Controversy is raging in Bauchi State over the alleged citing of an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation centre inside a farm belonging to the state governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, in Dajin.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Publicity Secretary Auwalu Jallah told newsmen yesterday, in Bauchi, that the party suspected foul play in the relocation of the collation centres in Tafawa Balewa, Dass and Bogoro local government areas to Dajin.
Jalla said the APC believed that the relocation was done to assist one party to the detriment of others.
He said INEC agreed that there was no law backing the citing of the centre, adding: “We thought in taking the decision, INEC will put all parties and stakeholders into consideration for peaceful and harmonious living in the area and for the success of the elections.”
He said that if there was any need for the movement, for security reasons, it will be more appropriate to move the centre to Gital and not to the farmland of any aspirant or major stakeholder of one party.
He called on INEC to rescind its decision to move the centre to Dajin.
When contacted, the public affairs officer of INEC in the state Aliyu Abubakar said that INEC has directed the stakeholders to meet and decide on a place that can be considered as peaceful and suitable to be designated as a collation centre.
“Some of them had complained that they would not go to Tafawa Balewa, others said they would not go to Bununu, so we asked them to meet and decide. The stakeholders and parties, including the APC, met and agreed on Dajin.
“Some weeks later, the APC wrote, complaining that the local representatives did not inform them of the decision made by the stakeholders on Dajin. The decision to choose Dajin as a collation centre was not made by INEC but the stakeholders. So, it will be unfair to accuse INEC of citing the collation centre at Dajin. We have replied APC and we have forwarded their complaint to our headquarters in Abuja for further action”
The deputy chief press secretary to the governor, Malam Danlami Babantakko, said that the governor was not part of the decision to relocate the collation centre to Dajin.
“He was not in the meeting and he did not send any representatives so he had no hand in it. I will advise the APC to adhere to the decision of the stakeholders in the interest of peace, harmonious living and progress.”