By Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Lawal Yahya Gumau has been declared winner of the Bauchi south senatorial by-election which took place on Saturday.
Returning officer for the bye election Professor Ahmed Sarki Fagam who announced the results Sunday at the state secretariat of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) explained that the seven local governments of Bauchi, Alkaleri, Kirfi, Toro, Dass, Bogoro and Tafawa Balewa that constitute the senatorial zone had a total of 877, 160 registered voters out of which 256, 763 people cast votes in the election.
Fagam while giving the breakdown of the votes scored by each party that participated in the election revealed that the APC candidate got 119, 489 votes to beat his closest contender Ladan Salihu of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 50, 256 votes.
Other candidates that participated in the by-election were the former governor Isah Yuguda of the Green Party of Nigeria (GPN) who scored 33, 079 votes, Hussaini Umar of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) 22, 896 votes, Aminu Tukur of the All People’s Party (APP) 11, 717 votes and Maryam Bagel of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
The returning officer also noted that 11, 111 votes were rejected by the Commission due to some irregularities.
THISDAY correspondent said members of the APC took to the streets in the state capital to celebrate the victory of the party.
Meanwhile, former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed, has alleged that there were incidences of electoral malpractice in the Bauchi South Senatorial by-election.
He made the allegation while speaking with newsmen shortly after casting his vote at the Kofar Gidan Sarki Polling Unit, Dan/Kungibar Ward, Yelwan Duguri of Alkaleri Local Government Area of the state Saturday.
Mohammed who is a Bauchi State gubernatorial aspirant under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) alleged that he got reports that the All Progressives Congress had been inducing voters with money to vote for its Candidate, Lawal Gumau.
He said: “information available to me is that the APC has been inducing voters with N200 each to vote for their candidate. This information came to me from some of the Polling Units in Alkaleri Local Government Area.”
He also alleged that security agents were left without food and water pointing out that such was not good for an election.
He further alleged that some of the Polling Units in remote areas had not started voting even as he said that security agents deployed in the areas since Friday were left starving.
Mohammed said: “As I speak with you, there are some Polling Units in some very remote areas that information came to me that have not started voting because they have not gotten ballot papers as at 1.19pm.
“When I went to some Polling Units to see things for myself, I met some of the Police deployed to provide security before, during and after the election who told me that since they were deployed here yesterday (Friday), they were not given food or water.
“This is not good for this elections because any money given to them will amount to inducement. Besides, with this development, these security agents cannot stop any financial inducement of voters.”
Although the FCT former Minister said that the election was generally peaceful across the Local Government Area, he warned that if ballot papers and other election materials were not sent to these areas immediately, “these people may resort to violence because they are already charged.”
He said that if at the end of the elections the PDP Candidate, Ladan Salihu, the immediate past Director General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), did not win the election, they will challenge the outcome in court.
“If we discover that there were cases of financial inducement of voters, ballot paper stuffing and other malpractices in the election, we will challenge the outcome in court. We will pursue justice at all
cost “, he said.