Inconclusive Elections: Again, Bauchi Gov Storms Aso Rock
For the second time in less than a week, Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abubakar, on Monday stormed the presidential villa, Abuja to discuss the inconclusive election in his state
The governor met with President Muhammadu Buhari over the plan by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to proceed with the electoral process in Tafawa Balewa local government earlier declared as inconclusive in his state.
The governor had come to the villa last Thursday to see Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting with the President, said: “I came to brief Mr President about the situation in my state.
“I briefed him on the issues surrounding the inconclusive elections.
“The Returning Officer for Bauchi State at the end of collation rejected the result of Tafawa Balewa local government and then 36 other units spread around 15 local governments of Bauchi state and ordered a rerun.
“Surprisingly, we woke up one morning and the independent and electoral commission came up with a procedure that is not known to law. Because, where a Returning Officer has declared the result, only an election petition tribunal can reverse the result.
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“But INEC is attempting to reverse itself in the case of Bauchi. And when one juxtapose that of Bauchi and other states with inconclusive elections, one wonders why that is happening only in Bauchi State.
“So, for that reason, there is a need for me to come and brief Mr President because what has the potential of touching on the security of the state and it is paramount we …”
Abubakar asserted that what INEC was doing in Bauchi State was illegal as according to him, the returning officer is the final arbiter on collated results.
He added: “Of course it is definitely extra illegal. It is a straight forward matter. The returning officer is the final arbiter even with respect to scores and declaration of result. And once he makes a declaration, no power can reverse that declaration except a duly constituted court of the land.”
Reminded that INEC was an independent body which the president should not interfere with, the governor noted: “No no no. I said I came to brief Mr President, I am not seeking any action of Mr President. We all know Mr President, he is a stickler for procedure. What I pointedly told him was that I am not here to seek for you to interfere on our behalf sir but to brief you on what is happening and what actions I have taken.”
On the actions he had taken so far, the Bauchi governor maintained: “One of which is that I am a lawyer and I am pursuing the legal angle. I briefed him and he emphasized on that legal angle that it is the best way to go.”
He affirmed that the government was on top of the security situation in the state.
On why he had to see the president on Monday having previously gone to the Vice President last Thursday, Abubakar stayed: “No no no. There are procedures in these matters and levels of authority. I am a stickler for procedure, I started at the right place and I have also ended up in the right place.”
He assured that if INEC allowed supplementary polls in Tafawa Balewa local government, Bauchi state, he would win the election.
Recall that President Buhari has told his party members that he would not interfere in the electoral process.
In response to criticism from members of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) who had frowned at his failure to intervene in favour of the party in states where gubernatorial elections were declared inconclusive, the Presidency in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by Garba Shehu,
Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), noted that such party members expected the President to interfere because past Presidents had done so in the past.
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