By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
Ahead of the Sokoto state governorship rerun elections scheduled for 23r March, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress(APC) has protested against alleged sharp electoral malpractices by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party at the governorship polls declared inconclusive in the state.
” PDP perfected a working synergy with INEC staff and security agents during the polls. We were all surprised. Agents were seen in custody of large number of voters cards which were used for voting”, the party alleged.
Similarly, it called on the federal government to urgently underscore and be sensitive to the implication as well consequences that may follow should the opposition continue with their sharp practices.
Addressing a press conference in Sokoto Thursday, APC stalwart and staunch member of the Buhari Support Organisation(BSO), Engineer Abdulkadir Waziri Sokoto said the PDP government in the state glaringly engaged in un-ethical acts during the last governorship elections.
He accused the PDP, security agents, party thugs and INEC for grossly conspiring to disrupt and sabotage the process in many parts of the state where the elections were conducted, alleging that fake security agents were used by the state government to carryout ballot box snatching as well disrupt the process.
” Ballot box snatching became the order of the day. INEC staff were also put under duress and compromised to allow PDP have field day . The use of money was conspicously carried out where voters were openly approached and lured and escorted by PDP agents to cast votes in favour of the party.
” In some places, security agents were compromised with the aid of thugs to allow PDP supporters to vote before APC. Election results sheets were changed while on journey between the polling units to collation centres”, Sokoto pointed out.
” We wish to call on the authorities to re visit the conduct of last Saturday’s gubernatorial and state assembly elections in Sokoto state with a view to bring to book whosoever is responsible for the dastardly act.”
However, Sokoto further pointed out that there was no security presence in virtually many polling centres in rural areas which paved way for election officials to allow the conduct of the exercise went the PDP way as designed.
” As a responsible party, the APC in Sokoto state did not challenge the decision of INEC as they passed the verdict on the rerun of elections in all the 136 centres where elections were cancelled in order to allow the 75,000 voters to freely exercise their franchise denied by PDP.”
” Security arrangements at the affected polling centres for the rerun should be given utmost attention while INEC must be very responsible as to avoid been compromised. PDP thugs , use of cash, fake security agents or party agents must not be checked and not allowed at polling centres”, Sokoto insisted.