A new twist has emerged concerning the governorship election that took place in Kaduna State as some groups that observes the exercise have opened up on what transpired.
Some groups who observed the Kaduna State governorship poll won by Governor Nasir el-Rufai have alleged that the election was marred by irregularities, The Punch reports. The observers, however, said they would not call for the cancellation of the poll based on the irregularities.
The groups led by Prof Banake Sambo of the Initiative for the Promotion of Civic Obligation and Sustainable Peace, stated this at a press conference on Friday in Kaduna. He said some of the observers were brutalised by soldiers during the March 9 polls.
Present at the press conference were Sani Umar (The Integrity Friends for Truth and peace initiative), Dr Usman Kabiru (Centre for Strategy Ethics and Value) and Felicia Kwawo (Women Empowerment for Global Impact Initiative). Sambo alleged massive vote-buying at polling units in Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Ikara and Kubau where Governor el-Rufai got substantial votes.
According to him, card readers were not used for the election in some polling units in 10 LGAs.
He listed the LGAs as Giwa, Zaria, Sabon-Gari, Ikara, Lere, Igabi, Soba, Kaduna South and Kaduna North.
He also alleged that incidents of ballot box snatching were recorded in 13 polling units in Birnin-Gwari LGA.
He said, “However, no loss of life was reported anywhere as a result of electoral violence.” He added, “Instances of voters and agents being intimidated; and violent acts aided by the military were noted in Kwasallo ward in Soba LGA.
“The military led by senior local council officials disrupted voting, unleashed terror and carted away ballot boxes in some of the polling units in Ikara, Fala, Sayasaya, Kurmin Kogi, Rumi Auchan, Kuya, Paki, Jamfalan and saulawa wards in Ikara LGA. Some of our observers were attacked.”
In another development, a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Timi Frank, has accused the military of plotting to kill him. Frank said this while reacting to a statement by the army in which he was accused of being a disgruntled politician who is guilty of spreading fake news.
Responding in a statement on Friday, Frank claimed the military was not comfortable with him for revealing secret meetings between the army, the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission and President Muhammadu Buhari, where they plotted to rig the 2019 elections. Frank said, “(The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur) Buratai is after my life for speaking truth to power.
I want Nigerians and the international community to hold Buratai and the military responsible should any harm befall me in years to come as the army chief has vowed to bring me down wherever he finds me. But God shall thwart the counsel of the ungodly.
“Let Buratai tell Nigerians if he ever had any midnight meeting with the President and the INEC chair in the run-up to the last two elections instead of blackmailing and calling me names.”
What are your thoughts on this story?