PDP Sweeps Council Polls in Gombe, Taraba

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APC rejects results

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja  and Segun Awofadeji in Gombe

The Chairman of the Gombe State Independent Electoral Commission (GOSIEC), Mr. Caleb Maina, yesterday announced the results of the local government elections held in the state where the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) swept all the eleven chairmanship seats as well as the all the 114 councillorship seats.

This came as the party candidates were declared winners of the chairmanship seats in all the 13 local government councils so far declared by the Taraba State Independent Electoral Commission out of the 15 local government areas where elections were conducted last Saturday.

However, the elections and the results in Gombe State were rejected by a coalition of opposition political parties in the state led by the All Progressives Congress (APC) which roundly condemned the exercise which they described as “complete sham.”

Briefing journalists before the announcement of the results last Saturday afternoon, the Coalition of Opposition Political Parties called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately commence the investigation of GOSIEC for failure to conduct the local council election on February 25, 2017.

The election, according to the coalition’s spokesman and acting Chairman of the APC, Alhaji Idi Barde Gubana, was never held as there was never a release of election materials as well as casting of votes after the PDP-led the state government expended millions of naira for the election.

GOSIEC was said to have collected N500,000; N250,000 and N150,000  from candidates seeking election into 11 chairmanship seats, their deputies, as well as the 114 councillorship positions respectively.

But announcing the results yesterday, the chairman of the commission, Maina, said: “Following the receipt of the results of the election as returned and declared by the wards returning officers of the 114 wards in all the local government areas of the state, in accordance with section 26 sub-section 1-2 of state Independent Electoral Commission Law 2013 as amended, as the Chief Returning Officer of the Commission, I wish to announce as follows.”

Caleb then read out the entire results of the election which indicated that the PDP won all the 11 chairmanship positions as well as the 114 councillorship seats in the state defeating all the APC candidates who contested in all the chairmanship and councillorship elections.

However, APC has rejected the outcome of last Saturday’s local government area election held in Gombe State, describing it as a sham.

A statement signed by APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Hon. Idi Barde Gubana, on behalf of other political parties and made available to THISDAY in Abuja, said while the process had been taken as People Democratic Party (PDP) affairs alone, election materials were massed up at the various state Independent Commission (GOSIEC) local government offices across the state.

“You recall  that the Gombe State Independent Electoral Commission (GOSIEC) fixed the election for today, for which the people of the state had looked forward with hope that at last freedom is knocking at their door steps,” he said.

According to APC, the exercise was marred by non availability of election materials and outright low turnout of voters.

In Taraba State, the elections, which were contested by only PDP and the APC saw the PDP candidates winning convincingly in all the local government areas as declared by the Chairman of the commission, Dr Phillip Duwe.

Though PDP won all the chairmanship seats, APC however won three councillorship seats in Jalingo and Zing local government areas.

Announcing the results at the commission’s headquarters in Jalingo yesterday, the Chairman of the commission, Duwe, said the PDP candidate in Jalingo local government, Alhaji Abdul Bobiji scored 48,322 to defeat the APC candidate, Aminu Imam who scored 7,235.