By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Jos – An All Progressives Congress, APC aspirant in the controversial Bassa/Jos North federal constituency bye-election, Hon. Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande has petitioned the Chairman of the Appeal Committee of the Party over what he termed as the manipulation and cancellation of his votes during the party primary election held in Jos, Plateau State on Wednesday.

The said primary election was filled with intrigues, forcing the exercise to be declared inconclusive.

But Kwande, in a petition addressed to the Chairman of the Appeal Committee APC National Secretariat and made available to journalists in Jos wants the party to declare him winner, explaining that despite the forces that pressurized him to step aside for another aspirant, he went into the poll and won with a clear margin.

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The petition reads in part, “You may recall an Electoral Committee was sent to Plateau State precisely, Jos to conduct Jos North, Bassa Federal Constituency bye-election primary election. The election was held on the 1st and 2nd February 2022 at Lamonde hotel peacefully. It is on record that I scored 349 votes against 344 votes scored by one Hon. Abe Joseph Aku emerged second at the time of computation of individual scores.

“Surprisingly, 4 out of my votes were deliberately and mischievously declared invalid which made me also emerge as the winner with 345 votes. After the conclusion of the computation of the result, while we were waiting for the chairman of the panel to announce the result, we were surprised that he declared the election inconclusive. I strongly believe that I won the election and we promptly protested and requested for a recount of the votes which the Chairman of the committee refused but held on to the document and later demanded that we had to pay for the recount.”

He added, “The declaration of the election as inconclusive by the Chairman of the electoral committee was indeed a gross abuse of the democratic principle, the Rule of Law and indeed a robbery of my victory on broad daylight. I humbly and most peacefully urge you to promptly investigate my complaint and return my mandate by declaring me the winner of the bye-primary election.”