BY NDAHI INUSA, MAIDUGURI
The Peoples Democratic Party candidate for House of Representatives, Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC) who contested in last Saturday National Assembly polls, Hon. Abdulsalam Kachallah, popularly known as Bomboi has joined his counterparts in the opposition PDP to reject the outcome of the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, alleging that the whole process were marred by irregularities and thump printing of ballot papers without the use of Card Reader machines in the polling units.
He stated this in a press statement he issued to Journalists in Maiduguri, insisting that he has no option than to seek his acclaimed mandate in Court of Law.
Recalled that Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari won all the 27 local governments in the state with a wide margin, polling 836, 496 votes to defeat his rival, Atiku Abubakar of PDP who scored 71,788 votes out of the total vote cast of 955, 202.
While Hon Abdulkadir Rahis of APC who has been declared winner of the Maiduguri Metropolitan Council federal constituency scored 93, 497 against Abdussalam Kachalla of the PDP scored 60,132.
But Abdulsalam who felt unsatisfied with the declared results said:
“As you are aware, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced the results of the elections on Tuesday, 26th February, 2019 at an unholy hour of about 3.00am and declared Hon. Abdulkadir Rahis of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the so-called ‘winner’ of the election for the House of Representatives seat in Maiduguri Metropolitan Constituency.
“I will have been the first person to congratulate the winner of the election if the process were free, fair and transparent.
“After due and extensive consultations with officials of my Party at the State and Local Government, Campaign Organisation and Coordinators, I wish to state clearly that I totally and strongly reject the results of the election in Maiduguri Metropolitan Constituency because of the glaring electoral malpractices, which seriously contravened the provisions of the 2018 Amended Electoral Act and all the laid down rules and regulations guiding the electoral process in Nigeria.
“You may wish to know that I have already communicated my decision to challenge the outcome of the election of the House of Representatives seat in Maiduguri Metropolitan Constituency to the Borno State Independent Electoral Commission. I have also briefed my Team of Lawyers and given them immediate instructions to challenge the results released by INEC in the Electoral Tribunal at the appropriate time.
“It is important to point out that as a committed democrat, I am very much aware that naturally there must be winners and losers in elections or any competition. As a Muslim, I also believe very strongly that it is God Almighty that Gives Power to Whom HE Wills.
“However, when there are overwhelming evidences that the integrity of electoral process have been seriously compromised, it is in the best interest of our nascent democracy and the electorates that true democrats must ensure that such electoral malpractices are exposed and the culprits punished in accordance with the Electoral Act and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria so that the integrity and transparency of the electoral process will be upheld and respected globally.
“I believe that it is only by doing so that the genuine votes of the electorates will count and their choices during the elections will prevail. We must not allow perpetual election riggers to continue to truncate the will of the people.
“It is in this respect that I am fully prepared to fight this unacceptable injustice and will do everything legally possible to reclaim the mandate freely given to me by the good people of Maiduguri Metropolitan Constituency on Saturday, 23rd February, 2019.
“Regrettably, some unscrupulous INEC officials and security agencies as well as some officials of the Borno State Government conspired and dubiously changed the results in some of the Polling Units thereby depriving the good people of Maiduguri Metropolitan Constituency of their legitimate choice through the ballot boxes as required by Law.
“This explains why INEC had to withhold the announcement of the results in Maiduguri Metropolitan Constituency for nearly four (3) days after the election was peacefully concluded to enable them perfect the irregularities committed.
“For instance, we have incontrovertible evidences in our disposal of violations of the Electoral Act such as criminal use of State funds to buy some of the unused ballot papers, which were stuffed into the Ballot Boxes in some Polling Units; embarrassing alteration of some the results declared at the Polling Units, which did not favour the candidate of the APC.
“Other cases of Malpractices uncovered included over voting in some of the Polling Units, which exceeded the number of registered voters; deliberate refusal to use Card Readers as required by Law in some Polling Units for easy manipulation of the results and so on. All these malpractices have significantly affected the transparency of the process and its outcome. My Lawyers will tender all these evidences in the Tribunal in due course.
“Consequently, I passionately appeal to my teeming supporters to remain calm and conduct themselves peacefully as all legal processes will be exhausted to ensure that their votes eventually count. I also call on all my supporters not to be provoked by any person in the name of “celebrating” a victory acquired through unfair means. I assure them that it is a temporary situation, which, God willing, will change soon in our favour.
“The general public have clearly seen how extremely hard we had conducted our campaigns peacefully and with all sense of responsibility. We played politics without bitterness and preached against violence even when we were provoked and attacked. We must therefore maintain this decorum even after the campaigns, which is what significantly attributed to the immense show of love by all and sundry across party affiliations to us. It is also what makes the remarkable difference between us and them.
“At this point, I will like most sincerely thank God Almighty for seeing us through the difficult campaign period and for the peaceful elections held in Borno State. I wish to also thank all those who had confidence in me and voted for me at the polls. The number of telephone calls and messages sent to me expressing grave concern about the outcome of the elections are overwhelming. I thank all those who expressed concern to me and my family and for your prayers, support and best wishes. May God reward them abundantly.
“I wish to also commend the security agencies for ensuring that the elections were conducted peacefully in the State despite the security threat in the early hours of the elections. I also commend the electorates for exhibiting tolerance and conducting themselves responsibly and peacefully and urge them to sustain it in the next elections. This is indeed highly commendable.”