A group of women and youth had stormed the INEC Office in Sokoto on Tuesday to protest against the decision of the commission to declare the state governorship poll inconclusive.
The protesters, who were armed with placards, were denied entrance into the INEC state headquarters. They, however, barricaded the major roads leading to the office of INEC, adjacent to the office of the Department of State Services.
Among the protesters are wife of a former governor of the state, Hajiya Jemila Bafarawa, three serving commissioners in the cabinet of Governor Aminu Tambuwal, Prof. A’isha Madawaki, Dr Kulu Abubakar and Hajia Kulu Sifawa.
Spokesman for the protesters, Muhammad Aliyu, who demanded immediate reversal of the inconclusive status, described INEC’s decision as injustice.
Aliyu said, “INEC decision is a strategy to deny the people of Sokoto State their choice but, we will resist their imposition. On behalf of the peace-loving people of Sokoto State, we hereby called on INEC to declare Governor Aminu Tambuwal, as the winner of the governorship election held last Saturday.”
The state Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajia Sifawa, and her counterpart in the Science and Technology, Abubakar, said women from the 23 LGAs of the state were in support of their peaceful protests.
The PDP in Sokoto State, however, said it had set machinery in motion to consolidate its slim margin of 3,413 votes ahead of the APC.
The party as parts of it plans towards the supplementary elections as ordered by INEC had revived its alliance talks with other parties at the state level.
The Sokoto State Secretary of the party, Alhaji Kabiru Aliyu, who disclosed this to one of our correspondents on Tuesday said, “We have opened talks with 37 parties that made up the CUPP, for alliance and working cooperation ahead of the run-offs, as ordered by INEC.”
He added, “Discussions similar to what our party opened with CUPP are going on in the state as we are speaking and we are sure of a working alliance to our advantage that will ensure our victory.”
However, there was a lull at the APC secretariat and the official contacted kept mute on the possibility of an alliance.
One APC chieftain, who spoke to one of our correspondents, on condition of anonymity, said the APC was capable of turning the table.
He said, “Alliance or no alliance, we have the capacity and following to win Sokoto State. What happened was that there was little complacency on our part and such will not repeat itself during the supplementary election.
“We will use the opportunity of the supplementary elections to show that our victory at the presidential and National Assembly elections is no fluke