The final collation and declaration of results of the supplementary elections for Bauchi State took a strange twist with the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Ibrahim Abdullahi, claiming that the returning officer, Prof. Kyari Mohammed, has yet to arrive the state.
The supplementary elections took place in 36 Polling Units in 29 Wards of 20 Local Government Areas of the state, but the delay in announcing the results, our Correspondent gathered, is causing serious anxiety, tension and speculation.
He called on the public to disregard the reports that there were plans to alter the results in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Speaking at a short briefing with journalists at about 1:20 a.m. on Sunday, which did not last more than five minutes, Abdullahi said, “It is necessary I brief you on the situation in view of what is circulating in the social media on the purported plans to alter the results.
“INEC is not an interested party in the outcome of the election. With the way INEC has improved the system of election, where results are announced from polling units to wards and to local governments and the state, there is no way anybody can change the result.
“It would be virtually impossible to change the results; but when the thing lingers for too long, people begin to wonder about so many things.”
The REC, who explained that the delay in the announcement of the results was because the Returning Officer was yet to arrive the state from Yola, appealed for calm.
“All the results in the 15 local governments areas have all been bought to INEC headquarters in Bauchi. We are waiting for the arrival of the Returning Officer; so, please, be patient until he comes,” he stated.
However, in reaction, the chairman of United Progressive Party, Prof. Sani Mallami, dispelled the claims by the REC for the delay as lies.
According to him, the delay was a deliberate plan by INEC to manipulate the results of the election in Bauchi State.
“It is not true. Our investigation revealed that he is around. We learnt he met with all the Electoral Officers of the affected local governments and they are changing the results.
“What has emerged is that there is a pattern in the behaviour of the REC and what is happening this morning doesn’t surprise anybody at all.
“What is surprising is the extent, desperation and the willingness that he and his collaborators are willing to go in order to upturn this will for who or which party they wish and also their willingness to put the lives of millions of people at risk.”
Mallami lamented that the people are angry that election had since been concluded in other parts of the country, but “he alone has emerged as the villain who is hell bent on destroying Bauchi State.”
Prof. Mallami asserted that the re-run election was the most violent to have ever been held in the state, alleging that it was marred by several irregularities.
“There were well organised incidents of violence, ballot box snatching, Police and other security agents moving around harassing the voters,” Mallami said.