Kano House of Assembly re-run, APC Cruises to Victory.. PDP Withdraws
The dramatic withdrawal of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the Minjibir state House of Assembly re-run bye-election, Auwalu Ubale Minjibir on Saturday morning through a local radio station sent scents of victory into the camp of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
As at the time of filling this report Saturday afternoon, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) through its Public Relations Officer in Kano, Lawan Garba said they were not aware of Auwalu’s withdrawal.
Garba told journalists on phone that INEC was not informed on the withdrawal of the PDP’s candidate, pointing out that, “as I am speaking with you, the election is in progress and we assume all the 15 political parties are participating.”
Kano state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba also described Auwalu’s withdrawal as laughable and a betrayal of the Electoral Law.
According to Muhammad Garba, “we have also heard the same news; but I want to say that the Electoral Act is clear on this issue. You don’t withdraw on the day of the election. I think you would have given INEC a notice four or three days before now. So, I believe he knows what is involved.”
Garba also commended security agencies for working hard to ensure a violent-free exercise, adding that it was an indication that, “there is a synergy between the state government and security agencies in ensuring safety of lives and property.”
Speaking on the same issue, Senator Barau Jubrin representing Kano North Senatorial District also described the withdrawal of the PDP candidate as a political gimmick.
“This is purely a political gimmick and that is left for him. You don’t go to radio and withdraw. You must inform INEC because the Electoral Law is clear on this.”
Jubrin further expressed happiness that the election was peaceful, “you know that people of Minjibir are peace-loving people. They cherish peace and development of Minjibir, Kano state and Nigeria in general. It is unfortunate that some people wanted to create problem because they are no longer in power.”
The Minjibir re-run bye-election was conducted on a peaceful atmosphere under heavy security presence.
Voters came out in their large numbers as early as 8 a.m. to exercise their civic responsibility.
INEC ad-hoc staff who spoke to us, said there was no sign of violence at the polling centres as cultured security men were on ground to ensure peace and order. INEC ad-hoc staff attending to voters complained of the challenges of the card-reader capturing the finger prints of most of the voters.
According one of them who refused to give his name, “the only challenge we are facing here is that the card-reader cannot capture the finger print of most of the voters. We have resorted to using the Incident Form.”
A combined team of the police, Department of State Service (DSS), Civil Defence Corps, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Hisbah, vigilante groups, among others were mobilized to ensure peace and order during the exercise.
The immediate past Commissioner of Police in Kano state, who is now Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of Logistics and Supply, Abbati Maigari Dikko, told journalists that police and other security agencies were fully prepared to ensure a hitch-free election in Minjibir.
Dikko, who was in company of the Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Yusuf also described security arrangement as, “fantastic and very excellent. we have been going round and from what you can see, the security arrangement, the deployment is water-tight.
“The turn-out of voters in some places is very impressive, while in some areas it average and in some places low, but we were told that most people came out very early voted and went about their normal businesses.
“So, on the average, I want to say that the election and turn-out of people is encouraging. So far, there is no breach of peace and we are not anticipating any breach of peace. Though it is yet over until it is over, we are not relaxing, we are equal to the task,” he stated.