•Police arrest 10 in Kano •PDP leads in 6 of 9 LGAs of Bauchi •Impressive turnout in Plateau, Nasarawa •INEC suspends election in Bayelsa VIOLENCE, voters’ apathy, vote-buying, and allegations of manipulation, yesterday, marred the supplementary governorship and state assembly elections in some states of the country. Suspected thugs in Kano The governorship segment of
•Police arrest 10 in Kano
•PDP leads in 6 of 9 LGAs of Bauchi
•Impressive turnout in Plateau, Nasarawa
•INEC suspends election in Bayelsa
VIOLENCE, voters’ apathy, vote-buying, and allegations of manipulation, yesterday, marred the supplementary governorship and state assembly elections in some states of the country.
Suspected thugs in Kano
The governorship segment of the polls took place in five states, Kano, Sokoto, Benue, Plateau and Bauchi, while the State Assembly version was held in 18 states.
In Kano, journalists were attacked when thugs disrupted the electoral process and chased voters away at Suntulma Gama Primary School in Nasarawa Local Council. The development led the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to call for the cancellation of the March 23 make-up poll and the declaration of its governorship candidate, Abba Yusuf, as the winner based on the March 9 result. The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, pooh-poohed the PDP’s call and argued that the exercise must be concluded. The supplementary polls were held in 28 of of the 44 local councils of the state.
A similar incident happened in Chito, the headquarters of Azendeshi council ward, in Ukum Local Council of Benue State where hoodlums disrupted the process and burnt election materials.
In Sokoto, APC and PDP leaders clashed at some polling units following allegations of vote-buying dotted the exercise Sokoto South Local Council.
However, the turnout of voters was impressive in Plateau and Nasarawa states.
How journalists escaped death in Kano
Suspected thugs disrupted the electoral process at Suntulma Gama Primary School in Nasarawa Local Council of Kano State, yesterday, sending voters away from the polling units.
The suspects, who wore T-shirts with the inscription of one of the two leading political parties brandished weapons freely.
Among the journalists attacked were Maduabuchi Nmeribe of The Authority, and Kola Oyelere of Tribune.
Trouble began at the primary school when the reporters tried to interview some voters who were denied access into the classrooms where some of the polling units were stationed.
While trying to escape during the attack, some of the journalists fell on ground and one of them had to take refuge in a nearby mosque.
A reporter with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) was attacked in Minjibir local government area of Kano while his vehicle was damaged.
Speaking to reporters, some voters alleged that they were not allowed to exercise their franchise as they were chased out of the area.
European Union election observers going through the list of voters during the re-run of Governorship and State House of Assembly Elections in Jos on Saturday NEWSPAD
Aminu Tijjani, a resident, said he went to the primary school to cast his vote at his polling unit but had to return to escape the attack.
“The situation is very bad and this is not how to conduct an election where people or voters are denied the opportunity to vote,” Tijjani said.
Another voter, Sani Abdullahi, said he came to vote as early as 8am but was scared away by the suspected thugs numbering about 10.
The contest in Kano is between Abba Kabir-Yusuf of the PDP, who polled 1,014,477 votes, and Abdullahi Ganduje, the incumbent governor of the state and candidate of the APC, who got 987,810 votes in the first poll conducted on March 9.
The difference between the candidates is 26,655 votes while 128, 572 votes were cancelled.
PDP asks INEC to cancel supplementary poll, declare its candidate winner
Reacting to the development, the PDP in Kano State asked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to cancel the supplementary governorship election held in 208 polling units across the 28 local councils of the state.
Rabiu Sulaiman-Bichi, Acting Chairman of the party, made the call while addressing journalists yesterday.
Bichi said: “Today this charade called re-run election was slated to hold in Kano and other states but, unfortunately, what we have in Kano is nothing but a sham. Reports reaching us since yesterday (Friday) indicated that thugs have allegedly been mobilised to take over all the 208 polling units.”
According to him, the thugs were allegedly brought from Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Plateau and other neighbouring states and were “armed to the teeth”, posing as voters in the polling units in the localities.