya Baba Pate, who spoke with our correspondent, said reports that the party got from its agents in the field showed that the results announced at the wards and local government centres were a true reflection of what transpired.

“You know that this election is being monitored by observers and the state government introduced the electronic voting machine to check all forms of malpractices.

“So far, the process has been credible. This is one of the best local government and elections in Kaduna because the process was transparent and the people expressed their wishes,” he said.

Source: Daily Trust

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