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Why INEC should review Kaduna guber polls –Observers, protesters

A coalition of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accredited elections observer under the aegis of Observer Groups for Credible Election have urged INEC to…

A coalition of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) accredited elections observer under the aegis of Observer Groups for Credible Election have urged INEC to review the March 18 governorship election results declared for Kaduna State.

The Returning officer of the Kaduna State governorship election, Prof. Lawal Bilbis, had declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Uba Sani polled 730,002 to defeat his main rival, Isah Ashiru of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 719,196.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja, the National Coordinator, Centre for Strategy Ethics and Values (CSEV), Mr. Romans Azubuike, who spoke on behalf of the observers, said that the INEC national headquarters should review the Kaduna gubernatorial election results.

According to them, the election went well in Kaduna State but that at the point of collation, the results were not tallying with what was uploaded to the INEC IReV portal.

The breakdown of the results showed that APC won in 10 local governments of Zaria, Kaduna South, Kaduna North, Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Sabon Gari, Igabi, IKara, Kauru, and Kubau while PDP won 13 local governments of Makarfi, Kachia, Chikun, Kagarko, Jaba, Jema’a, Kaura, Zango Kataf, Soba, Kudan, Chikun, Kaura, Sanga, and Lere.
Azubuike said, “We are calling on INEC to review the election results for the gubernatorial election in Kaduna State.

The election was transparent until at the point of coalition that things began to change. The process was transparent at the beginning.

“But in Southern Kaduna, Birnin Gwari and some other local governments the coalition should be reviewed because they couldn’t transfer the result to the INEC portal in real time. So, we are using this opportunity to call on INEC to review the election results, particularly the gubernatorial election in the interest of democratic development and good governance.”

Their call is coming on the heels of a protest by members of the Citizens Coalition for the Restoration of Kaduna Mandate (CCRKM), who stormed the headquarters of INEC in Abuja, to demand an immediate review of the governorship election in the state.

The leaders of the protesters, Edward John Auta, spokesperson; Hadwyah Samuel, Convener; and Bello Jallo, co-Convener, while handing over their complaint letter to INEC, urged Nigerians and the international community to come to the aid of the people of Kaduna State, by asking INEC to formally review the result of the governorship election in the state.

According to them, INEC officials and returning officers showed total disregard for the use of BVAS, for which billions of naira were spent to purchase.

“Regrettably, while the results for most of the PUs were uploaded on the platform, the collation officers at all levels refused to consult the IREV portal despite numerous calls for it by opposition agents. A case in hand is the rejection of the Lere LG figures by opposition agents and calls for the state’s chief collation officers to consult the INEC portal but were dismissed.

“Our members observed how collation centers in Kaduna South, Igabi, Birnin Gwari, Zaria, Lere became cancellation centres,” their petition reads in parts.

Receiving the protesters, INEC deputy director in charge of security, Mrs. Ndidi Okafor, said the letter of complaint will be forwarded to the commission’s management for necessary actions.

She assured that INEC remains an unbiased electoral umpire and would be fair and just to all.

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