By Francis Sardauna
The Katsina State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded an outright cancellation of the concluded Bakori state constituency House of Assembly bye-election in six political wards.
The opposition party alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in collaboration with the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had rigged the elections in the affected wards.
The state Chairman of the party, Hon. Salisu Yusuf Majigiri, who made the call at a press conference yesterday, alleged that the election was marred with irregularities orchestrated by top APC government officials.
He highlighted the affected political wards as Barde/Kwantakwran, Tsiga, Kurami/Yankwani, Guga, Kabomo and Bakori ‘A’.
The electoral commission had earlier declared the APC candidate, Mr. Ibrahim Aminu, as the winner of last Saturday’s election with 20,445 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr. Aminu Magaji of the PDP, who Secord 11,356 votes.
According to THISDAY reports, the election was occasioned by the death of the member representing Bakori constituency, late Abdulrrazaq Tsiga, who died few months after the inauguration of the sixth state Assembly from protracted illness.
The PDP chairman alleged that only 181 voting centres were officially disclosed by INEC “instead of 242” centres that made of the constituency, alleging further that 61 voting points were hidden from the public.
Majigiri alleged that the bye-election was characterised by massive votes buying, snatching of ballot boxes and stuffing them with illegal votes by APC government officials, which he said violated the electoral laws of the country.
He said: “PDP demand the total cancellation and reordering of a fresh election by INEC in six contentious wards of Barde/Kwantakwran, Tsiga, Kurami/Yankwani, Guga, Kabomo and Bakori ‘A’.
“The party detested the response of the Returning Officer (RO), Prof. Aminu Dalhatu, as regards to its complaint of illegalities perpetrated to rig the election in favour of the APC which we deemed as unpatriotic and unbecoming of his status and academic exposure by emotionally directing the PDP to challenge the outcome at the election tribunal.
“The party vehemently rejects this fictitious figure of 13,089 as announced by INEC in the six wards because they were consciously manufactured, and all legal means will be used to reclaim our mandate.”