The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded for the immediate removal of the Returning Officer in the Bakura Constituency by-election in Zamfara State, Professor Ibrahim Magatawa, after INEC declared the Saturday bye-election in the constituency inconclusive.
This came following the cancellation of the elections in 14 polling units.
But in a statement on Sunday, by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said it was alarmed by the “open declaration” by the Returning Officer that the planned re-run election in the constituency was to enable the APC to gain “upper hand over the PDP”.
The statement read in part, “The PDP demands the immediate removal of Prof. Magatawa as his embarrassing pronouncement has betrayed a plot to use the planned re-run in 14 polling units where election was cancelled under unclear circumstances, to rob our party of our victory in the Bakura State Constituency bye-election.
“Our party and Nigerians were shocked when, in declaring the election inconclusive, given that the total number of registered voters in the 14 polling units is 11,439 higher than the 2,181 difference between the 18,645 votes scored by the PDP and 16,464 votes garnered by the APC, Prof. Magatawa openly suggested that the rerun will give the APC upper hand over the PDP.”
The PDP quoted Magatawa to have said while declaring the exercise inconclusive, ‘If the APC is to, may gain advantage if there is another election in these units where election is cancelled, that they may get upper hand over the PDP and as a result, we have declared this result inconclusive’.
The party noted that Magatawa’s alleged statement exposed the partisanship of the INEC official and “triggers a dangerous crisis of confidence and points to a creepy plot to use the rerun to allocate fictitious votes to APC, the very reason, Prof. Magatawa must not be allowed in anyway to participate in the anticipated rerun.
“The PDP, therefore, demands that the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, directly take over the conduct of processes in the Bakura State Constituency bye-election, where our party is in clear victory, as the people will never allow any final outcome that does not reflect the electoral reality already on the ground.”