There is anxiety in Bauchi, Benue, Sokoto and Kano states following the tension created in view of the Supreme Court’s judgment on the governorship elections in the two states billed to be delivered today (Monday).
Some elders in the Bauchi under the aegis of the Coalition of Elders for Peace and Good Governance in Bauchi State appealed to the people to remain calm.
They made the appeal in a statement on Sunday signed by Sarkin Arewan Bauchi, Alhaji Hassan Sharif, and 19 others.
They said, “As elders, we foresee danger in crises, and we won’t like a situation where the generation of our unborn children suffer because of the inactions of some unscrupulous elements within our midst.
“It is on this basis that we call on the good citizens of Bauchi State to maintain the tempo they are known for by accepting whatever decision the Supreme Court may make as Bauchi should be our first priority.”
The Bauchi State Government had expressed confidence that Governor Bala Mohammed would emerge victorious.
The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Dr Ladan Salihu, stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Saturday
He said the apex court’s judgment sacking Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State, would not have any negative effect on Bala’s election.
Salihu also said Bala, who returned to the country from a “routine medical trip” to the United Kingdom on Saturday, was not bed-ridden as being insinuated.
He said the governor would attend the Supreme Court’s hearing on Monday.
Delivering judgment on the appeal arising from the last governorship election in Imo State, a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, had sacked Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party and replaced him with Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress.
But Salihu said the situation that led to the Supreme Court’s verdict would not be applicable in the case of Bauchi State, and would therefore, have no effect on Bala’s victory.
The commissioner said, “The case that played out in Imo State and the one that will play out in Bauchi State is as different as chalk is from cheese.
“In our own case, all the elections in all the polling units were conducted and votes were counted. All the issues that were in contention were sorted at the ballot box and at the end of the day, Governor Bala Mohammed emerged a comprehensive winner.”
Meanwhile, a civil society organisation, Arewa Youth Mobilisation and Mass Mobilisation for Voting Wisely, has urged politicians and supporters of political parties in the state to avoid overheating the polity ahead of the Supreme Court’s verdict.
Spokesman for the group, Abdullahi Abdulkadir, stated this while addressing a press conference in Bauchi.
He also urged security agents to be on the alert with a view to forestalling any potential break down of law and order after the judgment.
In Kano, members of Kwankwasiyya group of the Peoples Democratic Party have embarked on fasting and prayers for the judgment to be in their favour.
Also, the All Progressives Congress members have embarked on fasting and prayers, according to sources who spoke with one of our correspondents.
The spokesman for Abba Yusuf, the PDP governorship candidate, Sanusi Tofa, said, “The party loyalists, including the entire members of the Kwankwasiya group, voluntarily declared today (Sunday) for fasting ahead of tomorrow’s (Monday) ruling.
When one of our correspondents visited the Government House on Sunday, it was observed that both Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, his deputy, Dr Nasiru Gawuana, top government functionaries and some party chieftains had gone to Abuja.
It was also learnt that loyalists of the ruling APC had embarked on fasting and prayers for the judgment to be in their favour.
PDP expresses fear
The Peoples Democratic Party in Kaduna State on Sunday expressed fears over Monday’s Supreme Court judgment on the governorship elections in Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Sokoto and Plateau states.
The party said the states could go the way of Imo State.
The PDP chairman in the state, Mr Felix Hyet, made the position of the party known at a press conference.
Hyet said the PDP felt shortchanged by the judgment of the Supreme Court on Imo State.