Election Rerun: Atiku wants implicated INEC, Security officials replaced | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Election Rerun: Atiku wants implicated INEC, Security officials replaced

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 at 7:15 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Rotimi Akinwumi  / Snr Correspondent, Abuja. 


Former Vice President of Nigeria and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC)   Atiku Abubakar yesterday said officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security officials implicated in the conduct of last weekend’s Governorship election in Taraba State should be removed and replaced with new personnel in the rerun election in the state.

This, he said, will be a guarantee of a free and fair election at the rerun election. He, however, welcomed INEC’s decision to cancel the gubernatorial election results in some local government areas of Taraba State and declare the outcome of last Saturday’s polls in the state inconclusive.

In a press statement issued by his Media Office in Abuja yesterday, Atiku said the declaration of the results as inconclusive is justified because he agreed with the widespread reports of irregularities in some local governments areas of the state. “These irregularities included using armed personnel to intimidate voters,” Atiku said.

The Former Vice President disclosed that armed soldiers were attached to Senator Emmanuel Bwacha; Joel Ikenya, a current Minister; as well as Senator Anthony Manzo, Chief of Staff to Senate President, David Mark.

He said that these soldiers engaged in brazen acts that violated the electoral act including ballot-box snatching. “Elections should not be militarized,” Atiku said. “Nigeria is a democracy, not a dictatorship. Citizens should be able to go out and vote without fear of being threatened with the nuzzle of a gun.”

He said that these election violations were noticeably perpetrated in Southern Taraba, specifically in Wukari, Takum, Kurmi and Donga local councils; and also in the North, particularly in Lau and Yoro where Manzo comes from.

Atiku noted that thousands of troops were deployed to these areas and electoral officers were heavily compromised. “These people should not be allowed to go back during the rerun election,” Atiku said adding “No troops should be allowed nearby.”

Atiku also urged the Inspector General of Police to replace security personnel in Taraba with new teams from neighbouring Gombe, Bauchi and Adamawa, during the period of the rerun elections.