The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kebbi State has criticized the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for declaring the governorship election in the state inconclusive. The APC claims that the election should have been declared in its favor in the first ballot. The party’s governorship candidate, Dr. Nasir Idris, had apparently secured more votes than his closest rival, Mohammed Bande of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Deputy Director-General of the APC Governorship Campaign Council in the state, Alhaji Abubakar Gari, expressed his opposition to INEC’s decision in Abuja on Sunday. He argued that the electoral body had made an error by declaring the election inconclusive. Gari also alleged that there was no basis for the cancellation of votes in 20 out of the 21 Local Government Areas in the state.
INEC’s Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Yusuf Sa’idu, had declared the results as inconclusive due to the cancellation of votes and over-voting in several polling units. According to Sa’idu, the APC candidate had scored 388,358 votes, while the PDP’s candidate had polled 342,980 votes. He noted that the margin between the two candidates was less than the cancelled votes, thus necessitating a re-run.
The decision by INEC to declare the election inconclusive has been met with mixed reactions from various stakeholders in the state. While some have hailed the electoral body for its transparency and adherence to due process, others have accused it of bias and partiality.
The Kebbi State Governorship election is one of several polls held recently across the country. The election was widely regarded as a litmus test for the ruling APC, which has been grappling with internal crises and declining popularity in some parts of the country.
As the controversy over the election lingers, many are calling on INEC to ensure that the re-run is free, fair, and credible. They also want the electoral body to take steps to address the issues of vote cancellation and over-voting, which have become a recurring decimal in Nigeria’s electoral process.
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