Paul Orude, Bauchi
Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar, has dismissed allegation that All Progressives Congress (APC) rigged last Saturday’s Bauchi South Senatorial District by-election in the state.
He challenging the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to go to court if it feels strongly about it.
The PDP had rejected the senatorial by-election and accused the Bauchi government of widespread and open vote buying as well as colluding with the Independent National Electoral Commissioned (INEC) and security agencies to rig the election.
Speaking on the by-election, Abubakar said the PDP was free to challenge the outcome. He stated: “If PDP feels very strongly about the issues, they know where to go. The President of the Court of Appeal has already established an Election Petitions Tribunal.
They know the road to the tribunal; it is not a matter of grand standing. The PDP should just go and file its petition”
Responding to allegation that the APC led administration was involved in vote buying, Abubakar said:
“Where are you going to find the money? It is not possible unless you are one of those who have occupied offices in the past and amassed wealth.
The government of Bauchi State has no such money to give. We are feeding from hand to mouth, paying salaries as at when due and working for the good people of Bauchi State and so we don’t have the money to buy votes.
This is the situation”
The governor expressed appreciation to the people of the state for the peaceful conduct of the by-election.
“I want to extend my warm and deep appreciation to the people of Bauchi State for the by-election in the Bauchi South Senatorial District.
The election came and went peacefully.
There was no report of any incident throughout the seven local government areas of Bauchi South Senatorial District.
That is why I find it expedient to congratulate the good people of Bauchi South Senatorial District and urged that come future elections, let us conduct ourselves the same way.
“We have heard that many parties have been coming out to congratulate INEC for conducting a free, fair and credible election. Thank you and God bless you.”
On the peace enjoyed in the state, Mohammed Abubakar attributed it to God and the vigilance of the security agencies working in the state.
“The collaboration between the security agencies and Bauchi State is a symbiotic relationship that has been producing this comparative peace in Bauchi State.
The state is easily the most peaceful of the North-eastern states and one of the most peaceful in Nigeria. Don’t forget that we are replete with a lot of forests.
These are hiding places for nefarious activities but that notwithstanding, we have enjoyed immense peace in Bauchi State. We are committed to ensuring the security of life and property of the good people of Bauchi State.”