Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
The Presidential Support Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Sokoto State, has charged the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and security agencies to be fair and neutral while discharging their duties ahead of the forthcoming re-run gubernatorial election in the state.
The group said the call was necessary to forestall what transpired in the last gubernatorial election in the state, where a particular party was accorded utmost preferences.
The group coordinator in the state, Engr. Abdulkadir Waziri, at a press conference on Thursday said more security arrangements at the affected polling centres for the re-run elections should be given utmost attention to avoid compromise
The group, however, accused the security agencies in the state as well as officials of INEC of colluding with the PDP to defraud APC of more votes during the gubernatorial election in the state.
According to him, “supporters of the PDP were put to the line first before the APC supporters and this was aided by the security agents.
“In the rural areas, there was no presence of security agents at the polling centres; openly the elections officials allowed the election to go the way of PDP.
“Under the watch of security agents drawn to the polling centres, ballot boxes were snatched, destroyed, leading to the cancellation of elections in those centres.
“We implore and caution the Federal government to be sensitive of the implication of the consequences that may follow should the PDP go ahead with their sharp practices.
“Security arrangements at the affected polling centres for the re-run elections should be given utmost attention; INEC must be very responsible as to avoid compromising.
“PDP thugs should not be allowed at the polling centres; the use of cash at the polling centres must be stopped; fake security or party agents must be check-mated.
“We are using this opportunity to register our protest and call on the authorities to re-visit the conduct of last Saturday’s gubernatorial and state House of Assembly elections in Sokoto State, with a view to bringing to book whosoever is responsible for the dastardly act,” Waziri further explained.
Meanwhile, supplementary elections for the inconclusive Sokoto State governorship poll fixed for March 23, will hold in 22 local government areas, out of the state’s 23 councils of the state.
Only Tangaza local government is exempted from the estimated 75,403 voters expected to participate in the election, with Kebbe and Gada local government areas topping with 20,015 and 13,314 voters respectively.