Stakeholders oppose relocation of INEC collation centre in Bauchi

By Ahmad Ahmed

Stakeholders of political parties parties in Bogoro, Dass Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency in Bauchi State have opposed relocation of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation centre from Zwall to Dass.
Their rejection of the new centre was contained in a letter signed by the Chairmen and Secretaries of PDP, SDP, PRP, APP, PDM,CAP, NNPP and GPN of the three local government areas of Bauchi State titled, “Position of Stakeholders and Political Parties on the proposal to relocates collation centre for Bogoro Dass Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency by INEC.”
Party leaders contesting the relocation said that the electoral body held a stakeholders’ consultative meeting in the three local government areas and all party leaders present at the meeting rejected the proposal tabled by INEC to move the constituency Collation Centre in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area to Dass or any other place.
They said that Zwall was chosen as the new collation centre in March 2015, few days to the 2015 general elections on the recommendations of the Federal Government. The Federal High Court in Abuja ordered on March 23, 2015 that the Collation Centre should remain in Zwall and any attempt by the electoral body to move the centre will contradict the subsisting Judgement of the court and could constitute a contempt of court.

Party leaders and stakeholders said that the collation centre should remain in Zwall because Zwall is on the Federal Highway, it’s central and easy accessible from all the three LGAs, and it’s a peaceful place that has not witnessed any crisis, and described the advise to relocate the centre as illadvised, premeditated by INEC which is supposed to be neutral and unbiased umpire.
They alleged, “INEC wants to convene a surreptitious meeting in its office in Bauchi of so called stakeholders any time soon, where only a handful of people would be invited, granted access and will be made to sign a prepared document endorsing the proposal”.
Party leaders said that they only want free fair and credible election in the area and appealed to the electoral body not to allow itself to be used to cause crisis with the hidden agenda since the area has witnessed unprecedented peace in the last four years.
It could be recalled that last week supporters of Speaker Yakubu Dogara and party leaders from Dass, Bogoro and Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency presented a protest letter opposing the attempt to relocate the collation centre and the Electoral body pledged to be neutral and will address their grievances.

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