The All Progressives Congress (APC) has withdrawn from the state Assembly by-election rerun for the Bakura constituency rescheduled for Wednesday in Zamfara State.
The withdrawal was announced by the Chairman Publicity Committee the party in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad Birnin Magaji while addressing journalists at the APC state secretariat in Gusau shortly after the meeting of the party.
The party hinged its decision to boycott the exercise on alleged biasness of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and violence that marred the earlier exercise.
Birnin Magaji said the crisis which trailed 9th December botched rerun would have been averted if INEC had honoured the APC’S request to shift the exercise to a more convenient date in order to address concerns it raised.
“Our representatives had attended the meeting organized by INEC at its Gusau Zamfara state office on Monday 7th December to fine tune the measures put in place for the conduct of the said supplementary election.
“The meeting which was supposed to be attended by the security agencies in the state because of their pivotal role as critical stakeholders in the exercise went on with neither their heads nor their representatives in attendance,” he said.
He said as feared and predicted by the APC, the Saturday’s by-election in Bakura local government area “was characterized by intimidation, harassment and large-scale violence which culminated in the snatching of ballot boxes, kidnapping of electoral officials and killing of innocent people by members and loyalists of the PDP in connivance with some security agents.”
Birnin Magaji said all the concerns raised by the APC was corroborated by INEC itself in its press release issued by the National Commissioner, and Chairman Information and Voter Education, Mr Festus Okoye dated 6th December.
“The action left the citizens of the area where the election took place very devastated, disenchanted and disenfranchised,” he said.