How I was rigged out of Nasarawa guber polls, by Maku
Maku’s campaign organisation yesterday alleged that there were widespread fraud, conspiracy and collusion between INEC, police, military and Al-Makura government, which he said, “led to criminal and large-scale rigging of the votes to impose Tanko Al-Makura on the people of Nasarawa State.”
The campaign organisation said: “What happened in Nasarawa does not qualify to be called an election. It was an electoral coup executed by INEC and security chiefs in Nasarawa State purely for ethno-religious reasons.
“I did not lose the gubernatorial election to Al-Makura of APC. This was rather due to INEC and security agencies who obviously and completely colluded and aligned with the APC to disrupt the electoral process and allocate votes across constituencies to the APC regime in Nasarawa State.
“The INEC Commissioner, the Commissioner of Police and the military completely aligned with the state in distorting and disrupting the electoral process leading to one of the most fraudulent elections in the history of Nigeria. What took place in Nasarawa State could only be compared to the widely condemned 2007 general elections when the authorities used INEC and security agencies in the states and simply coerced them to rig the votes.
“From the process of materials distribution and appointment of Ad-hoc electoral members of staff and even the posting of INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner to Nasarawa State, it was clear that the agenda was to massively rig the votes in Nasarawa State for Al-Makura to continue in power. Most of the INEC Ad-hoc members of staff were either core APC members or sympathisers. The rest were bought over by the regime.
“The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner ensured that materials were delivered mainly to places where APC would have the opportunity to rig. All the places dominated by APGA either suffered shortage of electoral materials or were supplied card readers programmed to fail.
“In many cases, result sheets were not available. In most cases, card readers were set aside to allow massive rigging to take place in various units and unspecified localities outside electoral units.
“INEC Ad-hoc members of staff played the role of APC agents and manipulated the voting process to favour the APC. Mercenaries and thugs were equally deployed to make sure that places where APC was losing were disrupted through attacks on polling and collation centres.”
The organisation further said, among others: “Ballot box snatching was rampant. There was intimidation of voters, destruction of election results and other co-ordinated crimes by the thugs supported by police in some cases that made the so-called re-election of Tanko Al-Makura laughable and a charade.
“In Lafia Local Council, the governor and security services shut down the entire exercise through widespread intimidation by thugs and security personnel acting together to frustrate tens of thousands of voters.
“If what happened in Nasarawa State is a sample of the new APC regime in Nigeria, our country is up to a long night of state criminality that will surely tarnish the electoral process reforms and the new standards set by President Goodluck Jonathan, which have been applauded by the whole world.
“Nasarawa’s case was worsened by the ethno-religious conspiracy in the North, which continues to see our state as a fiefdom for the theocratic domination of the indigenous people of the state.
“Shortly before the election, the system quickly posted Police Commissioner who hails from Bauchi, INEC Commissioner who hails from Niger State and Mobile Police Commander, all from the far North to prepare for the electoral coup against my candidacy in APGA for purely ethno-religious reasons.
“Some traditional rulers were deployed to intimidate voters in their domains not to vote for me. While in several cases many were intimidated and threatened if their communities voted against the APC.
“I am a victim of an electoral fraud committed by INEC and the police, which led the fight against me in order to continue the policy of ethnic and religious exclusion in the governance of Nasarawa State.
“In this fraud, the PDP chiefs at the national level who had earlier frustrated me out of PDP, also joined the APC regime in fighting against my candidacy under APGA in the election, and collaborated at every junction in ensuring that the votes were rigged against me.
“It was an ethno-religious electoral coup perpetrated by the INEC, the police, the APC regime in Nasarawa State, the PDP candidate, Yusuf Agabi, some members of the State Traditional Council and some bigwigs from outside the state who are bent on the domination of Nasarawa State.
“The system was deployed against me by powerful forces to achieve a long term objective of keeping our state in serfdom.
“I therefore totally condemn and reject the outcome of the electoral coup in Nasarawa State and after full consultations with stakeholders at all levels, will very soon come up with a definite path for the actualization of the struggle for justice, liberty and peace for the broken tribes of Nasarawa State.
“I remain eternally grateful to all our people across ethnic and religious lines who stood firm and fought to give me overwhelming victory at the polls. That the vote was criminally robbed by the INEC, the police and the Al-Makura regime does not in any way diminish the heroic struggle and determination of our people to free Nasarawa State from oppression, exclusion and domination by a few.
“We will fight on till freedom, liberty and justice is attained for all our people regardless of ethnic, religious and social origins.”