Again, a coalition of Accredited Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC) Domestic Observer Group has faulted the declaration of the candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf as the winner of the recently held governorship election in Kano state.
The Coalition chaired by Alhaji Ali Abacha in a statement, Monday in Abuja, called on INEC to examine Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine deployed to verify the figures on the results sheets Form EC8As in Gwarzo, Tudun Wada, Bagwai, Dala, Fagge, local councils of Kano state.
The group said there were reported cases of irregularities of some state actors and non state actors that undermined the process of election in the aforementioned local councils.
Justifying the call for the review of the election, the coalition argued that there was no way the declaration of Abba kabir Yusuf as winner of the election would stand since the margin of lead which is put at 128,897 votes is less than total number of cancelled votes of 273,442.
“Section 65 of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended is very clear on cases like these,” it stressed
“In conclusion, we the Coalition of INEC Domestic Observer Groups therefore states that the Kano State Governorship and State Assembly Elections conducted on Saturday 18″ March 2023 was marred by irregularities, violation of the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines and do not meet with the best standard democratic practice.”
The coalition was reacting to a report by the Transition monitoring group (TMG), in conjunction with CSOs which conveyed the impression that it called for outright cancellation of the Kano governorship poll.
It noted: “We are apolitical, neutral and had no affiliation with any political party. As a Coalition of Election Observer Groups, we are neither faceless nor partisan as been reported to malign the image of the coalition before the good people of Kano and the nation at large.
“We want to reiterate here that we are experienced observer groups with over 30 years field experience in election observations in Nigeria and other African Countries.
“As a coalition of duly accredited INEC Domestic Observer Groups it has been a tradition that at the end of every election exercise we compile, compare, report obtained from various field officers deployed to all the 44 Local Government Areas in Kano State.
“To this end every data collated by our field officers have been proven to be accurate, reliable, and verifiable without any act of misinformation or mischief intended to hurt, please or malign any particular interest.
“In this context, we wish to affirm categorically that the group never at any time called for the cancellation of the Kano polls. Rather in fairness we advised that INEC should review results obtained in affected areas where issue of Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS ) and over voting occurs.
“We operate solely on rules of engagement and code of ethics of the observers guidelines as required by the law.
“We also agree that in every election all grievances must be channeled to the court of law.
“We have not said anything different from what was reported in other states; i.e Abia, Adamawa, Enugu, Ogun State, etc.
“We uphold the Electoral commission in much higher esteem as the umpire mandated by law to conduct elections and announce results.
“However as observer groups our duty is to identify, observe, report and refer all communications to INEC.”