‘INEC, security agencies worked for APC in Sokoto’
Alhaji Kabiru Aliyu is the secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Sokoto State. He speaks with OLAKUNLE MARUF on the outcome of the gubernatorial election in Sokoto State as well as his party’s views about the conduct of the security agents and INEC officials. Excerpts:
WHAT is your general assessment of the recent supplementary elections in Sokoto?
It is generally good, but don’t forget that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a party is in court challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC’s) decision for ordering for a rerun election. We believe it’s not contained in the laid down rules of election based on the Electoral Act.
But what is the position of your party concerning the election?
As far as we are concerned, we won the election the first time and still won the rerun. Generally, we accept both the outcomes of the first one as well as the second one, which is the supplementary.
Do you think the outcome of the election actually reflect the position of each of the political parties, especially the APC and your party?
Yes, I think to some extent. Don’t forget that there are so many irregularities; many gang-up by INEC, Police and DSS in order to ensure that PDP does not return to power in the state. However, with the grace of God and the prayer of the masses of the state, PDP was able to win and win again. I think we are satisfied with the end result.
What is your assessment of INEC on the elections?
Let me tell you the truth, INEC was put under intense pressure from the national headquarters of the APC and by extension the presidency to ensure that APC won at all cost. But I must commend the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of this state; he was able to resist some of the pressure. The only pressure he was not able by resist was the one imposed on him to organise a rerun election, which I believe is not in consonant with the law or the Electoral Act.
There was the allegation that the rerun election was manipulated in a certain local government with the aid of some security agents? What really happened?
You see, what really happened in Kebbe is a case study on election matters that will have to be studied by political historians. There was so much pressure from the INEC national headquarters and the DSS headquarters, where over one hundred DSS senior officials were deployed to Kebbe. In fact, the army this time round, also participated in an effort to rig election.
There was a case of one particular polling unit supervisor who was abducted by [alleged] DSS officials and was forced to increase the number of accredited voters in the polling units from 315 to 800 voters. Luckily, the young man was a very strong-minded person, he refused to do it. There were so many instances to rig the election but it was met with strong resistance by the people. That is why the Kebbe debacle became a slogan in Sokoto. Before, the APC thought their trump card was Kebbe and they made all efforts to ensure that they rig elections in that area. But the resistance by the people proved stronger and that is why the APC still wonders why they couldn’t rig elections in Kebbe, having already perfected their plans. The police, the Army, the DSS and INEC all cooperated with them. Even some presiding officers keyed into the idea to rig the election in Kebbe Local Government. They thought they could win through rigging so that they would clear the over 3,000 margins and even have more to win the election. But because of the resistance of the people of Kebbe, they could not do anything and that is one of the reasons why Kebbe is now a political slogan in the state.
In a nutshell, you are actually accusing the security agents in the state of bias?
Yes, I am accusing all of them; the police, the DSS, Army and others. All of them. This is something we can always prove, it is not a mere allegation. We recorded everything, we have photographs, video clips and people are ready to testify.