Re-run election: PDP, APC in war of words over Zamfara central senatorial seat

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From Maiharaji Altine 

As the rerun election for Zamfara central senatorial zone is slated to hold next Saturday (March 15 2023), the two strong political parties in the state, PDP and APC have been accusing each other of trying to use the security agents to win the election.

While the PDP accuses the APC of a plan to use the police to rig the forthcoming re-run election, the APC on its part is also accusing the PDP of planning to use the military personnel to rig the election.

The first to raise an alarm was the state chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) who accused the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, of plots to harass and arrest its members.

In a press conference in Gusau on Wednesday, the state PDP acting chairman, Muktari Lugga has expressed concern over the alleged move by the Inspector General of Police to use his office in favor of the APC during the forthcoming re-run election.

Lugga expressed disgust on the alleged move by the outgoing Governor, Bello Matawalle to connive with the Inspector General of Police to harass and intimidate some prominent PDP members so that, the APC will win the forthcoming rerun election, particularly in Zamfara central senatorial zone.

He stated that, the Inspector General of Police has already fallen into politics and dancing to the tune of Governor Bello Matawalle by framing criminal charges against some key members of the PDP as well as inviting them to Abuja to depend themselves just in a bid to preventing them to participate in the forthcoming re-run election.

The PDP officers allegedly invited by the Inspector General of Police according to Lugga are, Garba Ahmad Yandi, Kabiru Ahmadu, Yusuf Daha Tsafe, Ibrahim Modibbo, Zahradeen Ibrahim, Musa Mallaha, Sambo A. Sambo and Lubnah Baba Gusau.

He said, the officers were invited to Abuja by the  Inspector General of Police on charges of criminal conspiracy to rig the 2023 general elections.

Lugga described the acton of the IGP as a high level of unprofessionalism, calling on him (IGP) to rescind his decision.

“This is the height of unprofessionalism exhibited by the Inspector General of Police, and we are calling on him to change his mind “. 

Lugga described the invitation by the IGP as a move to harass and intimidate PDP members in order to prevent them from participating in the rerun election slated for Saturday, 15th April.

“We are raising the alarm for the general public to be aware of the situation in Zamfara and the likelihood of using the police to clampdown on our party leaders and, most importantly, to disrupt the Saturday rerun”. 

“They are fully aware that the PDP will win the central senatorial and the remaining two seats of representatives, so they are hellbent on trying to create chaos”.

“The people targeted are party leaders from the affected areas where the Saturday rerun will occur”.

“This has further exposed the motive of the Nigerian police boss”.

“We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to call the Inspector General of Police to order.

“We also call on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and international observers to closely monitor the happenings in Zamfara state”. Concluded Lugga.

But in a sharp reaction, the Publicity Secretary of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Yusuf Idris said that, the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party was confused and jittery over the next Saturday April 15, rerun elections.

Idris said the state chapter of the PDP had used the army to intimidate APC supporters and stakeholders at the last governorship.

Idris said, “Since members of the PDP have been exposed for using some corrupt army officers without the knowledge of the army high command to rig the last governorship election, they cannot use the same method now”.

As such, they have resolved to blackmailing the police for trying to do the right thing of ensuring a peaceful process”.

Idris described the alleged friendship between the IGP and Matawalle as unfounded, adding that, if Matawalle is a friend to the IGP, there would have been a stronger resistance when the PDP used the army to rig the last governorship election.

He said, “Matawalle is a peace loving gentleman who will stop at nothing for the safety of his people and this is a principle no one can deny him of”.

“So the PDP should face what they have caused Zamfara people and stop the unwarranted blames”.

“We want to encourage the police not to be deterred by the cheap blackmail being peddled by the PDP to justify the return of soldiers for the upcoming rerun elections but carry out their constitutional duties to maintain law and order”.

“The PDP knows that it is no match to the APC in Zamfara and is afraid of losing the contestable seats and we, in the APC will resist any further attempt to again bring soldiers in our election matters”.

“We want to commend the Chief of Army Staff for not deploying soldiers to his home state of Sokoto in favour of any political party or candidate and to draw his attention over how soldiers were used in harassing voters in Zamfara to prevent a repeat”.

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