Inconclusive election: Dogara has introduced religious politics to Bauchi - Danmaliki - Dove Bulletin - Online News Bulletin

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Thursday, 14 March 2019

Inconclusive election: Dogara has introduced religious politics to Bauchi - Danmaliki

Alhaji Mohammed Danmaliki is the Deputy Director of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Campaign Council in Bauchi State.

Following the declaration of the state’s governorship election inconclusive, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, reacted to the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cancel the Tafawa Balewa Local Government election results, saying it is a clear departure from the provisions of the law.

Dogara who represents Bogoro/Tafawa Balewa/Dass Federal constituency noted that it is absurd that the electoral body would order a cancellation of the results of an election that was conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner, save for the issue of computation of the final results which was caused by the carting away of the result sheet by agents of the sitting governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He explained, “There was no problem at all in Tafawa Balewa. The only problem they had was the final collation. If that was the only problem, one will think that the worse decision that can be taken is for them to provide the relevant collation sheet to her (collation officer) and say go and complete the collation and bring it in the proper sheet. But in law, anybody who is a lawyer knows that the issue of form does not defeat the issue of substance.”

But Danmaliki believes the APC won the area. He speaks on the issue, expressing confidence that their candidate Governor Mohammed Abubakar will win in the rerun.

What is your reaction to the decision of INEC to declare the governorship result in Bauchi State as inconclusive?

I will simply say it is necessary. I say so because INEC as an impartial umpire must be respected and whatever decision it takes, as participants, we must respect it. I think all Nigerians have accepted the verdict of INEC in all the states that elections are inconclusive. I didn’t hear much problem about that. Maybe the opposition felt that if that position had not be taken by INEC, they would have won. But that is not the issue. The issue of election is not about winning or losing. It is about having a free and fair election. So it is the free and fair conduct of the election that matters to all of us and to the whole world. I say so because if the election is not free and fair there will be no issue of inconclusive; it must be concluded. So we hail INEC for taking the rightful position, while we prepare for the next round.

Why was your party harping on the investigation of the events that led to cancellation in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area?

The Returning Officer for Tafawa Balewa (Mrs Dominion Anosike) that was collating results was intimidated and harassed. She was even threatened. They threatened to rape her. She was a woman and she said it herself. The answer is there. There was tension everywhere in the place and she was forced to sign the document under that atmosphere and for a collation to be carried out the answer is there.

As you prepare for the rerun what are the chances that your party the APC will win, considering that Tafawa-Balewa appears to be one of the strongholds of the PDP, since Speaker Yakubu Dogara is from the area?

I believe APC will win because APC has won 80 percent of the other elections except this election and this one has been declared inconclusive. Mark you, the results of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area has not been announced. But I tell you, you will be surprised if the result had been announced. We certainly would have won, that is why they are trying to deny us of the victory. If the hoodlums had not disrupted the process at the centre we would have won Tafawa Balewa. So I believe we will win Tafawa Balewa again.

Tafawa Balewa is our domain and if you ask me about Bogoro, because of religious differences because of ethnic differences, the Christian communities there have brought a new trend of politics into Bauchi State. You could see where APC lost are the dominant areas of the Christians and that is a bad trend that we are now seeing in Bauchi State. If the Muslim communities who are majority here will also go and vote for a Muslim candidate, they know their fate the Christians, they won’t go anywhere, It is unfortunate that they brought this politics of religion to bear in the current dispensation. It is sad. It is an ugly situation.

Is Tafawa Balewa not the stronghold of Speaker Dogara anymore?

No! He is not. He is from Bogoro. The majority are in Tafawa Balewa anyway if they want to take it according to religion which they have brought into this now. So now that they have introduced religion into the mix now, let us see how it goes. But I can assure you that it will be to their detriment. They will suffer the disadvantage. It happened in Kaduna and we will have to follow the same pattern like El-Rufai if that is what they want. We are majority but then we remained silent and tolerant but you see they are pushing us to the wall to do things we have never done before.
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