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Drama As INEC Declares Officer ‘Persona Non-grata’

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Kebbi State, yesterday declared collation officer for Marafa ward in Birnin Kebbi Local Government Area of Kebbi State, Mr Yusuf Isa-Yahaya as ‘persona non-grata’.

The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Alhaji Ahmed Bello-Mahmud said on Monday in Birnin Kebbi that the commission would, however, not be deterred by this development.

He said the commission had no option than to declare him missing following a series of meetings on the issue in accordance with the law, adding that a new competent collation officer had been appointed to carry on with the job.

Bello-Mahmud assured that the newly appointed officer would continue from where the missing officer stopped and possibly make an announcement today.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that tension was high at INEC office in Birnin Kebbi in view of the strong contest between the two political giants in the state.

The incumbent governor of the state, Atiku Bagudu and ex-governor, Senator Adamu Aliero, which led to security beef up at the commission office. 

Bagudu is contesting the Kebbi Central Senatorial District seat on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) while Aliero is contesting on the platform of People’s Democratic party (PDP).

Results from eight Local Government Areas of Kebbi Central Senatorial District had arrived but the absence of Marafa ward results delayed the announcement of the winner.

Also speaking, Aliero advised his supporters to remain calm, adding that the decision of the commission was in line with the laws of the land.

He lamented that his people had spent two days awaiting the announcement of the result but to no avail.

He appealed to the commission to hasten efforts to do the needful within the confine of the law to announce the result.

“Therefore, I urge all our supporters to be law-abiding, mature and ensure that they maintain the relative peace being enjoyed for the good and progress of the state and the nation at large,” he said.

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