By Marie-Therese Nanlong.
Jos – The All Progressives Congress, APC in Plateau State has faulted the circumstances that led to the inconclusive gubernatorial election in the State saying though the Party is not afraid of a rerun but “fraudulent practices during election should not be rewarded with a rerun.”
The State Chairman of the Party, Latep Dabang who expressed the displeasure wondered why the State Collation Officer, Professor Richard Kimbir did not identify areas where elections were cancelled due to either failure of smart card reader or violence before calling for a rerun.
Stating his Party’s position at a press briefing in Jos, Dabang expressed confidence of widening the winning margin of 44,000 as the affected areas for rerun are “our strongholds” and appealed that the voice of Plateau people in the election be respected.
According to him, “The PDP is trying to present a scenario as if the God given mandate of Lalong and House of Assembly members was a stolen mandate. The election was free, fair and just even though some areas where the APC won conveniently were cancelled. Our agents were on ground.
“Though we disagreed with the decision of the Collation Officer, but for peace to reign, our agent had to give in. Fraudulent practices during election should not be rewarded, the Collation Officer should have identified the areas where election was disrupted by violence and over voting but all cases were lumped together and we were told that we have to go for a rerun.
“APC is not afraid of a rerun because the affected areas are our strongholds where the opposition is labouring to ensure that the votes do not count. We will go and come out victorious, I can assure that the 44,000 gap will be doubled. Plateau people have spoken, their will should be respected.”
Speaking on the impending bye-election due to the demise of the APC Pengana State constituency candidate who had won the election but died shortly after winning, Latep stated though the incident is a sad one as he had spoken with him 10minutes before his demise, the Party will decide on the steps to take in line with the approved guidelines before the bye-election.