From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai has lost Saturday’s chairmanship and councillorship elections in his polling unit to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
The result announced by Muhammad Sani, Presiding Officer of the Unit, El-Rufai’s All Progressives Congress (APC) polled 62 votes in the chairmanship election, while People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had 86 votes out of the 159 votes cast while in the councillorship election, APC polled 53 votes, while PDP polled 100 votes out of 162 total votes cast.
The governor, who had earlier voted at his polling unit 001 Ungwan Sarki, Kaduna North local government area of the state, appeared unperturbed when he said his target was not to win all the polls but to improve the voting process using the electronic voting machine.
‘We are not going to behave like other parties or other state governments of the ruling party. We will allow the people of Kaduna State to elect who they want.
‘We do not have to win everywhere, though we have worked for the people of Kaduna State, they have seen our footprint everywhere. They have seen and we are confident that all reasonably minded people will vote for our party and our candidates because they know we are committed to the welfare of the people.
‘Technology is key to minimising cheating in election, unless we have a credible election we can never have good leaders, accountable leaders and that is why we are committed, even if it means we are going to lose in some areas, this is a democracy, it is a gradual process,’ Governor El-Rufai said.
Meanwhile, the PDP had earlier raised the alarm, alleging that the electronic voting process has been compromised to favour the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, hence, rejecting the result of the election in advance.
The PDP stakeholders led by the Party’s Publicity Secretary in the state, Alberta Catch and a leader of the party Dr AbdulRahman Usman, stormed the Secretariat of the Nigerian Union of Journalists in Kaduna to allege that the electronic voting machine that was supposed to start reading from zero has been programmed to give the ruling party advantage over others.
According to the scribe, ‘the integrity of the results have been compromised. PDP went into this election against SIECOM, the APC and Governor Nasir El-Rufai. There was a ward in Barnawa (Kaduna South local government area) where the result printed as of 10 am this morning (Saturday) reads 182 for APC and 18 for PDP giving all other parties zero.
‘Despite the poor state of finance in the state, a humongous amount of money has been wasted on the electronic voting machine, which has largely been compromised. Public funds have been diverted and mismanaged.
‘The machine was functioning well but despite our warnings and cries ahead of the elections, the results have been programmed to give APC an advantage over other political parties. The integrity of the process has been compromised, the integrity of the machine has been compromised.
‘In Igabi local government, seven persons were shot as there were efforts to cart away electoral materials. How can we get free, fair election in such a situation,’ the PDP scribe queried.
There was a general poor turnout of voters in some of the polling units visited earlier on Saturday.