By Polycarp Auta
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Plateau has rejected the National Assembly results announced by INEC in respect of Plateau Central Senatorial Zone.
Mr Benedict Shiknungul, the chairman of the party in the zone, made its position known in a press conference on Friday in Jos.
Shiknungul, who accused INEC of trying to subvert the wish of the people, alleged that the electoral body had connived with the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), to manipulate the process.
The chairman explained that his party won elections in four, out of the five local government areas in the zone, adding that results for the four were collated and dully documented by INEC officials, while results from Kanam were declared inconclusive due to irregularities.
declaration, PDP, on Tuesday, Feb 26, met with Malam Halilu Pai, the Resident Electoral Commisoner (REC) in the state, who promised to resolve the matter in Pankshin, the Zonal headquarters.
“But to our greatest dismay, upon arrival at Pankshin, the venue was surrounded by armed security personnel and we were told by the returning officer that the meeting was for the results to be declared.
“We acknowledge that the elections were relatively peaceful in four, out of the five local governments that make up the central zone, but on election day, we experienced insecurity and threat to lives of our party agents in Kanam Local Government.
“Our agents there were harassed, intimidated abd chased away by armed thugs.
“Similarly, there was mass failure of smart card readers during accreditation, there were also cases of over voting, delayed submission of results sheets from Kanam, and many other cases.
“We raised our concerns at the collation centre, and there was a review of the results from Kanam where a number of electoral irregularities, including irreconcilable figures, were observed.
“Because of the weight of the irregularities, Prof Joseph Mangut, the returning officer, declared the results from Kanam, and, indeed, the whole result of the elections, inconclusive.
“We are still in shock at the rumours we later heard in respect of the declaration, because it is the same officer that declared the results inconclusive with all parties signing a document to attest to that.
“On this note, we want to tell the whole world that INEC, which is supposed to be an independent and neutral body, has compromised.
“We, therefore, demand that INEC should stand by its declaration on the results from Kanam because we will not accept anything short of standing by the document earlier signed by the returning officer,” Shiknungul said.
The official, however, urged PDP supporters in the state to remain calm and be law abiding, as the party was ready to take up the matter to its logical conclusion using legal and civilised means.
Efforts to speak with Pai proved abortive while other INEC officials did not pick persistent calls to their lines.