The Nigerian newspapers review for Monday, March 12 focuses on the controversy generated after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared governorship elections inconclusive in six states perceived to be the strong hold of the PDP.
The PDP has accused the INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, of being controlled by the presidency after the electoral commission declared governorship elections in Kano, Sokoto, Benue, Bauchi, Adamawa and Plateau states inconclusive.
The Punch reports that when reacting to the inconclusive elections in the affected states, the PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Monday, March 11, said the electoral commission had refused to declare the full outcome of the governorship elections in some states because it was being controlled by the presidency.
“The PDP has full intelligence of how INEC is acting on instructions from the Buhari Presidency and the APC in orchestrating unwholesome situations and declaring already concluded governorship elections in Sokoto, Adamawa, Bauchi, Plateau as well as other states as inconclusive, immediately it became obvious that the PDP was set to win,” Ologbondiyan alleged.
"This also informs the foisting of unexplainable stoppage and delays in the announcement of already collated results in other states where the PDP is clearly leading the race, from the results so far declared at the polling units.
“Our party has also been informed of how INEC is now seeking ways to use the situation to aid the APC to alter the results and announce the APC candidates as winners in the elections clearly led by the PDP just as it did in the 2018 Osun State governorship election."
Vanguard reports that the PDP called on INEC to release the results of the governorship polls in Sokoto, Adamawa, Plateau and Bauchi where its candidates were reported to be leading before the electoral commission declared the exercises inconclusive. The party warned the electoral commission against manipulating the figures.
On its part, the APC has rejected the results of governorship election in states of the south-south, alleging that the results were manipulated by the PDP in connivance with INEC.
The national vice chairman, south-south of the APC, Ntufam Hilliard Eta, said the election results in the south-south geopolitical zone comprising of Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Delta states do not reflect the wishes of the people.
In a related report, The Nation newspaper states that INEC’s decision to declare the polls inconclusive in the affected states was taken because the number of cancelled votes was more than the margin between the two leading candidates in the affected states.
The newspaper adds that the commission plans to review the suspension of the electoral process in Rivers state.
The Guardian newspaper reports that the declaration of elections as inconclusive in places considered as strongholds of the opposition in some parts of the country has generated some controversy.
In Benue, one of the states affected states, the governor, Samuel Ortom, urged the Benue people to remain calm, expressing confidence in his party to will emerge victorious in the rerun election.
However in Sokoto, another PDP-controlled state, Governor Aminu Tambuwal urged INEC to declare him winner after the election was declared inconclusive.
Tambuwal said that the declaration was neither in accordance with the nation’s constitution nor the electoral law.
Meanwhile, foreign election observers have stated that deployment of soldiers marred the conduct of the presidential and National Assembly elections and the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections held in Nigeria
This Day reports that the European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission Nigeria 2019, the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and other foreign election monitors unanimously expressed the views that the Nigerian 2019 general election fell short of international standards.
The International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) a signed report noted that there were instances of vote-buying and violent acts during the voting, counting, and collation processes in some places. Incidents of violence and disruption to the balloting process were observed in Lagos, Benue, Rivers and Nasarawa states.