Plateau PDP fingers lawmaker Gagdi, LGA Chairman over plot to rig concluded guber polls
The People’s Democratic Party in Plateau State has accused the federal Lawmaker, representing Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Constituency, Hon. Yusuf Gagdi and the Local Government Chairman of Jos North, Hon. Shehu Usman, over plot to rig the just concluded March 18 governorship election in the State.
The PDP said the missing 14 BVAS, Ad-hoc INEC Staff and the manipulation of Naraguta B Ward results to truncate the election in Jos north with the aim of canceling the result to pressurize INEC for a rerun were all masterminded by Gagdi, Jos North LGA Chairman with other APC stalwarts.
Speaking with newsmen in Jos yesterday, the PDP Chairman, Hon. Chris Hassan said the shameful act of the lawmaker and others should not go unpunished, calling on the Police to do the needful and bring them to book.
According to him: “We need to draw the attention of the public to the fact that these acts of criminal conspiracy, and sheer electoral brigandage and banditry were premeditated, hatched, calculated and executed with the collusion, connivance and funding of the Chairman Jos North LGA, Hon. Shehu Bala Usman, Hon. Babayo Yusuf Gagdi and member-elect of Jos North-North House of Assembly, Hon. Aliu Ada” he said
Hassan told journalists that there were failed attempts at various stages of accreditation, voting and collation to manipulate and rig the Governorship and House of Assembly Elections in favour of the APC and its Gubernatorial candidate, Dr. Nentawe Yilwada but to no avail.
“It was common knowledge that some officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission absconded with electoral materials, both sensitive and non-sensitive and deliberately refused to turn in the results of over 35 polling units for over 48 hours after the close of polls.
“The Chairman of Jos North LGA, at various times, before the final collation, physically obstructed, intimidated, cajoled, enticed and maligned the staff of INEC at the Naraguta Ward B Collation Centre and Jos North Collection Centre.
“The LGA Chairman condescended and sank to rock bottom when he took the dishonorable task of being the intermediary and envoy for the absconded electoral officials from the 35 polling units.
“We want to let the public know that we are aware of all his antics and tricks, with his malevolent cohorts, and how their attempts to compromise the officials of the Commission with monetary gifts and underhand tactics failed flatly and roundly.
“It took the outcry from the public and deliberate action by INEC and the security agencies before some of the results were released in piecemeal calculated to truncate the entire process as evident by the sneaky manner in which the results were turned in.
“Results from about 21 polling units were later collated after verifications and confirmation according to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022.
“This was also evident by the crocodile tears and rantings of the APC returning agent at the state Collation Centre which was roundly nipped in the bud, thanks to the clear extant of the provision of the Electoral Act 2022 and Manual for Election Officials, 2023.
“I called on INEC and security agencies to meticulously investigate and diligently prosecute all persons involved in what the PDP called criminal conspiracy, withholding and manipulation of electoral results and materials in over 30 polling units of Naraguta B Ward of Jos North LGA during the Governorship Election held in the state”, Hassan said.
He continued: “While we commend the Police for the prompt arrest of the Registration Area Technical Officer (RATECH) for the Naraguta B, one Mr. Umar Mohammed, who showed up almost 48 hours after the declaration with 14 BVAS Machines, and gave a fairy-like tale of his involvement, we call on the Nigerian Police to go after all the 3 Adhoc staff of INEC at the 14 polling units and the 14 Police officers attached to these polling units.
“It was an active conspiracy amongst all those involved as all the 42 Adhoc staff in the 14 polling units switched off their phones as well as the 14 Police men attached to these polling units.
“For a proper investigation and prosecution of these electoral offenses, all the 56 conspirators and collaborators should be arrested and given the opportunity to explain their various roles in the botched attempt to skew and rewrite election results against the popular will and wishes of the people of Plateau State”, he said.
The PDP Chairman said he need answers of the whereabout of the INEC staff posted to the 14 polling units of Naraguta B Ward, Jos North LGA during the elections as 3 staff were posted to each polling unit across the State for the election;
“The names of 42 Adhoc staff posted to the 14 polling units and why they all switched off their phones when the Electoral Officer tried to reach them to understand why they have not returned results and other sensitive materials.
“The names of the Police Personnel and other security officials posted to the 14 polling units of Naraguta B Ward and what were the roles they played in the alleged dishonorable acts.
“Who are the Supervising Officers for the 14 polling units and why are they not called to account for the misdeeds of the polling units Adhoc staff under their care”, Hassan asked.
He said there will be no end to this matter unless the police, without fear or favour, arrest and prosecute all persons involved so as to serve as deterrent to all and sundry.
Responding, the Jos North LGA Chairman, Hon. Shehu Usman denied involvement in any of the allegations raised by the PDP.
Usman said as Chairman of the LGA his responsibility is to ensure the security of lives of those in his constituency and not to involve himself with electoral violence.
He said over the years as Chairman of his LGA he has always endured a peaceful election and security of his people.