…APC clears 12 states, PDP 7
…Elections inconclusive in 7 states, results awaited in three states
… Tambuwal goes to court
By Clifford Ndujihe, Ben Agande, Levinus Nwabughiogu, Ike Uchechukwu, David Odama, Femi Bolaji
MORE results of Saturday’s governorship elections were released, Monday, with Governors Ben Ayade of Cross River, Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna, Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina, Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi, Abubakar Bello of Niger, and Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa handed re-election mandates.
Of the lot, only Ayade won on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The rest are of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
Others, who emerged as governors-elect are Mukhtar Shehu (APC, Zamfara), Mai Mala Bunu, (APC, Yobe), Inuwa Yahaya (APC, Gombe), and Abdullahi Sule (APC, Nasarawa).
Governors Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta states had earlier been announced as winners of the contests in both states on the plank of the PDP.
So far, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared the election inconclusive in six states, namely: Rivers, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa, Bauchi, and Sokoto, where Governor Aminu Tambuwal has gone to court to challenge the INEC’s decision.
Results are being awaited from four states – Imo, Taraba, Borno and Kano as of press time. While PDP candidates were leading in Kano,Imo and Taraba, APC candidates led in Borno.
With the results released so far, the APC has won 12 states while PDP clinched seven states.
How APC beat PDP, APGA, others in Nasarawa
In Nasarawa, the INEC Returning Officer, Professor Bala Abdullahi, declared Abdullahi Sule, who polled 327,229 votes as the winner of the governorship election. His closest rivals, David Emmanuel Ombugadu of the PDP scored 184,281 votes and the All Progressives Grand Alliance APGA Candidate, Labaran Maku, came third with 132,281 votes.
A breakdown of the result as announced by the returning officer showed that out of the 13 local councils of the state, the APC candidate won 11, Maku of APGA and Doma Aliyu of the Zenith Labour Party won one council each.
The 11councils won by Sule are Awe, Keana, Obi, Lafia, Wamba, Akwanga, Kokona, Keffi, Karu, Toto and Nasarawa.
Maku won in Nasarawa Eggon while Doma cornered Doma local council.
The Returning Officer said that the total number of registered voters in the state was 1,617,786 while accredited voters stood at 686,303. He put the total valid votes at the end of the election at 670,879.
Professor Bala concluded that the total number of rejected votes were 10,521, even as he added that the total number of votes cast during the election stood at 681,400.
Cross RIVER: Ayade wins
Although two police officers were shot and no fewer than 40,000 voters were disenfranchised in three local councils, Governor Ben Ayade, still emerged as governor-elect having won the poll in the 18 councils of the state.
Ayade won with a margin of 250,323 votes. He polled 381,484 votes to defeat the APC’s John Owan-Enoh who got 131,161 votes. The Candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Mr. Eyo Ekpo polled 4, 818 votes.
Announcing the results at about 4am on Monday, March 11, INEC returning officer and Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Warri, Delta State, Professor Akii Ibhadode, said the PDP candidate having scored the highest number of votes and fulfilled the requirements of the law, was returned elected.
According to him, number of registered voters is 1,486,026, accredited voters 542,115, valid votes 522, 309, rejected votes 11,499 and total votes cast 533,808.
A major upset played out in Etung LGA where Gov Ayade’s arc-rival,Sen. Owan-Enoh hails from as the incumbent polled 6282 votes while the APC got flagbearer got 3892 votes.
Vanguard also gathered no fewer than 40,000 voters were disenfranchised due to violence, snatching of ballot boxes, card reader failure and sundry issues and two police officers were shot in Yakurr and Odukpani LGAs.
In Abi LGA where former governor, Liyel Imoke hails from 16,170 people could not vote because of violence that erupted in some areas affecting some polling units as well issue of card reader failure.
In Biase LGA it was 9,190 votes that were affected in 19 polling units while in Yakuurr LGA where the Minister for Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Usani hails from, 8,597 voters were also disenfranchised due to violence ranging from ballot box snatching as a police man was shot. In Ukwa ward of Odukpani LGA another police man was also shot and he is recuperating as of the time of filing this report.
APC’s Mukhtar Shehu wins Zamfara governorship election
In Zamfara, the INEC declared the APC Candidate, Mukhtar Shehu as winner, having according to the Returning Officer in the state, Professor Kabiru Bala, Shehu polled 534,541 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mr. Bello Muhammad of the PDP, who scored 189,452 votes.
INEC declares poll inconclusive in Benue
The electoral umpire, yesterday, declared the governorship election in Benue State inconclusive.
The Returning Officer, Professor Sabastine Maimako made the announcement said the election was inconclusive due to the gap between the cancelled votes of 121,019 as against the winning margin between the PDP and the APC which is 81,554.
The PDP candidate, Samuel Ortom polled 410,576 votes while the APC candidate Emmanuel Jime polled 329,022 votes.
PDP leads with 81,554 votes but the number of cancelled votes is 121,019 which prompted the Returning Officer to declare the election inconclusive.
El-Rufai secures second term in Kaduna
Kaduna State Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai, was given a re-election mandate, Monday when the State Collation Officer, Professor Mohammed Bello, declared him as the winner of the governorship election.
According to Bello, El-Rufai of the APC garnered 1, 045,427 votes to defeat his closest rival, Isa Ashiru of the PDP, who polled 814,168 votes.
Meanwhile, the PDP in Kaduna has rejected the results alleging irregularities and vowed to challenge it at the tribunal.
Addressing a press conference in Kaduna, Ashiru said “military personnel were used to intimidate voters particularly in the areas where our party has an overwhelming strength and support.”
He further alleged that Smart Card Readers were not used during the elections in a lot of polling units in Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Kaduna North, Igabi, Zaria, Lere and Ikara Local Government Areas.
“I wish to state without any fear of contradiction that reports obtained by our party from across the State indicate that the elections were marred by a lot of irregularities. It is on the basis of these established irregularities that our party in a petition to the State Resident Electoral Commissioner of the INEC rejected the results and called for its outright cancellation.
“Available reports have shown that Smart Card Readers were not used during the elections in a lot of polling units in Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Kaduna North, Igabi, Zaria, Lere and Ikara Local Government Areas.
APC’s Bunu clears 17 councils of Yobe
The INEC in Yobe State also declared Mai Mala Buni of APC as the winner of the governorship election after polling 444, 013 to defeat Ambassador Umar Iliya Damagun of PDP who scored 95, 703 votes.
INEC Yobe State Governorship election’s Returning Officer, Professor Abubakar Kunduri, Vice Chancellor Federal University Wukari, Taraba State who declared the results, said “That Mai Mala Buni of APC having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared winner and is returned elected”.
While giving the breakdown of the result earlier, Professor Kunduri said 560, 492 stood as the total votes cast, with 546, 391 as the total valid votes, while 14, 101 votes were rejected in the election
Ishaku leads in Taraba
Governor Darius Ishaku of the PDP, who has won in eight of the 11local councils announced at press time, in Taraba, was eyeing victory. His closest rival, Sani Danladi of the APC won in three local government areas.
Aisha Alhasan of the United Democratic Party, UDP, is trailing behind and has not won any council.
The APC won in Gassol, Jalingo, the state capital, and Takum while PDP won in Zing, Ardokola, Yoro, Lau, Ussa, Gashaka, Bali and Ibi.
Dogara warns INEC against upturning PDP’s victory in Bauchi
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has reminded the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who hails from Bauchi that his people in Bauchi State were watching him over the cancellation of Tafawa Balewa local government governorship election results.
The speaker said the cancellation obviously lacked substance, and is a clear departure from the provision of the law.
Speaking during a media briefing in Bauchi, Dogara noted that it was absurd that the electoral body would order a cancellation of the results of an election conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner.
Dogara in a statement by his media aide, Turaki Hassan, said: “There was no problem at all in Tafawa Balewa. The only problem they had was the final collation. If that was the only problem, one will think that the worse decision that can be taken is for them to provide the relevant collation sheet to her (collation officer) and say go and complete the collation and bring it in the proper sheet. But in law, anybody who is a lawyer knows that the issue of form does not defeat the issue of substance.
“Now, the substance is that there was a fair, free and credible election, which nobody is challenging. The only issue is that it wasn’t conveyed in the proper form and that can be cured and so, as it is, this election has been won and lost, no matter how you look at it and the PDP’s , Kauran Bauchi, is, by the grace of God, the sitting governor-elect…”
“I want to say that the chairman of INEC is a citizen of Bauchi State, just like all of us and they say that charity begins at home. Will he, therefore, sit down in Abuja and watch or preside over this brazen rape of the mandate of Bauchi State? ‘Will he sit down and sleep in peace when he sees that the decision of his own people here in Bauchi State is being upturned by agents of the agency over which he superintends? That is the question that Professor Mahmood Yakubu, my namesake, will have to answer and the people of Bauchi State are watching.
”We want to see whether he will cast his vote with the people of Bauchi State or with those who are seeking to oppress the people of Bauchi State,” he said.
With the election in Tafawa Balewa council declared as inconclusive, Dogara wondered how the Governor, who boasted that he would win re-election without the support of the council would cope.
“You have heard him severally tell the world that I as the speaker, that I am lightweight. He said because I represent an area that is my constituency, that the highest votes that can come from that area is 70,000 and in the last 2015 election, he won his election with over 300,000 votes and he doesn’t require one vote from my constituency to be a governor.
”Now, I want the media to ask him, will it, therefore, not amount to unprecedented shamelessness for him to now go to my constituency, Tafawa Balewa, with “only 70,000 votes that he doesn’t require” to campaign for their votes or to illegally source for votes from there to make up and be a governor?”