Paul Orude, Bauchi
Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State has reacted to an allegation that the All Progressives Congress (APC) rigged last Saturday’s Bauchi South senatorial district bye-election in the state.
Earlier in a press briefing, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had accused the administration of widespread and open vote buying and colluding with the Independent National Electoral Commissioned (INEC) and security agencies to rig the election.
Governor Abubakar, in an interaction with journalists, on Monday evening, said that the PDP was free to challenge the outcome of the bye-election.
According to the governor, “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 sliding. The PDP should just go and file their petition.”
Responding to the allegation that the APC-led administration was involved in vote-buying, Governor Abubakar said, “Where ere are you going to find the money? 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 then 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 bye-election.
He continued, “I want to extend my warm and deep appreciation to the people of Bauchi State for the bye-election in the Bauchi South Senatorial District.
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“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, the governor attributed it to God and the vigilance of the security agencies working in the state.
The governor said, “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 lives and property of the good people of Bauchi State.”