By Shuaib Sadiq/Rabiu Sani
Alhaji Isa Ashiru, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governorship Candidate in Kaduna has rejected the outcome of the governorship election in the state.
Ashiru expressed his rejection of the result as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) while speaking to newsmen in Kaduna on Monday.
The PDP candidate who lost to Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai, candidate of the All progressives Congress (APC), said he has substantial evidence showing that the election was manipulated.
He called for outright cancellation of the results, alleging gross irregularities in some local government areas of the state.
According to him, reports obtained by his party agents across the state revealed that the elections were marred by a lot of irregularities.
“It is on the basis of these established irregularities that our party in a petition to the state Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC rejected the results and called for its outright cancellation.
“It is important for you to note that available reports have shown that smart card readers were not used during the elections in a lot of polling units,” he said.
The PDP candidate listed areas affected by the alleged irregularities as Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Kaduna North, Igabi, Zaria, Lere and Ikara Local Government Areas.
“It is our firm belief that the non usage of the card readers which is a violation of the electoral guidelines have rendered the results from these areas invalid.
“Another issue of concern to our party was the clear militarization of the electoral process in various part of the state,” he said.
Ashiru said the disparity between the number of votes obtained by the APC in the presidential elections and that of the governorship elections was another cause for concern.
“How could the people of Kaduna State be convinced the APC will earn more votes during the governorship elections than it got in the presidential elections,” he asked
Meanwhile, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kaduna, Alhaji Kaugama Abdullahi has confirmed receiving a petition against the outcome of the governorship poll from the PDP.
Abdullahi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the PDP had requested to inspect the election materials used during the poll in the state.
He said the commission had already directed it’s legal department to take necessary actions on the petition since the request was within the law.
Also, the Borno chapter of the PDP has rejected the governorship election result declared by the INEC in the state.
However, the Action Peoples Party (APP) and Alliance of Social Democrats (ASD) hailed the election and pledged to support the incoming APC government.
The INEC had declared the APC candidate, Prof. Babagana Zulum, winner of the Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof. Alhassan Gani, declared that Zulum polled 1, 175, 440 votes to defeat PDP’s Muhammad Imam, who scored 66, 117 votes.
Gani explained that the election was contested by 32 candidates fielded by political parties in the state.
In a swift reaction, Mr Umar Bello, the Organizing Secretary of the party, said the PDP rejected the result declared by INEC over alleged irregularities.
Bello, who was also the party’s agent at the result collation centre, said he did not sign the document declared by INEC in protest, adding that the party would announce its position on the result.
On his part, Alhaji Abdulkadir Grema, the Chairman, Action Peoples Party (APP), expressed joy over the peaceful conduct of the election in the state.
Grema said that political parties under the umbrella of Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) worked to promote unity and peace building in the state.
He added that his party had accepted the outcome of the election in good faith and pledged support to the incoming APC administration.
”We hope that the governor-elect will carry everybody along to assist in ensuring effective leadership to take the state out of the social and economic destruction caused by the Boko Haram insurgency,” he said.
Also, Alhaji Abba Aji, the Chairman, Alliance of Social Democrats (ASD), said that the parties and their candidates would support the new administration in the state.
Aji commended INEC over the conduct of free, fair, credible and peaceful election in the state.
NAN also reports that hundreds of APC supporters trooped to the streets on motorcade, singing party song to celebrate its victory at the polls while residents of Maiduguri metropolis went about their normal activities.