IPAC calls for annulment of Bauchi council polls

The Bauchi State chapter of the Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) on Wednesday condemned the results of the local government council elections held in the state on Saturday, 17th October, 2020.

It called on the SIEC to annul the elections, declare the seats of the sworn in chairmen and councillors vacant and conduct of fresh council elections, in which all political parties will be given a level playing ground and allow for a sound democratic process.

These were stated by the state chairman of IPAC, Alhaji Usman Isa, at a press briefing at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre in Bauchi.

Isa, who was in company with IPAC state secretary, Ahmed Tijjani Aminu, at the briefing, declared that the local government elections in the state was an irony of democracy, adding that democracy was murdered in the State last Saturday.

According to him, rather than being elected, the local government chairmen and councillors sworn in on Sunday, 18th October 2020, by the state governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, were selected and appointed by the minority rulers.

“We are living witnesses when we saw democracy being murdered on Saturday, 17th October, 2020 during the conduct of the local government election in Bauchi State,” the IPAC chairman said.

He alleged that elections did not hold in some wards and local government areas but results were declared in favour of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The state IPAC chairman further alleged that where elections were held, results and electoral materials were abandoned at the polling units without collation at designated wards and local government centres.

“We remain affixed in quandary when we saw that elections did not hold in some wards and local governments of Bauchi State, but results were declared in hideouts in favour of PDP candidates in those wards and local governments.

“The results and declaration of the winners were published through the social media rather than collation centres.

“Even where the elections were held, the results and electoral materials were abandoned in the polling units without collation at designated wards and local government centers.

“Again, neither collation officers nor returning officers were seen at the designated wards and local government collation centres,” Isa alleged.

He declared that the Bauchi State Independent Electoral Commission (BASIEC) was relegated to a mere observer in the electoral process, adding that candidates of All Progressives Congress (APC) and other parties who won the elections were not declared winners.

“Candidates of the APC and other political parties who won the election by the available results from the polling units were not declared as winners, but the PDP candidates who lost in almost every wards and local government were rather returned as winners.

“The Bauchi State Independent Electoral Commission, BASIEC were relegated to the role of a mere observers in the purported election process,” Isa said.

He then called for the appointment of caretaker committees in the 20 local government areas of the state to supervise the local government councils pending further directives.

According to Isa, IPAC is calling on the state government to refund all the official fees paid to the BASIEC by candidates of other political parties, including campaign and ancillary expenditure incurred in the electoral process.

He added that the council wanted the dissolution of the current board of BASIEC and replace them with other members comprising of technocrats and nominees from all political parties with offices in in the state.

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