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Samuel Luka, Bauchi
Stakeholders from Dass,Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro Federal constituency have protested alleged attempt to relocate their collation centre from Zwall to Dass local government area of Bauchi state.
The protesters, mostly supporters of Speaker Yakubu Dogara alongside stakeholders of other political parties that have fielded candidates for Dass, Tafawa Balewa
and Bogoro Federal constituency in the forth coming general election besieged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters in Bauchi on Thursday to present the letter of protest.
Presenting their Protest letter to the INEC Bauchi State Office, on behalf of the coalition of Political Parties contesting from Dass, Tafawa Balewa Bogoro LGAs, Honourable Isa Babayo Tilde who is the Zonal Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Bauchi South said,
“we want INEC to sustain the status quo, it should not relocate the collation center from Zwall to Dass in the best interest of peace, justice and fairness to all in the area”.
Tilde explained that, “the Federal constituency was established for the three local Government areas of Dass Tafawa Balewa and Bogoro in 1979, the headquarters of Tafawa Balewa was moved to Bununu in 2013
but collation center remain in Tafawa Balewa until 2015 when attempt was made to relocate the collation center to Dajin due to the crisis that bedevilled the area at the time but there was fierce resistance from the Political stakeholders who opposed in writing which led to several meetings by INEC, security agencies and stakeholders.
And at end of the meetings, the matter was resolved amicably to collate election results in Zwall”.
The Head of Public enlightenment and Public Affairs Officer of the electoral body Mohammed Yahaya Salihu who received the protest letter on behalf of the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Bauchi said the electoral body will look into their complains and will be fair to all according to the laws guiding their operations.
Also speaking, a one time member of the National Assembly,Honourable Dauda Garba Bundot said initially the collation center was once moved from Tafawa Balewa to Zwall in the best interest of Peace during the Isa Yuguda administration.
“When Yuguda attempted to relocate the collation center to his farm, Dogara took the case to court and the court ordered them to settle the matter.
A meeting of all stakeholders was held where it was resolved that both Yuguda and Dogara should be patient, collation centre will leave Tafawa Balewa where Dogara wanted it to remain, and Yuguda should be patient also as the centre will not be cited at the place he want but it will be cited at the center which was Zwall, that’s how they settled the matter in 2015”.
According to him, when Dogara went to court he obtained a court order on 25 March 2013 before Justice ES Chukwu of the Federal High court Abuja which restrained INEC from relocating the collation center.
Bundot said the then Governor Isa Yuguda filed a suit in Bauchi Federal High Court and asked the court to relocate the collation center to Dajin but the resolution of the matter by the Political stakeholders led to the discontinuation of the suit by the state Government.
One of the aggrieved stakeholders, Alhaji Danlami Abu who questioned the rationale behind the planned relocation at this time when election is less than two months away from now said if the President cannot assent to the reformed electoral bill on the ground that elections have approached very close, then there is no reason the collation center will be relocated at this time.