The Action Congress (AC) has accused the Bauchi State Government of colluding with INEC and the police to truncate the holding of the state constituency by-election for Gamawa by obtaining a spurious court injunction restraining INEC from conducting the poll as scheduled on October 17th.
In a statement issued yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the Bauchi government was engaging in politics of desperation, as it decided to push for the postponement of the by-election because it was afraid of losing to the AC.
AC wondered why such an injunction would be obtained less than 24 hours to the election, when electoral materials were already midway to the venue of the election.It also said the party had yet to be served with the court injunction two days after the election was supposed to have been held.
As part of its strategy, AC said, the PDP-hijacked Bauchi government has also embarked on a massive harassment of AC supporters across the state, arresting as many as 400 innocent party members on the allegation that they are party thugs brought in from a neighbouring states.
The party said most of the supporters now being detained were arrested in their farms and homes, and wondered where the opposition that is not in power would have the resources to â€˜importâ€™ thugs which, in any case, is the style of the desperate politicians in the PDP.
AC therefore called for the immediate release of the arrested party members, whose only offence is that they belong to an opposition party.It also warned the Bauchi state government, which has pocketed the state police and INEC – the two ever-willing tools of election rigging in Nigeria – to desist from its politics of desperation and the harassment of innocent citizens who are only exercising their constitutional rights by belonging to a party of their choice.
AC also reminded the Bauchi government that by its action, it is rubbishing President Umaru Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s so-called electoral reform, saying electoral reforms cannot succeed in an atmosphere of do-or-die politics as well as intimidation and harassment of the opposition.
â€œIf the PDP and its hijacked government in Bauchi are sure of winning the bye election in Gamawa, they should allow the election to hold in a free and fair atmosphere. That way, they can test their popularity in the constituency,â€™â€™ AC said