Thugs suspected to be working for the ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) in Gombe state Saturday snatched one of the ballot boxes at Shehu Manzo 005 polling unit in Gombe metropolis where Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo casted his vote.
It is understood that the thugs were aided by armed policemen on patrol in the polling unit area after observing from the tone of the counting that the result may not favour the PDP’s presidential candidate.
Before then, votes for the Senate and House of representatives were already counted and the All progressive Congress (APC) candidates won both.
Nasiru Shehu Ali Sidi Manzo, an eye witness said they noticed thugs patrolling the area and reported to policemen on patrol that thugs were disrupting the peaceful conduct of voting at the polling unit, but were ignored by the police.
“We are aware of plans to destabilize the smooth conduct of the voting at this polling unit because APC is going to win but we ignored the rumor.
“So, on sighting the thugs carrying all sorts of weapons, voters started running away but that did not deter us. Some people remain and chase them away.
He said the APC scored 303 votes, while the PDP had 88 and three invalid votes were recorded for the Gombe/Funakaye/Kwami constituency in the Federal House of Representatives election.
He said the APC recorded 394 votes against the PDP’s 92 with 2 invalids were recorded in the Gombe North Senatorial District election.
Manzo said the thugs assisted by the police came when the counting of the votes for the presidential election had started at the polling unit and snatched the box.
When contacted, the police spokesman DSP Fwaje Atajiri, dismissed the allegation saying that it was the work of mischief makers who only wanted to cause trouble.
The Gombe stateresident electoral commissioner, Barrister Kashim Gaidam said they were investigating the case and would address the press after their investigation.