By Dirisu Yakubu
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has written to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, urging him not to continue with the planned supplementary election in Bauchi state unless the controversy trailing the governorship election result in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of the state is resolved.
In the latter dated March 21, 2019, the PDP argued that the only way to determine the margin of lead against the cancelled votes is to disclose the returns from the local government.
Signed by the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus and the National Secretary, Senator Umaru Tsauri, the letter stated that unless this is done, the electoral umpire cannot determine the margin between the leader in the election and the runner-up to necessitate any supplementary election.
The PDP flag bearer, Senator Bala Mohammed is leading going by the result declared thus far.
Without declaring the result from Tafawa Balewa, INEC had said it would conduct supplementary election in other areas not affected by the court order stopping the collation of gubernatorial result in the local government.
The letter read: “We wish to refer to the letter by our Bauchi State Chapter to the Resident Electoral Commission (REC) of Bauchi State on the above subject matter dated 13th March, 2019 which we specifically requested for the following to wit: The number and names of all the polling units affected where supplementary elections are to be conducted and their locations. Total number of Permanent Voters’ Cards, PVCs, issued in each of the affected units. Copy of the aforesaid letter is herewith attached
“However, the Commission has not furnished us with any of the items requested.
“Yesterday (Wednesday), your Resident Electoral Commissioner in Bauchi officially came out and announced that court had given an order stopping the collation of the results from Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area but that re-run would be conducted in some Polling Units in the state that their elections were cancelled on Saturday March 23, 2019.
“At this juncture, it is important to note that the re-run or supplementary election can only be ripe and determined upon conclusion of collation of all the results from the 20 Local Government Areas in the state and the margin between the winner and the runner-up is known. This is the position of the law as provided in the Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections specifically paragraphs 33 (e) and 34 (e).
“By the combined effect of Paragraphs 33 (a), (e) and 34 (e) of the Guidelines, the Commission shall wait to determine the margin of lead between the two (2) leading candidates for the Governorship Elections after collation of the overall results of the election before deciding to embark on supplementary elections,
“Therefore, in this present situation in Bauchi where one Local Government Area, election result has not been collated i.e. Tafawa Balewa, the Commission cannot determine the lead between the candidates,
“Hence there is no basis for supplementary elections at the polling units cancelled pursuant to Sections 26 and 53 of the Electoral Act.
“We therefore demand for immediate suspension of the supplementary election scheduled for 23’d March 2019 until collation of results from Tafawa Balewa has been conclusively carried out. In the premise, we demand an immediate reply to this letter not later than today (Thursday).”