Governorship candidates of the PDP, APC and NNPP have given varying impressions of the conduct of Saturday’s Governorship and State Assembly elections despite the large turnout of voters for the exercise.
While the exercise was peaceful in most of the polling units visited by our correspondent in Gombe, the Gombe State capital, the PDP Governorship candidate, Mohammad Jibrin Barde, has however alleged massive vote buying by the ruling APC Government.
But the Gombe State Governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya of the APC who is seeking a second term and the NNPP candidate, Ahmed Khamisu Mailantarki, commended the electorates for the turn-out and peaceful conduct at the elections.
The Governor, alongside his wife, Amina Yahaya voted at his pooling unit, Yahaya Umaru 010, Government Science Secondary School, Gombe.
He said that so far, the exercise was encouraging with reports from various parts of the State indicating peaceful exercise, and the readiness of voters to choose their leaders.
However, In an interview with reporters shortly after he cast his vote at the Usman Memorial polling unit, orangutan Dawaki, Gombe, the PDP Governorship candidate, Mohammad Jibrin Barde, said the exercise was free and fair but marred by massive vote buying and intimidation of voters across the State.
According to him, it is illegal and goes against the electoral act. He vowed that with sufficient evidence available to them, they’ll challenge it legally.
He said, “I have the confidence of winning but we’re not unaware of the massive vote buying by the APC Government across the State. We’re also aware of the plans to intimidate voters and cause mayhem.
“We’re watching very carefully and will report all those incidents to the law enforcement agencies such as the EFCC and ICPC”, he said.
However, the Governorship candidate of the NNPP, a front runner in the race, Ahmed Khamisu Mailantarki, who expressed confidence in winning the election because of what he described as his massive support, hailed INEC for improving the election process.
According to him, if what he experienced in his Usman Kafinta polling unit 010, Herwagana, Gombe, is the same elsewhere, the process has been credible.
He called on the people to remain peaceful and avoid politics of bitterness, adding, “Gombe is more than PDP, APC, NNPP or any other party”.
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