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Bauchi, Katsina, Kogi bye-elections a sham – ANRP

Abundant Nigeria renewal Party, ANRP, has described the last Saturday’s Senatorial and Federal Constituency bye-elections conducted in Bauchi, Katsina and Kogi States as sham, owing to what it described as open vote buying in the presence of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s officials and security agents deployed for the elections.
According ANRP National Spokesperson, Sesugh Akume, in a chat with Nigerian Pilot yesterday, he stated that; “the travesty that happened at the weekend said to be bye-elections is regrettable. The elections were a sham characterized by open vote buying in the presence of INEC and the police.
“Images are in wide circulation of onions shared in the All Progressives Congress, APC-branded paper bags. Advertising a party on an election day ought to result in a disqualification. Vote buying with onions shows the level of depravity we have sunk into.
“There are also images of an INEC official receiving cash at an election venue, as are images of voters showing how they voted and received cash afterwards.
“At the heart of this parody is INEC that refuses to activate all the relevant sections of the Electoral Law, but is rather complicit in silence and complaining, even though an election management body created and empowered by the law, Akume added.
In a swift reaction to these allegations, INEC through its Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu’s Chief Press Secretary, Rotimi Oyekanmi, stated that the bye-election is not a sham.
According to him, it is the politicians that tried to buy votes in certain places during the election.
“The ANRP is a political party and those who engaged in vote buying are politicians. It is because of the realization that rigging is no longer possible that some politicians have resorted to the act. So, rather than castigate the Commission, the ANRP should commend our efforts.
“Not only that, they should help us to identify their colleagues who engaged in vote buying during the elections, to ensure that they face the consequences of their actions, pointing accusing fingers is not enough. They should partner with us to tackle the problem.”
On the trending images on the social media of the alleged INEC official receiving cash during the process, Oyekanmi said; “the Commission is not aware of any of its official being involved in exchange of cash during the Election.
“If the ANRP has any evidence, they will do well in providing such evidence. Many of our staff members are dedicated and hardworking even at great risk to their personal safety sometimes. However, the Commission’s position on unethical behaviour is known to every worker,” he stated.

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