APC candidate, Garbai, wins Borno Central senatorial bye-election
• PDP rejects results, to challenge INEC in court
• Charges members to protect votes in Kogi, Bayelsa
THE All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Alhaji Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai, has won last Saturday’s Borno State Central Senatorial District bye-election with 120,639 votes, beating his counterpart, Alhaji Kaka Bolori of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 32,346 votes, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Maiduguri.
Meanwhile, the PDP in Borno State has rejected the bye-election results of INEC in which Garbai of APC was declared winner by the commission’s returning officer, Prof. Mohammed Fannami, at the weekend.
Addressing a news conference in Maiduguri, the PDP candidate, Bolori, alleged that the Saturday Borno Central Senatorial bye-election was not “free and fair,” as agents of six political parties were however ‘harassed and intimidated’ by the police and members of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) at voting centres and police stations.
He further alleged that INEC and security agencies have fully compromised with the APC in rigging the election.
His words: “The Saturday election was not fair, not free and not properly conducted by INEC. We, therefore, on these grounds, will simply challenge it in the court of law. Our concern is that this is the first election under President Buhari’s administration; and if they cannot conduct free and fair election in a single senatorial district, the forthcoming elections in Bayelsa and Kogi states may not be credibly conducted freely and fair.”
Announcing the senatorial bye-election results, Prof.
Mohammed Fannami of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) said that having fulfilled all the election requirements of the bye-election, Baba Kaka Bashir of APC has been declared winner of the election by polling a total votes of 120,639 votes while Bolori came second with 32,346 votes from the eight local councils.
He said out of the 908,114 registered voters, 159,998 votes were cast during the senatorial bye-election while 174,329 voters were accredited at the 275 voting centres of Borno Senatorial District.
The polling agent of APC, Mohammed Tahir Monguno, representing Monguno/Marte/Nganzai Federal Constituency at the National Assembly said that the victory of APC at the polls was the choice of the people among the various political parties and candidates.
“The people of Borno State have made their choice of leader at the polls on Saturday by electing Alhaji Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai of APC to represent them in the Senate,” said Monguno.
However, as a fall-out to the open manipulations of last Saturday’s Borno Central Senatorial bye-election, the PDP has charged its members and supporters to be on the alert and ready to defend votes in forthcoming elections, especially the November 21 and December 5 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement said the call has become necessary following the continuous violation of electoral rules and intimidation of opposition by the APC Federal Government, as manifested in the conduct of the Borno Central Senatorial bye-election.
The party said the bye-election falls short of all acceptable standards and was characterised by high-level manipulations by the APC, which used compromised electoral officers and security forces to muscle votes in its favour.
We have repeatedly alerted Nigerians that our democracy is under threat in the hands of the President Buhari-led APC government. Last Saturday’s Borno Central Senatorial bye-election, where compromised electoral officials and security forces were brazenly used to intimidate the electorate.
In the light of this therefore, the national leadership of the PDP charges all our members and supporters across the country, especially in Kogi and Bayelsa states, to be on the alert ahead of the November 21 and December 5 governorship elections and use every lawful means as citizens of Nigeria to protect their votes and ensure that no one, no matter the force or manipulation, is allowed to subvert the will of the people.
“As a party that nurtured and sustained democracy and the unity of the country for 16 years, during which we strengthened the safety net of ‘one man, one vote’, we insist that the sanctity of the ballot box and the overall electoral process must be upheld at all levels and at all times.
While we reject the processes associated with the conduct and outcome of the Borno Central Senatorial bye-election, we wish to state in the strongest possible terms that the PDP will never, by an means whatsoever, allow a replay of such heinous manipulations in the forthcoming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
Bolori added: “I want to make it very clear that this is just the beginning of our struggle. This attitude of the INEC and the security agencies will not in any way frustrate us. From now on, we are going to become a credible and strong opposition just to ensure that we liberate our dear state and its citizenry from these thugs.
“We are compiling all the original list of election results which is contrary to what is presented by INEC in declaring APC the winner of this senatorial bye-election. And after that, we then go to the court of law.”