Masari, PDP’s Lado trade words over outcome of Katsina gubernatorial poll
Even before the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) finished collating the governorship results in Katsina State, the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had come out with outright rejection by way of protest against the outcome of the exercise.
Speaking with newsmen within the precincts of INEC’s office in the state, where the results were being put together, the state’s PDP chairman, Salisu Yusuf, alleged that the results were fraught with irregularities and did not reflect the will of the people. Yusuf, who was also the party’s deputy governorship candidate, said the election had witnessed low turnout of voters and that the results recorded did not tally with what party agents obtained from the field.
While accusing the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) of disenfranchising the electorate through the militarization of some polling centres, Majigiri disclosed that evidences of allegations raised by PDP would be made public when it goes to court to seek redress.
He stated: “On behalf of the governorship candidate, Senator Yakubu Lado, myself as the deputy governor, the state House of Assembly candidates and PDP hereby reject the result, because the voter turn out yesterday was very poor.
“There was lower voters’ turnout yesterday (election day) in Katsina compared to the presidential election. But from the figures we have received now, INEC is trying to announce the figures that are not real and do not reflect the will of the people.
“We have so far received 30 out of 34 local government areas. So we have compared with the result that we have with us as brought to us by our agents. There are so many discrepancies between the results being announced at the INEC headquarters and what is with us. So we have rejected the results in totality and we are not going to accept the result that INEC is going to collate.”
The party’s chairman stressed that PDP was rejecting the result even before the announcement by INEC, saying, “We don’t have the authority to announce our own results, but we have the figures and we will make it public after INEC’s announcement.
“For instance in Zango Local Government Area, our party agents were chased away by security agents because they cannot win such areas without force. In Kaita, the result was collated in INEC office.“We are going to take constitutional measures. There is a provision in the constitution, the Electoral Act, which when you are not satisfied with the process, you have your way to challenge the outcome.”
Although PDP was the only party that declined to sign the outcome of the poll after INEC had completed collation, Senator Lado, who spoke shortly after the governorship result was announced, vowed to reclaim what he described as “stolen mandate” in a court of competent jurisdiction.
Lado declared: “We rejected the result of the election because Katsina people know what they voted for but the victory was upturned by some bad elements. From the beginning, the election was going on well, and around 3 to 4 o’clock, in all the reports we received, we were leading by far.
“And from the result we have, the total people, who voted were not more than 800,000. So, we wonder where they found those results. It is really shocking. This is something that is unacceptable because our score is close to 500,000 and theirs is 290 plus-something thousand.”
However, in his acceptance speech, the winner of the governorship election and incumbent governor of the state, Aminu Masari, said there was no loser from the concluded exercise, even as he promised to run an inclusive government in his second term in office.
“As we celebrate our victory, it is important that we caution our people that the contest was not between enemies. In Katsina State, we do not have a loser; everyone is a winner. That is how we will move to the next level.”I wish to reassure you of our commitment to continued promotion of good governance in our state and prioritization of the education sector, empowerment and security of our people. God willing, we shall not disappoint.”
While clarifying the emphasis on education, Masari said, “We are talking about education, security, health, water, infrastructure and above all, agriculture. So, there is nothing more dearly to the people of Katsina State than these I have highlighted and we are going to redouble our efforts.
“What we did twice, this time around, we hope to do it more than four times to redouble our efforts because we have started providing the foundation to build on successes of the previous four years. And we do believe we are rededicating ourselves once again to the service of Katsina State.
“Today’s victory is a vote of confidence and affirmation of trust on what our administration succeeded in achieving in our last term. Our first term, we had a pact with the people of the state that we would lead with the fear of God, that we would manage their resources judiciously, that we would provide you security and well-being and that we would work hard to bequeath a Katsina State, where our children will be proud to call home.”
The governor assured that nothing had changed, saying he wished to affirm that if anything his commitment to the pact was firm as he moves to the next level.”Our success in this election would not have been possible without the general support and contribution of millions of our party loyalists, supporters and well wishers. In particular, I will like to pay tribute to the tireless effort of our campaign council.
“Our party leaders, elders, stakeholders, religious leaders, traditional rulers, NGOs, political groups and associations at all levels also contributed significantly in this electoral victory,” Masari added.The former Speaker of federal House of Representatives had polled 1,178,864 votes to defeat PDP’s Lado, who garnered 488,621 votes, just as his re-election makes him the third democratically elected governor of the state since 1999.
The late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Ibrahim Shehu Shema, who both served two terms in office, were his predecessors. Born May 29, 1950, Masari is the first chief executive since 1999 to govern the state on a platform other than the PDP. He is also the first to emerge from the southern part of the state as governor as both his predecessors came from Katsina Central.