Kaduna: Election observer groups faults el-Rufal’s victory, alleges that it was marred by irregularities

Sunday Aborisade and Godwin Isenyo, Kaduna

Some  groups who  observed  the  Kaduna State governorship poll  won by  Governor Nasir el-Rufai  have alleged that the election was marred  by irregularities.

The observers, however, said  they would not  call for the cancellation of the poll based on the irregularities.

The groups led by Prof Banake Sambo of the Initiative for the Promotion of Civic Obligation and Sustainable Peace, stated this at a press conference on Friday in Kaduna.

He  said  some of the observers were  brutalised by soldiers  during the March  9  polls.

Present at the  press conference  were  Sani Umar (The Integrity Friends for Truth and peace initiative), Dr Usman Kabiru  (Centre for Strategy Ethics and Value)  and Felicia Kwawo (Women Empowerment for Global Impact Initiative).

Sambo alleged massive vote-buying  at  polling units in  Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Ikara and  Kubau where Governor el-Rufai got  substantial votes.

According to him,  card readers were not used for the election in some polling units in 10 LGAs.

He listed the LGAs  as  Giwa, Zaria, Sabon-Gari, Ikara, Lere, Igabi, Soba, Kaduna South and Kaduna North.

He also alleged that incidents of ballot box snatching were recorded in 13 polling units in Birnin-Gwari LGA.

He said, “However, no loss of life was reported anywhere as a result of  electoral violence.”

He added, “Instances of voters and agents being  intimidated; and violent acts aided by the military were noted in Kwasallo ward in Soba LGA.

“The military led by senior local council officials disrupted voting, unleashed terror and carted away ballot boxes in some of the polling units in Ikara, Fala, Sayasaya, Kurmin Kogi, Rumi Auchan, Kuya, Paki, Jamfalan and saulawa wards in Ikara LGA. Some of our observers were attacked.”

PUNCH

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