From Isa Abdulsalami, Jos



THE Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate in last Saturday’s Jos North Senatorial bye-election, Mr. Gyang Pwajok, has been declared winner and returned accordingly by the Returning Officer, Prof. Fatima Sawa from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi.

Announcing the results yesterday at the Jos North Local Council Secretariat, Prof. Sawa said having polled 195,349 lawful votes cast and defeating his closest rival, Col. John David Dungs of the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) who garnered 38,847 votes, she did not have any difficulty in declaring Pwajok winner of the election.

In his reaction, Dungs in a telephone chat yesterday said: “This is no election at all. It is a travesty election. Ballot papers were being thumb-printed in the governor’s house with active connivance of the officials of INEC. The PDP used money to buy the electorate and the empty ballot papers at the polling units and bought over people, including the INEC officials. We reject it in its entirely as it does not reflect the wishes of the majority of the people. But all I know is that God will definitely intervene in this open rigging.”

But government also vehemently reacted to his assertion. In a telephone interview, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Hon. Pam Ayuba, said: “If he is alleging rigging, let him produce evidence to that effect. He is a bad loser. He was defeated in his own ward, his home. He will continue to be a loser. The election was free and fair.”

Similarly, Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr. Yiljap Abraham, said Dungs should seek redress in court. He added that the governor as a citizen of Nigeria has his rights intact as provided for in the constitution and “has the capacity to protect these rights by seeking legal protection where these rights are being threatened or violated by an individual or a group of individuals. There should be no maligning of the person of the governor and his office. Let him not take the issue of this election too personal.”


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