Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has said he is ready to face the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in court over the March 23 supplementary elections in the state in which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared him winner.
In a statement by his chief press secretary Abba Anwar on Sunday, the governor accused the PDP of ballot stuffing and “other electoral mis-behaviour”.
“Before the re-run election, which we emerged victorious, they were deep-necked in ballot stuffing and other electoral mis-behaviours, a ploy that was later uncovered, ” he said.
Ganduje, who spoke at his hometown of Dawakin Tofa, where he received his supporters insisted that the rerun elections in the state were “free and fair”, adding that his party would also challenge results of other electoral positions won by the PDP.
“It was after that ballot stuffing scenario that genuine election was conducted at the supplementary election which genuine result emerged as a byproduct of free, fair and credible election,” he noted.
“My thinking about these people is, they are about to kick-start what would later consume them unawares. What they did in other elections of the state legislators in some places, will be looked at, with the view to ascertaining authenticity of such votes they claimed to have gotten,” Ganduje said.
The governor also claimed that Kano state had achieved development under his administration.
“Whoever comes to Kano will attest to the fact that Kano is fast growing and developing. We will improve on this and will, at the same time, consolidate the feats achieved,” he said.
Ganduje was announced winner of the rerun polls against the Abba Kabir Yusuf, governorship candidate of the PDP who was leading the governor by 26,655 votes in the original March 9 governorship polls, before it was declared inconclusive by INEC.
However, during the rerun polls, which was characterized by widespread violence, massive disenfranchisement, vote-buying and voter intimidation, the governor was announced winner by INEC.
But the PDP rejected the results and vowed to challenge the exercise in court, claiming that its supporters were prevented from voting by armed thugs allegedly hired by Ganduje’s All Progressive Congress (APC) while some of its agents were killed.
The rerun polls was also condemned by several observer groups including the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) over widespread violence, voter intimidation, and other irregularities.