By Yemi Monday
Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, has condemned “the over militarization of the electoral process” in the State.
Bala Mohammed, who is the gubernatorial candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the elections was reacting to the Nigerian Air Force helicopter seen hovering over some communities in the State.
The Governor told journalists shortly after casting his vote in Yelwan Duguri, his country home, that “I am aware of a helicopter hovering around. I have been complaining about the over militarization of the electoral process and I have complained to Mr President. I have complained to all the security agencies.
“Left for me, I didn’t want any Air Force personnel to participate in the elections because a former Chief of Air Staff is competing with me. I didn’t want him to be given undue advantage and latitude, but certainly I cannot say, I am ready to accept whatever fate comes to me.
“But certainly, it is not fair for the Air Force to be hovering around people knowing fully well that they are already on one side, that is the side of the APC Gubernatorial candidate who has never hidden his desire for militarization and shooting people or terrorizing people. But certainly everything has calm down.”
On the turnout of people for the exercise, Bala Mohammed said: “As I came, you know, my village is about 120 kilometers from Bauchi metropolis and I have seen all the way, people coming out in mass, so the turnout is very very high.”
He added that, “I hope the higher the turnout, the more the votes for me, but I wouldn’t say I cannot predict, but I am happy that everything appears to be peaceful, people are looking so joyful and exallerated and I feel that this is the kind of situation we need all over the country.People exercising their universal suffrage without any hindrance, acrimony and conflict.”
“We are very grateful to God, we are ready to accept the outcome, we will continue to do anything as a state to make sure that the election is peaceful and the outcome by the grace of God is acceptable,” he stressed.
On the process, he said that, “Well, INEC has done very well as far as I am concerned, whether it is manual or electronic. I believe that we can see the process is very peaceful and orderly.As soon as we came, the BVAS worked, they did not have to snap me, I just used my fingers, my picture showed and it ticked, it didn’t take me more than 10 minutes to vote and I think everybody has voted.I think INEC has done very well.”