The Minister of National Planning, Dr. Suleiman Abubakar, has condemned the conduct of the presidential and National Assembly elections in Kwara State on Saturday.
In a chat with newsmen, on Sunday, he declared that the exercise was “more of an electoral tragedy, which was not acceptable.
According to him, the process and conduct of the elections in his area “to a large extent, could have significant negative implications on our electoral future, if not addressed”.
He said that “the process of accreditation was faulty, the card readers, in most cases, were not working, hence, the recourse to manual accreditation.
“Using manual method for accreditation, attests to what we have been saying in PDP that the card reader introduction by (Prof. Attahiru) Jega, at this point in time, was a misplaced priority.
“It is obvious to Nigerians now that the card reader usage in this election did not really work and, as such, it created room for irregularities in the accreditation process.
“I saw a connivance of the security agencies in Kwara State, to be specific, with the opposition party. Imagine a situation where you have about 1,800 potential voters to one policeman, without any arms. How will he contain the crowd, where you see the policeman eating left and right, being invited upstairs for one thing or the other”, he added.
Abubakar maintained that the security around the polling centres was grossly inadequate to checkmate likely disorderliness because the security operatives were lackadaisical in taking action that could checkmate thugs around the polling units.
The minister also condemned the use of private houses as polling units in a number of places in Ilorin and Asa LGAs in contravention of the electoral law.“I, personally, complained to Jega, he told me that it was too late, that they could not do anything about it.
“When I insisted that it was a violation of the law, he promised to get back to me. He did not and did not do anything about it”, the Minister claimed.
He said where he voted at Opobiyi unit, was the residence of an All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, which had three polling units.
“Going by the declared votes, the votes declared for Mr. President, especially, for the opposition, outweighed the Permanent Voter Cards collected. It is a case of electoral tragedy, especially, at polling unit 006”.
Abubakar alleged further that “a Local Government Council boss was allegedly arrested” and he, specifically, accused the Commissioner of Police in Kwara, Alhaji Salihu Garba of “aiding and abetting electoral malpractices”.
He described the election as a mockery of democracy that could not last nor survive the test of time.
th the electronic voting in subsequent elections.