Olusola Fabiyi, Armstrong Bakam, Gbenga Odogun and Olaide Oyelude
The Kogi and Katsina chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party have rejected the results of the Lokoja/Kogi Federal Constituency and Katsina North Senatorial Zone by-elections, which held on Saturday in the states.
The Chairman, PDP Kogi State, Mr Sam Ohuetu, made the call on behalf of the party at a news conference in Abuja on Sunday.
Ohuetu alleged that the election was neither free nor fair, insisting that it was marred by violence, snatching of ballot boxes and vote-buying.
He also alleged that appointees and key officials of the Kogi State Government who were not indigenes or voters in the constituency were seen intimidating and harassing the electorate with thugs and personnel of security agencies.
The PDP chairman said, “Accredited voters were not allowed to vote as armed thugs shot sporadically into the air after accreditation, forcing the electorate to flee. This was widespread in Osuku in the Kotonkarfe area of the federal constituency. ”
Ohuetu alleged that during the build-up to the by-election, there were credible and reliable reports of the movement of thugs and hoodlums into Lokoja and Kotonkafe local governments from other local governments within the state and from adjoining states into the constituency.
Ohuetu added that the PDP was already drafting a petition to be submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Katsina State Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Salisu Majigiri, on Sunday, in a telephone interview with The PUNCH, said the opposition party would challenge the results.
He said, “We reject the results of the by-election in its totality. The election was fraught with vote- buying, using of government officials to coerce traditional rulers and all sorts of discrepancies that we shall disclose at election tribunal.
“What happened at the by-election was like what happened during the Ekiti State governorship election and all these do not augur well for the development of democracy in Nigeria.
“We are challenging the results at the tribunal as we cannot allow all these to happen in the 2019 general election.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission had on Sunday morning, declared The All Progressives Congress candidate, Ahmad Babba-Kaita, as the winner of Katsina North Senatorial Zone by-election.
INEC Returning Officer for the election, Prof Hudu Ayuba-Abdullahi, said Babba- Kaita scored 224,607 votes, while his elder brother of the Peoples Democratic Party, Kabir Babba-Kaita, scored 59,724 votes.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has congratulated the winner of the just concluded by-election, Alhaji Haruna Isah.
In a statement on Sunday, the governor charged the winner to remember that the people who chose to vote for him did so believe that he would represent their interest at the National Assembly.
The statement added, “Governor Bello also extended his goodwill message to the winners of the by-elections in Bauchi South Senatorial District and Katsina North Senatorial District, Alhaji Lawal Gumau and Alhaji Ahmad Kaita respectively.”
INEC had declared Isah, who polled 26, 860 votes, the winner of the election.
The Returning Officer, Prof. Rotimi Ajayi, announced that the PDP candidate, Bashir Gegu, polled 14,845.
The candidate of the African Democratic Congress, Alhaji Mohammed Mabo, came third with a total number of 2,984 votes while former Speaker, Umar Ahmed, of the Social Democratic Party, polled 2,916.
In a related development, the candidate of the APC in Saturday’s Bauchi-South senatorial by-election, Lawal Gumau, has been declared the winner of the election.
Gumau scored a total of 119, 489 votes to beat his closest rival, Ladan Salihu of the Peoples Democratic party, who got 50,256 votes.
The Returning Officer of the election, Prof. Ahmed Fagan, of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, announced the results on Sunday.
Isa Yuguda, the immediate past governor of the state who contested the seat for the second time, came third with 33,079 votes.
In his address at the commencement of the announcement of the results, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ibrahim Abdullahi, charged the winner and the losers to accept the results in good faith.
Abdullahi commended the electorate for the peaceful way and manner they conducted themselves before and during the elections.
In the election, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, lost his local government area to the PDP.
Dogara, who hails from Bogoro LGA and represents Dass/Tafawa Balewa/Bogoro federal constituency in the House, has been rumoured to be planning to defect to the PDP.
The PDP candidate, Ladan Salihu, won in Dogara’s local government by polling 8,420 as against the APC’s 3,992 votes. (Punch)