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Those Who Did ‘Orubebe’ In The Governorship Election

In 2015, during the collation of the presidential election results, a mild drama occurred when Mr Godsday Orubebe, a polling agent for the PDP and an aide to former President Goodluck Jonathan publicly opposed the results collated.

The former Minister of State for Niger Delta had alleged that INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega, had taken sides with the main opposition political party, All Progressives Congress, APC.

For close to thirty minutes, Orubebe refused to allow for the collation of the presidential results which was aired live on national TV, insisting that Jega addressed the petition submitted by the PDP against the conduct of the elections in Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Bauchi and other states.

It was a barely veiled attempt to disrupt the process once it was seen that results being collated indicated impending defeat for the ruling party.

A repeat of the incident occurred at the 2019 presidential and governorship election collation in Abuja, Imo and Kano state, although in mild form. Both the APC and the PDP had their ‘Orubebe’ moments during collation.

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The first happened during the collation of the Presidential Election results in Abuja when a PDP agent, Osita Chidoka stood up to express his party’s displeasure with the results being read out by Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Chidoka had raised concern about the non-usage of card readers for the election in some places, asking INEC to provide details of the number of accredited voters with card readers.

He also expressed concern in the disparity in the number of registered voters for states, while also calling on INEC to restore the votes of the party alleged to have been cancelled.

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In his response, Yakubu said that the difference in the valid votes and cancellation were insignificant to impact on the general outcome of the election.

In Imo, the collation of the governorship election came to an abrupt end after a PDP returning officer interrupted proceedings.

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Trouble started when PDP agent, Uche Onyeaguocha, said the result of Ideato South LGA would not be announced as the results were written by Rochas Okorocha, governor of the state.

In his reaction, the state returning officer, Francis Otunta, after inquiries asked that the result be announced but the PDP returning officer rushed to the table and tore the result sheet. Another party agent rushed to the high table and tore result sheets of other LGAs that had earlier been collated.

The move brought about confusion which made party agents, electoral officials, including the returning officer, flee from sight.

Similarly, in Kano state where the opposition PDP was coasting to victory, the state’s deputy governor, Nasir Gawuna, and the commissioner in charge of local government and chieftaincy affairs, Sule Garo disrupted the collation of results at the venue of the state collation centre.

The duo acted in such matter because results from 43 of Kano’s 44 local governments had been announced and the PDP candidate, Abba Yusuf, was leading the APC’s Abdullahi Ganduje.

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All offenders have been arrested by the officers of the Nigeria Police Force.

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