The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is set to resume the collation of result for the March 9 governorship election in Bauchi State.
The exercise will take place in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, following the disruption of the collation process which led to the cancellation of results for the entire LGA.
This comes one week after the commission declared the keenly contested election inconclusive following its observation that the margin between the two leading candidates was less than the number of cancelled votes.
According to the Returning Officer, Kyari Mohammed, results collated showed that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bala Mohammed, polled 469,512 votes, while the incumbent governor, Mohammed Abubakar, secured 465,453 votes.
On March 15, INEC said it would resume the collation of results of Tafawa Balewa LGA after considering a report submitted by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Bauchi.
It also appointed a new collation/returning officer for the LGA to conclude the collation process after Mrs Dominion Anosike withdrew over alleged threat to her life and her family.
But the decision of the electoral body was rejected by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The Bauchi APC Chairman, Mr Uba Nana, had stated during a press briefing last week that INEC lacked the powers to revisit the issue after declaring the election inconclusive.
Governor Abubakar, who was also not pleased with the development, visited President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday and informed him that he would challenge INEC’s decision in court.
He condemned the decision to continue with the collation process, noting that the action of the electoral body was capable of breaching the peace in the state.
Despite the criticism, INEC decided to go ahead as scheduled as the venue of the collation exercise has been set up at the commission’s headquarters in Bauchi.
There is heavy security presence around the area while supporters of some political parties are awaiting the commencement of the exercise.