From Ron Jacob, Jos.
Supporters of People Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday shunned the rerun for chairmanship in Mangu local Government conducted by the Plateau State Independent Electoral Commission (PLASIEC).
Mr Fabian Ntung, PLASIEC Chairman, had ordered for a re-run in Fomulam polling unit in Kerang District and Kantoma polling unit in Mangu Halle District on the ground that the Oct. 10 elections in the area was inconclusive.
But Dr Ayuba Gufwen, the PDP candidate, had on Wednesday ordered all PDP supporters in the two affected villages not to take part in the rerun.
Gufwen, in a press statement made available to pressmen, described the re-run as “illegal and fraudulent.’’
“As a democrat, I have consulted with my party and supporters and collectively we have decided not to participate in the illegal exercise planned by PLASIEC so as not to give legitimacy to this travesty of justice, ’’ he had stated.
Our Correspondent reports that the rerun which started as early as 8.00am of Thursday at the two polling units witnessed only the participation of supporters of All Progressive Congress (APC).
Mr Hosea Plang, the Electoral Officer (EO), told everday.ng that the response of the electorate was quite encouraging “even though PDP and its supporters boycotted the rerun.’’
“As you can see, everything is going on smoothly without any problem. All the sensitive materials have been provided and we don’t have any challenge at all.
“We are so happy that the rerun is also going so peacefully without any molestation. I am sure before noon we shall be through with it, ’’ Plang said.
However, the newly elected chairman of Mangu, Mr Sarpiya Irmiya, took his time to visit Fomulam and Kantoma polling units, where the rerun took place.
Irmiya expressed satisfaction with the level of response by supporters of APC in those two polling units and described it as “very encouraging.’’
Nonetheless, the voting at the two units were concluded around some few minutes after noon and the results were compiled and taken to the PLASIEC headquarters in Jos for counting and declaration.
The EO in company of the PLASIEC Commissioner of Security, took the results to Jos, where it is to be announced by the commission’s chairman.
Speaking shortly after the rerun on why PDP supporters did not take part, Gufwen, PDP Candidate, said it was based on his earlier call to them not to participate in what he described as a “sham’’
“What PLASIEC has done is a mockery of our democracy and it is a shame and condemnable.
“We did not want to be part of illegality. Even if we did, what difference would it have made when they have already made up their minds to deny us of our victory?” Gufwen queried.
Contacted Mr Chindor Dafat, the APC Publicity Secretary, said that boycotting the rerun by PDP supporters was a display of their fundamental right, which nobody could dispute.
“We are happy that all went on peacefully without any hitch at the two polling units. We are awaiting the result to be declared by PLASIEC any moment of the day, ’’ he said.