The Zamfara chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) must participate in next Wednesday’s rescheduled re-run by-election of Bakura state assembly constituency.
Briefing journalists in Gusau on behalf of the PDP, the state Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Rabiu Garba said, “they (APC) must participate in the re-run to ensure the victory of the PDP.
“You know there was a very large turn out of our supporters in last Saturday’s by-election when the opposition APC used their thugs to carryout various election malpractices including intimidation, ballot box snatching and threat to peace.
“I understand the APC is threatening to boycott the re-run, but l can assure you that unless they are outrightly conceeding defeat, we prefer to go to the electorates and let the people of Bakura decide,” the commissioner noted.
He said, the allegations that he snatched ballot boxes or went round with thugs were the exact things that the APC did were trying to put the PDP on the defence.
Similarly while speaking to newsmen on allegations that he snatched ballot boxes, the Commissioner of Local Governments, Alhaji Chado Gora said, “l was denied access to all the polling units that my party directed me to oversee during the by-election.
“The APC thugs were everywhere and being guided by their masters to harass and intimidate us and since we did not want trouble and we are confident in winning, we allowed them misbehave,” he said.
Earlier, the APC leader in the state, former governor Abdulaziz Yari had threatened that his party would not participate in the re-run by-election unless they obtained assurance from the security and INEC on safety of their lives and free and fair exercise that would be acceptable to all.
“What happened last Saturday was a sham not election because election malpractice being supported by security agents were openly carried out without recourse to peace, justice and fairplay
“Unless we are given guarantee that these unfortunate and irresponsible acts would be reversed, we will not participate in the re-run which was the handiwork of the ruling PDP in the state,” he said.
The by-election was declared inconclusive by the Returning Officer, Prof. Ibrahim Magawata who said the exercise was marred with various forms of malpractices including ballot box smatching and intimidation of voters leading to the cancellation of votes from 14 polling units.
Meanwhile, the INEC has fixed Wednesday, December 9, for the re-run of the by-election.