Kaduna State gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Isa Ashiru, has rejected results of the contest, vowing to challenge the outcome at the election petitions tribunal.
Ashiru alleged militarisation of the electoral process in various part of the state, arguing “military personnel were used to intimidate voters particularly in the areas where our party has an overwhelming strength and support.”
The PDP gubernatorial candidate, who addressed a press conference at his Kaduna home few hours after the declaration of El-Rufai as winner, also alleged Smart Card Readers were not used during the elections in a lot of polling units in Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Kaduna North, Igabi, Zaria, Lere and Ikara Local Government Areas.
According to Ashiru: “I wish to state without any fear of contradiction that reports obtained by our party from across the State indicate that the elections were marred by a lot of irregularities.
“It is on the basis of these established irregularities that our party in a petition to the State Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, rejected the results and called for its outright cancellation.
“Available reports have shown that Smart Card Readers were not used during the elections in a lot of polling units in Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Kaduna North, Igabi, Zaria, Lere and Ikara Local Government Areas.
“It is our firm believe that the non-usage of the Card Readers which is a violation of the electoral guidelines have rendered the results from these areas invalid and should have been cancelled.
“Another issue of concern to our party was the clear militarisation of the electoral process in various parts of the State as military personnel were used to intimidate voters particularly in the areas where our party has an overwhelming strength and support.
“Of a particular example is the use of military in Birnin Gwari and Kauru local government areas. Soldiers were also used to alter the result of our House of Assembly candidate to in Makera Constituency of Kaduna South local government area.
“I am sure a lot of People in Kaduna State will consider it unbelievable the disparity between the numbers of votes obtained in the Presidential elections and the Governorship elections.
“How could the people of Kaduna State be convinced the APC could get more votes during the governorship elections than it got in the last Presidential elections?”
He went on: “Based on this and other irregularities, I hereby stand by the position of my party to challenge the concocted results at the election tribunal to get back our stolen mandate.
“On this note, I therefore call on our supporters and citizens of Kaduna State to remain calm and be law abiding.”