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PDP Rejects Kaduna Council Polls Results, May Go To Court, As Gov El Rufai Lauds Electronic Voting

 

The Oasis Reporters

May 14, 2018

Gov. Nasir El-rufai votes on the electronic machine.

While the Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir Elrufai is thumping his chest over his state’s electoral commission, SIECOM’s adoption of the novel E-voting in Saturday’s local elections, the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, is rejecting the results of the local government council elections, saying it would go to court to challenge the outcome of the polls.

This announcement is in spite of the fact that the party’s chairmanship candidate in Kachia local council was declared the winner.

Mr Nuhu Garba, KADSIECOM’s returning officer for the council, said Mr Peter Agite of the PDP won the chairmanship seat with 42,242 votes beating his APC counterpart, Peter Dan-Baki, who got 33, 817 votes in the polls.

News Agency of Nigeria, NAN says that the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIECOM) had through its local government returning officers, released some of the results which indicates that the ruling APC won a majority of the local government area results released so far.

So far, the APC has won 17 local councils, while PDP has won two. The election in two local councils, Jaba and Kauru was postponed, while tallying has not been concluded for Chikun local council.

There are 23 local councils in Kaduna state.

The Chairman of the PDP, Mr Felix Hassan Hyet, who addressed a news conference in his office on Sunday, however, alleged that his party had been “short changed“ going by the results released in 13 local government areas of the state.

He said “the party would soon release its field results of the just concluded local polls.

According to him, the PDP agents have submitted their reports which, he claimed, were at variance with the results announced by the local government returning officers.

Hyet further claimed that most of the results announced so far were through radio stations rather than the returning officers, whom he alleged disappeared after the conclusion of the election.

The Chairman, however, appealed to the party supporters to remain calm, assuring that the party would follow legal means to address the injustice.

He said the commission should have requested some of the manufacturers of the Electronic Voting Machines stay behind to monitor the machines to avoid malfunction experienced in some polling units.

Hyet alleged that some machines were snatched to unknown destinations and results were later released by the returning officers.

“We call you to brief you on the update of the local election results of 13 local government so far released.

“Some local government results were not announced by the returning officers but by radio stations. At the moment we have some local government areas like, Kaduna South,Chikun,Kajuru,Jema’a,Kagarko,Sanga, still awaiting to be announced.

“The returning officers have disappeared completely. Even some of the wards returning officers also disappeared.

“We are waiting for the returning officers to come out and announce the results in local government areas yet to be announced.

“Our agents have submitted the results to us and we will take necessary legal steps to address the injustices,” Hyet said.

Meanwhile, the governor of Kaduna State, Mr Nasir El-Rufai, has strongly recommended the adoption of electronic system of voting to conduct elections across the country.

This was his considered view when he was a guest on Channels Television programme, News At 10 on Saturday, saying the e-voting would prevent the nation from unnecessary expenditures among other challenges.

“I think it can work at the national level; it has been successful, and we believe it can be duplicated across the country,” the governor said.

“We think that this is a very solid foundation for the development of our democracy because a credible, fair, and transparent election will determine the quality of leaders going forward.”

With about nine months to the general elections, El-Rufai, however, said there might not be enough time for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to implement the system in 2019.

He explained that the state government spent a considerable time in planning for the electronic system of voting adopted by Kaduna State Electoral Commission (KADSIECOM) in Saturday’s election..

On the gains of e-voting, the governor stated that the e-voting system did not only make the exercise easier for the electorate to cast their votes in a lesser time, but it also eliminated the rigging strategy of ballot box snatching.
He however did not explain why Returning Officers suddenly take flight to secret locations immediately after voting, and before results are announced.

He added that the government saved about N1.7 billion that could have been spent printing ballot papers with high-security features.

According to him, the electronic machines can be used for the next 10 years as they only require updated software for subsequent elections.

Kaduna citizens await the different results that the PDP would release and how they would argue in court that the exercise was compromised.

 

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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