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PDP WINS GAMAWA BYE-ELECTION

By NBF News

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won the Bauchi State House of Assembly bye-election conducted last Saturday for Gamawa Constituency.

The returning officer of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Gamawa, Lawal Isa Wase, announced that Ibrahim Garba of the PDP won the election with the highest votes of 17,125.

Isa Wase, who disclosed the result of the election said the PDP candidate was followed by Awwal Ali of the All Nigeria People Party (ANPP) who scored 2,560 votes. He added: 'Five political parties participated in the election that was conducted in 129 polling units.

'Danladi Maigari of Action Congress (AC) scored 48 votes; Ya'u Garba of Alliance for Democracy (AD) scored 30 votes and the only woman who participated in the election, Hauwa Ibrahim of Progressive People Alliance (PPA) scored 16 votes.'

The seat became vacant last August when the Speaker who was representing Gamawa Constituency was appointed the state's deputy governor. It was gathered that the Gamawa by-election did not hold last year because of court injunction. The ANPP Chairman in Bauchi State, Sani Malam, who spoke with newsmen in Gamawa on the outcome of the bye-election accused the PDP of rigging. Sani observed that ballot boxes were taken to houses of some traditional rulers in the area where rigging was carried out.

The ANPP chairman said the Gamawa bye-election and the forthcoming Bauchi South Senatorial District bye-election slated for August 21 were litmus test for INEC in its bid to conduct a credible election.

'We have observed that the same old mistakes are being repeated as we have seen today (Saturday).

'Even the police, are yet to know their roles in the whole election process.

In a swift reaction, the former member representing Gamawa before being appointed Deputy Governor, Babayo Gamawa, dismissed the allegation of rigging levelled against his party. He described it as antics of lazy politicians who do not prepare adequately for election. Gamawa commended the people of Gamawa for their cooperation throughout the period of the election and for being law abiding, saying their action was a demonstration of the fact that there was hope for the country's democracy in 2011.

The election that was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere, was characterised by low turnout of voters in most of the polling units in the local government area. INEC National Commissioner, Mohammed Hamagan, who was monitored the exercise in company with the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Senator Iliya Audu,

attributed the low turnout to the farming season. 'Most of the people are farmers and at this time of the season, they naturally go to farm,' Hamangan said.

On the observation of underage voting, Hamanga said, although he did not see any underage at the polling centres, it was unacceptable for somebody less than 18 years of age to vote. 'When we received official complaints, INEC look into it. But generally, the people of Gamawa are very peaceful and we commend them,' he said.

The Bauchi Police Command, according to the Commissioner, Danlami Yar'Adua, deployed 3000 policemen to maintain law and order in the area during the

bye-election.