Kano Rerun: APC Accuses INEC of Sabotage
Kano State chapter of All Progressive Congress (APC) Monday accused the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) of deliberately truncating its victory by suspending weekend state House of Assembly rerun at Minjibir. The party, in its first reaction through the state party chairman, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas, said that the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammed Kaugama, was overstretching his powers as guaranteed by constitution.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner had last Saturday cancelled the rerun by midday following reported cases of snatching of ballot boxes and other vital election materials by hoodlums.
Kaugama, who was sent to Kano from Kaduna State to conduct the bye election, told reporters that the Commission took the decision in order to avoid further spread of violence in the area. But Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas said that, “The decision to put on hold a peaceful exercise at a point APC was coasting home for victory was a clear case of sabotage by a man we suspected was a PDP card carrying member.”
Abbas stated that, “We, as a party, had expected consultation with relevant stakeholders, especially the police that deployed over 1800 officers and men on ground.”
He said that Minjibir has 156 polling units, most of which are located outside the town, adding that, “it was high handedness for a Resident Electoral Commissioner to single handedly suspend a process that was largely peaceful except in just 4 polling units.
Alhaji Abbas argued that, “In the worst case scenario, we expected the electoral umpire to apply appropriate measures where violence occurred by simply suspending the exercise in the affected polling units.” He further explained that, “security reports suggested that the entire election was not under threat that could warrant possible cancellation against the backdrop that we had 1800 police on ground.”
The chairman further said, “To the best of my knowledge, you cannot achieve 100 percent violent-free election, but what usually justify such cancellation was general breakdown of law at the constituency.”
Sequel to this development, therefore, Alhaji Abbas disclosed that a protest letter had been lodged with INEC, while copies were made available to the Presidency and relevant security organs for action. It would be recalled that the Commission’s Resident Electoral Commissioner was killed together with his family in a fire incident that gutted his house in Kano after 2015 election.