The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Plateau Central Senatorial Zone, Golkuna Gotom has called on the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu and Plateau State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Oliver Agundu to prevail on the Returning Officer of Plateau Central Senatorial zone to declare the correct results.
He also alleged that there were mutilation of the aforementioned results, wrong computing and allocation of votes to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He also decried the none usage of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) in some electoral wards in Kanam Local Government Area during the February 25th, 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections, calling for outright cancellation of results from the respective polling units in line with the 2022 Electoral Act.
Yara recalls that the National Assembly elections were held on the 25th of March 2023 alongside the presidential polls, but the result for the senatorial elections are yet to be declared as of the time of filing this report.
Gotom made the call while briefing journalists in Jos, the state capital.
According to him: “With the result available, I won the senatorial election for Plateau Central with a very wide margin. I had expected a declaration of results within days after the polls, but it has lingered for 12 days now. I want to tell the good people of Plateau Central to wake up for justice, equity and fairness; because injustice to one is an injustice to the entire zone.
“The citizenry voted for good governance, unfortunately, what we are witnessing is a total denial of the people’s mandate. I’m calling on the electoral umpire to do the needful because, at the collation centre in Pankshin LGA, three basic issues were raised.
“Unfortunately, these issues are still left unattended to; I expect the electoral umpire (INEC) to stand up to its responsibility and do a formal declaration of results so that I will have my certificate of return.”
The PDP candidate further stated that even the sitting governor of the state lost his senatorial bid to PDP, and the results were declared.
“So far, the PDP has won the two other senatorial seats in the state. This shows that Plateau is a PDP state. I won the Plateau Central with a very wide margin,” he maintained.
He further said: “If you have been following the political trend in this state since 1999, results from Kanam LGA, which is the contentious area, are deliberately delayed to enable them adjust the figures to their advantage; but this practice must be put to a stop and the time is now.”
He explained that the Electoral Act in Section 64 subsection 7 stipulates that if the disputed results were collated and discovered to be of mass errors, such results should be corrected to produce a new result and that falls under the power of the Electoral Officer.
“Sadly, in our own case, we have petitioned the Returning Officer and he has not called us to look into the discrepancies with those figures.
“We are not living in a lawless country, therefore, we are calling for the cancellation of all the results in the disputed polling units.”
Yara reports that the disputed areas with issues of computation errors, mutilation of results, and overvoting are Kukyen, Gagdi, Dengi, Jarmai, Kanam, Kantana and Garga among others.