The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Returning Officer in the Bakura Constituency bye-election in Zamfara state, Prof. Ibrahim Magatawa, to step aside.
The party accused him of making a statement showing bias in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of rerun elections in 14 polling units.
The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, alleged that the elections were cancelled under unclear circumstances, to rob the party of victory in the Bakura State Constituency bye-election.
The statement said, “Prof. Magatawa’s statement exposes the partisanship of the INEC official, triggers a dangerous crisis of confidence and points to a creepy plot to use the rerun to allocate fictitious votes to APC, the very reason, Prof. Magatawa must not be allowed in anyway to participate in the anticipated rerun.
“Moreover, Prof. Magatawa’s comments raises apprehension that elections in the 14 units were cancelled to achieve a sinister design to rob the PDP of its victory.
“Currently, the PDP would not go into issues of allegations of plots by the APC to use huge financial inducements, in addition to compromised security operatives by the APC to manipulate this election to its favour.
“We however call on INEC to stop using individuals like Prof. Magawata in our elections. He has shown to be a biased umpire who could not even hide his abominable enterprise.
“The PDP therefore demands that the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, directly take over the conduct of processes in the Bakura State Constituency bye-election, where our party is in clear victory, as the people will never allow any final outcome that does not reflect the electoral reality already on the ground.”