Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Results so far released on Saturday’s local government election held in Kaduna State showed the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as at cruising to victory.
This was even as the major opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has alleged that some of the Returning Officers (ROs) were nowhere to be found to declare results in some wards where the election took place.
Speaking with journalists, the State chairman of PDP, Hassan Hyet, said some ROs were moved out of the wards to stop the announcement of results where APC is believed to have lost the poll.
According to results announced by returning officers, the APC won in Soba, Zaria, Lere, Ikara, Makarfi, Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Kagarko, Kudan, Igabi, Kajuru and Kaduna North.
Regardless, PDP has so far won three councils of Zango-Kataf, Kauru and Sanga, both in Southern Kaduna.
Kaduna State is made up of 23 local government areas. The results in other councils were still being awaited as at the time of filling this report.
Kudan is the local government of Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, who is at loggerheads with Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
Makarfi is the council of former national interim chairman of PDP and ex-governor, Ahmed Makarfi.
Governor El-Rufai’s candidates also won in Senator Shehu Sani’s constituency of Kajuru local government areas.
Meanwhile, PDP Chairman, Hyet said: “The most disturbing thing is after the elections have been concluded in many polling units, the Returning Officers suddenly disappeared from their polling units, leaving the polling clerks with results in their hands, with police and some of the party agents stranded.
“We recieved information that an adviser to the governor was going round all the local government areas with soldiers accompanying him and directing electoral officers to withdraw.
“If they are no longer conducting the election, let them come out with public announcement for us to know the next line of action to take. And this is an election being conducted by independent electoral body, and not the government. An adviser is an appointee ofgovernment, he has nothing to do with the electoral processes.
“For him to get involved in moving with soldiers , we will be writing the military command on the issue to know where in the electoral law that there is no room participation of military people.
“Where they went, there was no break down of law and order, there was no violence, so, what took soldiers there.
“Accompanying an adviser of the governor who has an interest in the election and directing electoral officers, who are not under his employment, to withdraw from an exercise that is being conducted by a legal body.
“So, this is the situation as at Saturday. But, should any result be nnounced in any local government, certainly, it will be an invitation to chaos. The law is very clear; declaration of result for councillor will be done at the collation centres, and that of the chairman will be announced at the local government collation centres, and nowhere else.
“So, whatever government is doing, moving soldiers around and use of force, is no longer election. But, we are waiting for official result from SEICOM before we know the next line of action to take”.