From Andrew Ajijah, Jos
Members of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) in Plateau Central Senatorial District has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the Senatorial candidate of the party in the district, Yohana Gotom, winner of February 25, 2023 national assembly election without further delay.
The Voice reports that INEC is yet to declare the winner of the election, held about four weeks ago, a development that has created tension in the Senatorial zone of the state.
Addressing journalists during a peaceful protest held at INEC Secretariat in Jos, Plateau State on Wednesday, Former Speaker of Plateau State House of Assembly and Titus Alams said the delay in the announcement of the winner about four weeks after completion of the election was sabotage of the electoral process.
According to him, Gotom won the election overwhelmingly, noting that PDP party agents in had reported that based on the election result collated, the party’s candidate defeated his APC rival Diket Plang in the election .
“As a matter of urgency, INEC should critically look into the issues raised by the PDP agent and its candidate and do the needful by announcing Amb. Yohana Gotom as the lawful winner of the election,” she said.
The former speaker also alleged that there was over voting in most registration areas in Kanam local government area of the Senatorial district, calling on INEC to do its best to ensure that such votes were cancelled.
“There was over voting in nine (9) registration areas in Kanam Local Government Area and also non usage of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines in Kanam Local Government Area as well as casting errors in Mangu Local Government Area. We are therefore saying no to any possible plan of a rerun election in our zone.
“Mutilation of votes is criminal and culprits must be prosecuted and so we are calling for the arrest of the INEC Electoral office for mutilating the result, ” he said.
Also speaking, the PDP senatorial candidate, Gotom said the delay in the announcement of the result was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the will of the people of the zone whom according to him overwhelmingly voted for him during the election.
He said that over 200, 0000 votes from Mangu Local Government Area belonging to him were wrongly allotted to his APC opponent and therefore called on INEC to declare him the winner of the election.
The Voice reports that supporters of the Party displayed placards with various inscriptions during the peaceful protest to register their displeasure, calling for the arrest of the returning electoral officer of Kanam Local Government Area of the state for alleged mutilation of valid votes of the PDP during collation.