From Musa Solomon , Yola
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Adamawa State has called on the Inspector General of Police to take urgent action against the police high command in the state, alleging that its head wants to ruin democracy in the state .
The Returning Officer for SDP in last Monday’s rerun election in Michika Local Government Area, Mr. James T. Manager, who spoke to journalists Tuesday in Yola accused a police boss of allegedly using his men to manipulate the conduct of the poll by refusing agents of other political parties access to the collation centre.
An official reaction was still being expected from Police spokesman, Chief Superintendent Uthman Abubakar. Contacted with the allegations on the police boss, Uthman disclosed that he was on tour of local government areas with the commissioner, but promised to call back.
The Michika election has been postponed five times.
“What the Adamawa state police did in Michika was terrible, we want to believe that he was in Michika to intimidate other political parties and help All Progressive Congress (APC) to win the election by hook or crook,” he said.
The SDP returning officer pointed out that the collation centre for results was allegedly relocated to a village instead of the local government headquarters as stipulated by the electoral laws of the state, which state that council election result should be announced at headquarters,” he said.
“We were all waiting in Michika town for the officials to come with the results and announce only for one police officer to inform me that I should go to one village (because) the police and election officials were there with the results. When I got there as a returning officer of my party, before I gained access inside the hall was hell for me. When I finally entered it was a different person from the head of the election officer that was recording the result. When I sought an explanation, the police (told) me to keep quiet ,” he claimed.
Manager alleged that mobile phones were collected from party agents by the police on the ground that they didn’t want any communication to go out from the collation centre to avoid thugs invading the place.
“We started observing some suspicious move by the policemen when their vehicles started turning and facing the road to Michika town. Before we (knew) what was happening, gun shots (rang out) from the police. Everybody ran for (their) dear lives and the police packed the results with the election officials and disappeared to Yola the state capital,” he stated.
The APC candidate Mr. Vandi Fafenza , was sworn in on Tuesday as the winner of the poll, which figures the SDP is contesting. Manager is claiming the party’s candidate polled the highest vote.