Unidentified political thugs Saturday stormed two polling units with dangerous weapons disrupting proceedings during the Dukku-North State Constituency Bye Election where the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Honourable Saidu Kawuwa Malala emerged winner.
Though the results of the two polling units, 19 and 23 where there was violence and unit 24 were cancelled in Malala ward, it however did not prevent the PDP candidate from winning the election after polling 7,060 votes to beat his closest rival from the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji A Inuwa, who polled 4,024 votes from the entire six wards of the constituency.
The Collation Officer for Malala ward, Dr. Musa Dahiru, while presenting his results at the constituency collation centre in Government Secondary School (GSS) Malala, explained that thugs in two hilux vans stormed the polling units threatening election officials to give them ballot papers thus creating chaos and disrupting the electoral procedure.
He reported that one person sustained serious injuries after being stabbed with a knife just as the results were cancelled.
In unit 24 of the same ward, Dr. Musa reported that the voting machine was faulty, as such; details of some voters were not matching with what was on their Permanent Voters Card (PVC’s). Following this confusion, the results from the ward showed that there was over voting in the unit and the result was also cancelled.
But the Returning Officer of the election, Professor Musa Sani Saidu, while announcing the over-all results which ended by midnight of Saturday said, the cancelled results from the three units amounting to 1,700, even if added to the closest looser, the PDP candidate will still win with a clear margin. “This situation cannot therefore result in making the election inconclusive”, Professor Saidu pointed out.
He therefore announced Saidu Kawuwa Malala winner and returned elected as the member representing Dukku-North State Constituency in the Gombe State House of Assembly.
The election which witnessed a not too impressive turnout was contested by five other candidates from Labour Party, Sirajo Mohammed, who polled 29 votes; Mohammed Ahmed Hashidu, GNP 29 votes; Yakubu Abubakar, ADPN – 31 votes; Abubakar Ibrahim Hashidu, Accord Party – eight votes while Mohammed Adamu Mohammed of the AA party polled eight votes.
Reacting over the exercise which was conducted amid tight security and under the watchful eyes of INEC National Commissioner in Charge of Bauchi, Gombe and Yobe States, Baba Shetima Arfo and the Gombe State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Alhaji Umar Ibrahim, they both described the process as very transparent even though they had expected more turnout of voters.