By Myke Uzendu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the suspension of supplementary election scheduled to hold in Bauchi State on Saturday until all the results of the March 16th elections are collated and declared.
The party hinged its position on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections paragraphs 33 ()& (e),4 (e) which states that the Commission shall wait to determine the margin of lead between the two (2) leading candidates for the Governorship Elections after collation of the overall results of the election before deciding to embark on supplementary elections.
In a letter addressed to the Chairman of INEC dated March 21, 2019, signed by PDP National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus and the Party’s National Secretary, Sen. Ibrahim Umaru Tsauri which was seen by The AUTHORITY, the party also demanded for the details of voters by polling units, the number of registered voters and the number of collected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in the affected areas.
Parts of the letter reads: “We wish to refer to the letter by our Bauchi State Chapter to the Resident Electoral Commission (REC) of Bauchi State on the above subject matter dated 13th March, 2019 which we specifically requested for the following.
“The number and names of all the polling unlts affected where supplementary elections are to be conducted and their locations. Total number of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) issued in each of the affected units.
“However, the Commission has not furnished us with any of the items requested.
“Yesterday, your Resident Electoral Commissioner Bauchi officially came out and announced that court had given an order stopping the collation of the results from Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area but that re-run would be conducted in some Polling Units In the State that their elections were cancelled on Saturday March 23, 2019.
“At this juncture, it is important to note that the re-run or supplementary election can only be ripe and determined upon conclusion of collation of all the results from the 20 Local Government Areas in the State
and the margin between the winner and the runner-up is known. This is the position of the law as as provided in the Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of elections specifically paragraphs 33 ()& (e),4 (e).
“By the combined effect of Paragraphs 33 (a), (e) and 34 (e) of the Guidelines, the Commission shall wait to determine the margin of lead between the two (2) leading candidates for the Governorship Elections after collation of the overall results of the election before deciding to embark on supplementary elections,
“Therefore, in this present situation in Bauchi where one Local Government Area election result has not been collated i.e. Tafawa Balewa, the Commission cannot determine the lead between the candidates,
“Hence there is no basis for supplementary elections at the polling units cancelled pursuant to Sections 26 and 53 of the Electoral Act.
“We therefore demand for immediate suspension of the supplementary election scheduled for 23’d March 2019 until collation of results from Tafawa Balewa has been conclusively carried out.
“In the premise, we demand an immediate reply to this letter not later than today.
“While thanking you for your usual cooperation, please accept the assurances of our highest regards.”
The electoral umpire has slated supplementary elections in Bauchi, Kano, Plateau, Benue and Sokoto on the 23rd of March while collation of results will resume in Rivers State on April 2nd.