Anka, expressed concern over the verdict, which handed over the government to PDP, as according to him, the party has no popularity.
He maintained that, PDP doesn’t deserve to govern the state. He said there is no away an unpopular party that could not even have the required spread of votes can govern the state. He therefore called for the conduct of fresh elections.
Atiku, Dickson, Ozekhome hail judgment
Presidential candidate of the PDP and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson and Chief Ozekhome, SAN, were among those who hailed the ruling.
Describing the verdict of the apex court as a victory for the rule of law, Atiku Abubakar said, “nothing is as pleasing to the ears of believers, as justice being served in the holy month of Ramadan.”
In a statement signed by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, Atiku lauded the Lord Justices for putting aside the “interests of the powerful and upholding the interests of Nigeria and Nigerians,” adding that for the nation to move forward, the right thing must and should always be done at all times.
“God first, Nigeria second, must be our priority as trustees of the people. When justice prevails, the people rejoice, chains are broken, freedom is multiplied and society is enriched,” he noted.
He called on the eggheads in the temple of justice to treat all election petitions that will come their way with good conscience and the fear of God, stressing that once this is guaranteed, the rule of law would prevail.
The ex-Vice President congratulated the new governor-elect Hon. Bello Matawalle of the PDP and the people of Zamfara, even as he assured the people that peace would return to the state in no distant time.
Similarly, Bayelsa state governor and newly-elected chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Seriake Dickson also congratulated former federal lawmaker, Dr. Bello Mohammed Matawalle, on his return as the governor-elect of Zamfara and the victory of other PDP candidates in the state.
He added that the ruling by the five-member panel of the Supreme Court read by Justice Paul Adamu Galinji, which annulled all the votes of the APC and returned Matawalle as winner of the governorship election was “victory for justice and democracy in action.”
On his part, famous constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, said the ruling of the apex court would go a long way in deepening democracy in the country.
Ozekhome, who was the lead counsel of the Kabiru Marafa-led faction of the APC seeking the nullification of the party’s primaries, said justice had been served and rightfully so.
“What the apex court has done yesterday is to deepen, widen and strengthen democracy and our democratic precepts. It shows that parties must maintain internal democracy and cannot whimsically, capriciously and arbitrarily operate outside their constitution, guidelines, the Electoral Act and the Constitution.
“The Supreme Court has redefined our jurisprudence by showing that when a party damages its primaries, it can never reap the proceeds of its illegalities. That is why and how the PDP that came second has today produced the governor, all Senators, all House of Representatives and House of Assembly members today in one fell swoop.”
PDP rebounces, gets 16 states
With ruling on Zamfara, the opposition PDP will have 15 states when new governors are inaugurated on May 29.
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the PDP had 11 governors. The number will rise to at least 16 on May 29, 2019, when new governors and those re-elected are sworn-in. The number may rise to 17 depending on what the Supreme Court rules on Osun governorship poll. The tribunal ruled in favour of the PDP but court of appeal said APC won. So eyes are on what the apex court will do.
Conversely, the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, which had 23 governors before the 2019 polls now has 21, which may further go down to 19 depending on what happens on the Osun and Zamfara suits.
How PDP bounced back
The PDP won more states by strengthening its hold in the South-East and making in-roads in the North-East and South-West.
In the South-East, the three PDP governors—Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) retained their seats and its Candidate, Emeka Ihedioha, snatched Imo State from the APC, which was crisis-ridden.
In the South-West, the PDP also won Oyo, the headquarters of the region, compensating for its loss of Ekiti State recently to the APC. In the North-East, the PDP also added Bauchi and Adamawa to Taraba that it has been controlling since 1999.
And in the North-Central, PDP retained Benue but lost Kwara to the APC. The PDP, with the slimmest of margins, 342 votes, retained a foothold in the North-West via Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s victory in Sokoto State. It has now added Zamfara with the Supreme Court verdict, yesterday.
16 PDP states
By May 29, PDP states will be Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom, Sokoto, Cross River, Delta, Benue, Taraba, Imo, Bauchi, Adamawa, Oyo, Rivers and Zamfara
19 APC states
On the other hand, the APC states will be Lagos, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Edo, Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, and Niger.
Anambra is the only state not controlled by the APC or PDP. It belongs to the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.