By Our Reporters
LAGOS — Following reports of widespread violence and disruption of elections in Rivers State, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday suspended all electoral processes in the state indefinitely.
There were upsets here and there, as results of the Governorship and State House of Assembly polls trickled in yesterday.
Expectedly, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, won in their strongholds where a battle of sorts raged in a few where their candidates ran neck-and-neck.
The quest of the APC to retain its control of Oyo State, the political capital of the South-West geo-political zone went up in smoke. Its candidate, Chief Adebayo Adelabu lost in 28 of the 33 local councils to the PDP flagbearer, Engr Seyi Makinde.
States that the APC won include Lagos, Kwara, and Ogun and was heading for victory in Nasarawa, Jigawa, Kebbi, Niger, and Kano.
Conversely, the PDP emerged victorious in Enugu, Oyo, Ebonyi, and was eyeing victory in Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Delta, and Abia states where the APC and PDP were running neck-and -neck, including Kaduna and Plateau.
The APC picked the 24 seats in the Edo State House of Assembly thereby having a one party house in the assembly since 1999.
The commission has also launched a probe of the entire processes and its fact-finding committee is to report back in 48 hours.
“Based on reports from our officials in the field, the Independent National Electoral Commission has determined that there has been widespread disruption of elections conducted on the 9th day of March 2019 in Rivers State.
“These initial reports suggest that violence occurred in a substantial number of polling units and collation centres, staff have been taken hostage and materials including result sheets have either been seized or destroyed by unauthorized persons. In addition, safety of our staff appears to be in jeopardy all over the state and the Commission is concerned about the credibility of the process,” INEC said in statement by Dr. Festus Okoye, a national commissioner and chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee.
Consequently, INEC said “at a meeting held today 10th March 2019, the Commission has decided to suspend all electoral processes in the State until further notice. This is in line with Section 26 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and Clause 47(e) of the Regulations and Guidelines of the Commission.
“The Commission has also established a Fact-Finding Committee to assess the situation and report back within 48 hours. We appeal to the people of Rivers State, particularly the voters, for their understanding as we look into the circumstances of these disruptions and what further action needs to be taken,” the statement added.
UK expresses concern
Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has expressed extreme concern about reports, including those of its own observers of military interference in the elections.
In a tweet on its handle @UKinnigeria, it said it was closely monitoring the situation.
“Extremely concerned by reports, including from @UKinnigeria observers, of military interference in the election process in Rivers State. Monitoring the situation closely. @inecng staff must be allowed to do their job in safety, without intimidation,” it declared.
Jubilation as Ugwuanyi wins all 17 LGAs in Enugu
In Enugu, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, was handed a second term mandate after he won in all the 17 local councils of the state.
Announcing the result at INEC office, Independent Layout Enugu, the state collation officers, Prof, Joseph Ahaneku disclosed that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi polled 449,935 votes against his main challenger, Senator Ayogu Eze of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who got 10,423 votes.
However, Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Dr Emeka Ononamadu was yet to formally declare Ugwuanyi winner as of press time.
PDP 28 Oyo LGs, APC petitions INEC
The quest of the ruling APC to retain its control of Oyo State, the political capital of the South-West geo-political zone went up in smoke as it lost to the PDP by a wide margin.
Announcing the results yesterday, the Collation and Returning Officer for the state, Prof Oluwatoyin Temitayo Ogundipe said PDP won in 28 of the 33 local government areas of the state, leaving five for the APC.
Engr. Seyi Makinde contested the election on the platform of PDP while Chief Adebayo Adelabu was the candidate of APC.
Except for Oriire, Ogo Oluwa, Ogbomoso North, Irepo and Surulere and where the PDP trailed APC, the umbrella party emerged tops in the other local councils.
The eleventh hour defection of former Governor of Oyo state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala from the African Democratic Party, ADP, in which he was the governorhip candidate, to the APC could not do the magic expected by the leaders of the party.
But, Alao-Akala, a prominent politician from Ogbomoso still proved his mettle as he delivered four of the five local government areas in his domain. Alao-Akala won in Surulere, Ogo Oluwa, Oriire, Ogbomoso North and Irepo local councils.
APC petitions INEC
However, the Oyo state chapter of the APC has accused the PDP governorship candidate, Mr Seyi Makinde of what it described as “breach of electoral laws” and called for his immediate arrest and prosecution.
The petition was addressed to the Oyo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, and entitled “Petition Against Engr. Seyi Makinde on Electoral offences committed in breach of electoral laws “.
The party alleged that the PDP candidate in a video in the early hours of Sunday, “pointedly proclaimed himself winner of the governorship election in Oyo state when INEC, the authorised umpire has not concluded same nor declared any such results.”
The petition signed by the APC state secretary, Mr Mojeed Olaoya said the action was inciting.
According to him, “We wish to bring to your attention the release of a video by the PDP Gubernatorial candidate in Oyo state, Engr Seyi Makinde in the early hours of Sunday, March 10, 2019. In the video, Engineer Seyi Makinde proclaimed himself winner of the governorship elections in Oyo State when INEC, the authorised umpire has not concluded same nor declared any such results.”
“This is a most unconscionable act and an attempt to blackmail INEC and lawful authorities against the popular will that may be expressed in the final INEC results. Mr Makinde by his illegal broadcast has, by this proclamation, rendered himself liable to being prosecuted by your office for this electoral offence tantamount to a flagrant abuse of the electoral laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and INEC guidelines for elections and possibly for treason against the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’’
When contacted, the Director General, Omi Tuntun Campaign Organisation, Prince Dotun Oyelade said, “In the first place, there was no break down of law and order traceable to the 45 seconds video by our candidate. The violence that ensued was directly linked to the complainants.
“Our candidate did what any peace loving, law abiding candidate will do to ward off violence from his domain”.
“The governor-elect said that his people have spoken and that their voices have been loud and clear. What is offensive in that? Let them look for another ridiculous excuse,” he concluded.
APC’s Abdulrasaq is governor-elect in Kwara
In Kwara, the APC had a clean sweep of the governorship and 24 assembly seats. APC governorship candidate, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq defeated his PDP challenger, Hon. Razak Atunwa , in all 16 the local councils of the state.
Announcing the results, the INEC chief returning officer, Professor Liman Mohammed Sanus declared that Alhaji Abdulrazaq polled 331,546 votes while Atunwa scored 114,754 votes.
The result showed a margin of 216,792 votes between the APC and PDP contestants.
Daughter of Emir of Ilorin, Aishat Sulu Gambari who contested for the state of assembly seat in Magaji Ngeri constituency on the platform of PDP was also cleared by the O to ge tsunami of APC as she also lost overwhelmingly.
There was wild jubilation across the streets of Ilorin following the announcement by INEC returning officer as people danced on the streets and sang songs of happiness for the new dawn in the political climate of the state.
Also, the state INEC resident electoral commissioner, Mallam Attahiru Madami announced that APC candidates won the 24 House of Assembly seats.
The Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq campaign organisation congratulated Kwarans for the historic victory of the APC, which it said “is a testimony to the determination of the electorates to take full charge of their destiny henceforth”.
Sanwo-Olu wins Lagos, APC clears assembly seats
In Lagos, the APC Governorship Candidate, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu recorded a landslide victory over his PDP challenger, Mr Jimi Agbaje, has thanked Lagosians for voting him in as their next governor. The APC also cleared the 40 seats in the state House of Assembly.
Sanwo-Olu polled 739,455 votes while Agbaje scored 206,141 votes, according to the INEC State Returning Officer, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede. Sanwo-Olu won in all the 20 local councils of the state.
Jimin Agbaje, in a quick reaction has congratulated Sanwo-Olu on his victory. Explaining why he congratulated Mr. Sanwo-Olu for emerging victorious at the polls.
Agbaje said: “Results have been declared, I just congratulated him (Sanwo-Olu) and wished him the best, that is all.”
When asked whether he would seek legal redress in court, he said: “When you run a race and a winner has been declared, the first thing you do is to congratulate the winner but that does not mean if you have issues, you will not address the issues. For now, we have not reached that stage. For now, a winner has emerged and in any match, you don’t have to agree with the referee of the game but once a winner has emerged, you congratulate him.”
PDP wins 9 LGAs in C’River
With results from nine local councils awaited as of press time, Governor Ben Ayade of the PDP was coasting home to victory in Cross River State as he was leading with high margins in results from nine councils announced.
APC’s Senator John Owan-Enoh is trailing Ayade. Some of the councils won by Ayade include Akpabuyo (PDP, 12,614, APC 4,524); Ogoja (PDP 28,789, APC 7,466); Calabar Municipality (APC 7,703, PDP 15,524).
A major upset played out in Etung LGA where Gov Ayade’s arc-rival,Sen. Owan-Enoh hails from as the incumbent polled 6,282 votes as against APCs 3,892.
Also in Ikom LGA, PDP also carried the day with 16,862 while the APC got10,049 votes
Other LGAs where PDP won include Abi where PDP polled 13,035 votes and APC scored 7,387 as announced by Professor Simon Odey. Vanguard gathered that 16,170 people could not vote because of violence that erupted in some areas as well as card reader failure.
In Odukpani LGA , APC garnered 6,633 while the PDP got 14,003 as declared by Ashiru Emmanuel. In Yakurr, it was APC-10,885, PDP-20,110; and Biase LGA where the APC polled 6,257 votes and the PDP had11,811 votes as announced Professor Eyo Bassey.
Okowa leads Ogboru with wide margin in Delta
In Delta, PDP, is on the path to victory as its Governorship Candidate, Ifeanyi Okowa, was comfortably leading Chief Great Ogboru of APC with the results from 18 of the 25 local councils released by INEC at press time.
The party’s House of Assembly candidates, including the Speaker, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevweri (Okpe Constituency) also won majority of the seats in the state.
In fact, Okowa practically battled Ogboru, the People’s General, to a standstill in his Ethiope East turf, where he beat the governor with a margin of APC, 21,141, while he polled 11,489 votes.
However, former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori, completely wiped out the margin in the old Ethiope to put Okowa ahead in Ethiope West, his domain with 62,044 votes against Ogboru’s 6,211 votes. Ibori had pleaded with the Urhobo people to vote Okowa and wait for 2023 to take over power from Delta North, the governor’s senatorial district.
Governor Okowa was merciless in his Ika North East domain, as he crushed Ogboru with 67,417 votes to 2,303 votes and in Ika South local government area, where Dr Cairo Ojougboh, a former APC governorship aspirant hails from, he polled 33, 371 to defeat Ogboru with 3,877 votes.
Elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, who warned that Ogboru was no match to Okowa, delivered his polling unit in Burutu local government area to the governor, while former Minister of State for Education, Olorogun Kenneth Gbagi, who also boasted that Ogboru would lose the polls, handed over his polling unit and Ughelli South to his friend, Governor Okowa.
Result of the election from Ukwuani Local government area was first to be officially announced with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa scoring 18,328, while Chief Great Ogboru got 7,264.
In Ethiope East, Ogboru of APC won with 21,141, while Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of the PDP scored 11,489. At Patani Local government, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa polled 19,683 votes against Chief Great Ogboru’s 3,288 votes.
In Ika South local government, PDP scored 33,371 votes to beat Chief Great Ogboru who polled 3,877 votes, while in Ika North-East Local government, his domin, Okowa cruised home with 67, 417 votes leaving Ogboru with 2,303 votes.
The Returning Officer for Okpe Local Government Area, Dr Emmanuel Irhabor said Governor Ifeanyi Okowa polled 20,415, while Chief Great scored 9,424.
Announcing results from Aniocha North Local Government Area, Prof Godfrey Ariafe, said Dr Ifeanyi Okowa of the PDP scored 17,054 while his APC counterpart, Chief Great Ogboru of the APC, polled 4,653.
In Ethiope West Local Government, according to the Returning Officer, Prof Endurance Ophori, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa scored 62,044 to beat his closest rival, Chief Great Ogboru of the APC trailed far behind with 6,211 votes.
Announcing results from Oshimili South local government area, the Returning Officer, Dr Darlington Ogbeide, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa scored 54,766 while Chief Great Ogboru polled 2,700
In Aniocha South Local government, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa polled 20,947 while Chief Great Ogboru of the APC, according to returning officer, Dr Republic Igbodo, polled 3,138
In Isoko South, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa of the PDP polled 43,730 to beat Chief Great Ogboru of APC scored 14,259 as announced by the Returning Officer, Dr Ignatius Ezoem.
In Oshimili North, according to the Returning Officer, Dr Joan Eze, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa scored 37,744 to trash Chief Great Ogboru who polled 2,906.
In Isoko North, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa polled 29,648 to crush Chief Great Ogboru who scored 9,817, according to the Returning Officer, Dr Amenaghwon Oni-Ojo.
The Returning Officer for Sapele Local Government, Dr Ben Akume, said Governor Ifeanyi Okowa polled 18,572 to defeat Chief Great Ogboru of the APC who scored 10,457.
In Ndokwa East, the Returning Officer, Dr Lawrence Osagede, said Dr Ifeanyi Okowa scored 30,670 while Chief Great Ogboru scored 4,306.
As at the time of filling this report, INEC was awaiting results from seven local governments
Meanwhile, Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Okpe constituency, Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori has won the Saturday House of Assembly election.
Announcing the results, Returning Officer, Prof Emmanuel Ighodaro Irhabor, said Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori of the PDP polled 20, 784 to beat his closest rival, Mr Harrison Akpojaro who scored 8,564 to far second, adding that Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori won.
According to Irhabor, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of the PDP polled 20,415 to Chief Great Ogboru of the APC who scored 9,424 votes to trail behind.
Olorogun Jaro Egbo of the APC won in Ughelli North constituency II, beating the incumbent, Prince Eric Oharisi.
In addition, the Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Friday Osanebi retained his seat with 28,713 votes to beat the All Progressives Congress, APC candidate, Mr Emeka Osegbe who scored 4,313.
The member representing Ughelli South and candidate of the PDP, Mr Reuben Izeze polled 28,933 to beat Mr Avwomakpotor Koyoyo of APC who scored 20,868.
In Udu constituency, Mr Peter Uviejitobor also won with 13,021 votes to retain his seat. In Ika South, Mr Festus Okoh won with 29,789. In Aniocha South, Mr Austin Chikezien of the PDP defeated the incumbent and member representing the constituency in the House of Assembly, Agnes Nwaka with 14,971, who scored 4,630 of APGA.
Udom Emmanuel leading in 13 LGAs in Akwa Ibom
The result of governorship election held on Saturday March, 09, 2019 in Akwa Ibom state is currently going on at the Independent National Electoral Commission state collation centre, Udo Udoma Avenue Uyo.
However, governor Udom Emmanuel of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP is leading in 13 local government areas so far announced by the returning officers on Sunday.
In Ibeno local government area, Obong Nsima Ekere of the APC scored a total 1, 442 votes while Emmanuel polled10,008 votes.
Also in Urueoffong/Oruko Local government area, Emmanuel of the PDP scored 6,915 while Ekere of the APC scored 4, 592.
In Nsit Ubium Loca government area Udom Emmanuel of the PDP polled a total of 17, 863 votes to defeat Ekere who polled a total of 6,004.
Also in Okobo Loca government area, the PDP polled 10, 800 votes while APc polled a total of 6,079.
In Esit Eket local government area Emmanuel of the PDP polled a total of 13,290 votes while Nsima Ekere of the APC scored a total of 3,917.
Expectedly Emmanuel won landslide in his own Local Onna Local government area. He polled a total of 32,103 out of 34668 votes cast, while Ekere scored 2,110 votes.
In Ikot Abasi local government area where Ekere hails from, Udom Emmanuel had a narrow win with a total of 9335 votes out of 17,439 votes cast while Ekere polled a total of 7549. In Obot Akara LG, Udom Emmanuel polled 13, 979 votes out of 19,126 votes cast while Ekere polled a total of 4,704 votes.
In Uyo Local government area Udom Emmanuel also won with a total vote of 35,092 out of 49,390 votes cast while Ekere of APC scored a total of 12, 549 votes. In Abak local government area, Emmanuel also won with a total of 17,461 votes out of 29,852 votes cast, however, Nsima Ekere scored a total of 11, 505 votes.
Also in Nsit Atai local government area, Emmanuel of the PDP, defeated his visible rival Ekere of the APC, with a score of 8,855 out of 12,838 total votes cast while Ekere scored 3,783 votes.
Similarly in Uruan Local government area the PDP candidate, Udom Emmanuel scored a total of 12, 895 votes out of 18,583 votes cast to defeat Ekere who scored a total of 5,192 votes.
According to the result from Ini Local government area, Udom Emmanuel won with a wide margin of 17, 335 votes out of 21,035 votes cast. Ekere however scored a total of 3,316 votes
APC wins 24 assembly seats in Edo
The APC picked the 24 seats in the Edo State House of Assembly thereby having a one party house in the House since 1999. The result of last Saturday’s election was different from the presidential election where the APC lost in some of its strongholds. In Edo Central, the APC won all the six available seats in the senatorial districts.
Candidates of the APC that emerged are Chris Okaeben (Oredo West), Crosby Eribo (Egor) Henry Okhuarobo (Ikpoba-Okha) Roland Asoro (Orhionmwon West) Nosayaba Okunbor (Orhionmwon East) Osaro Obazee (Oredo East) Washington Osifo (Uhunmwode) Ugiagbe Dumez (Ovia North East 1) Vincent Uwadiae ( Ovia North East II) Sunday Aghedo (Ovia South West) Francis Okiye (Esan North East 1) Emmanuel Okoduwa (Esan North East II) Victor Edoror (Esan Central) Sunday Ojiezele (Esan South East) Marcus Onobun (Esan West) Ephraim Aluebhosele (Igueben) Ganiyu Audu (Estako West 1) and Aliyu Oshiomhole (Estako West II).
Others were Emmanuel Agbaje (Akoko-Edo II) Yekini Idaiye (Akoko-Edo II) Eric Okaka (Owan East) Micheal Ohio-Ezo (Owan West) Oshoma Ahmed (Estako Central) Kingsley Ugabi (Estako East).
Resident Electoral Commissioner in Edo State, Mr. Emmanuel Alex-Hart, said he would officially release the results after verification from his field officers on Monday (today).
Ikpeazu retains seat in Abia, Ogah, Otti kick
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of PDP was declared winner of Abia State governorship election. He polled 261,127 votes to defeat his closest rival, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah of the APC, who polled 99,574 votes and Dr. Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, who got 64,366 votes.
According to the returning officer, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, the PDP candidate won in 11 of the 17 local councils while Ogah won in four councils and Otti in two councils.
Meanwhile, Otti and Ogah have rejected the result and called for its cancellation. According to them, INEC implemented its guideline on use of Smart Card Reader in breach. They gave INEC 24 hours to cancel the entire election.
In a joint press briefing held in Umuahia while the collation and announcement of the result was going on at the INEC office, the duo said they rejected the election results in their totality.
“They alleged that the results were highly tampered to favour the ruling PDP. Even when we complained that INEC had connived with security agents to rig elections, the warnings were ignored.’’
As the briefing was going on, hundreds of youths from the two parties staged peaceful protest outside the venue of the press briefing. They were later addressed by Otti who urged them to maintain the peace while their leaders handled the matter.
Mean time, Okezie Ikpeazu has thanked Abians for the renewed confidence and mandate given him to serve for another term of four years, assuring that his administration would witness greater development in all fronts.
The Governor also extended his hands of fellowship to those who lost in the election. “To them I say it is not a loss in absolute sense of the word but it is a call for duty on a higher pedestal for those who indeed love Abia beyond their personal ambition to rise to the occasion and join hands with this government to deliver the best in terms of democracy dividends”.
It’s Umahi in Ebonyi
In Ebonyi, Governor Dave Umahi of the PDP was handed a second term after polling 393, 043 votes to beat closest rival, Senator Sonni Ogbuoji of the APC, who scored 81,703 votes
Declaring the winner of the governorship elections at INEC headquarters in Abakaliki, the State Returning Officer and Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology Owerri, FUTO, Prof Chukwuemeka Eze declared that Governor Umahi won the election having scored the highest number of votes and met the requirements of the law.