•NRM clinches one state assembly seat
•Gov Yari, APC accept fate
Zamfara: After two emergency meetings INEC bows to Supreme Court, declares PDP winner
By Omeiza Ajayi
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last governorship election in Zamfara State, Dr. Bello Mohammed Matawalle, as winner of the polls, following Friday’s judgement of the Supreme Court which voided the votes of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In a related development, the Zamfara State governor, Hon (Dr) Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar, yesterday, said his administration and the good loyal APC members in the state have accepted the verdict of the Supreme Court.
After several hours of deliberating on the court judgement between Friday and Saturday, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, told journalists Saturday evening in Abuja that the Commission was bound to obey the judgement of the apex court.
According to him, following the judgment of the Supreme Court, the Commission has met in two emergency sessions and taken briefings from its lawyers and staff on the implementation of the Supreme Court judgment.
Yakubu said while the legislative elections (Senatorial, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly elections) are straight forward to deal with because they entail “first-past-the-post or simple majority of votes, the governorship election is determined not just by majority votes but also by spread in accordance with Section 179 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended)”.
He said this means that INEC had to first discountenance the votes cast for the APC at the elections and then carefully rework the spread by Local Government Areas based on the new valid votes.
He recalled that the Commission had issued the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 general elections on January 9, 2018, over one year in advance.
Among other activities, the conduct of party primaries was scheduled to take place between August 18 and October 7, 2018, he added.
“Unfortunately, the APC did not conduct its primaries in Zamfara State within this stipulated time and the Commission duly informed the party that it would not be in a position to present candidates for elections in the State. Subsequently, various interested parties, including the APC itself, approached the court over the decision of the Commission.
“Just before the election, the subsisting court judgment at the time ordered the Commission to include the APC on the ballot for the Governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly elections, which the Commission complied with.
“However, since the elections were completed, a Court of Appeal judgment and now a Supreme Court judgment have determined that the APC did not conduct valid primaries for the elections in question. In its judgment delivered on 24th May 2019, the Supreme Court, having determined that the APC did not conduct valid primaries, said that the votes cast for the party in all the elections in question were ‘wasted’ and ordered the Commission to recognize the runners-up as the winners. This judgment affects the positions of Governor and Deputy-Governor, three Senatorial, seven Federal and twenty-four State Assembly Constituencies”, he stated.
In compliance with the Supreme Court judgment, the Commission returned the PDP governorship candidate, Bello Mohammed Matawalle and his running mate, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau, as Governor-elect and Deputy Governor-elect respectively.
It also returned the three senatorial candidates and seven House of Representatives candidates of the PDP as duly elected.
While INEC returned 23 of the 24 PDP House of Assembly candidates as elected, it however declared the candidate of the National Rescue Movement NRM, Kabiru Hashimu, as winner for Maru South state Constituency.
Yakubu said the Commission will issue Certificates of Return to the new winners as follows:
“Governor and Deputy Governor-elect, Senators-elect and Members of the House of Representatives-elect will receive their certificates on Monday, May 27, 2019 at the Commission’s Electoral Institute at 2.00pm.
“Members of the State House of Assembly-elect will receive their certificates from the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Zamfara State at the INEC State Office in Gusau on Friday May 31, 2019 at 10.00am”.
Counsel to parties on internal democracy
“I wish to seize this opportunity to draw the attention of all stakeholders, but particularly the political parties, to the implications of the Supreme Court judgment on the Zamfara matter. It is clear that properly conducted party primaries are cardinal to the proper internal functioning of political parties, the electoral process and our democratic system at large. Therefore, political parties must take very seriously the conduct of primaries according to all extant rules, including the monitoring of the processes by INEC to avoid a repeat of the Zamfara experience.
“I want therefore to remind us that the Commission has since April 9, 2019 issued the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 Bayelsa and Kogi Governorship elections by which party primaries are scheduled to hold between the August 2 and 29, 2019. I appeal to political parties intending to field candidates in the elections to adhere strictly to this and other timelines in the Timetable and Schedule of activities”, Yakubu advised.
WE ACCEPT SUPREME COURT VERDICT – GOV YARI .
Gov Yari addressed a gathering of the APC at the Government House, Gusau.
The Gov said the party members and its supporters in the state have done everything possible to ensure APC did not loose Zamfara State but as Allah wanted, the party lost the state.
In a statement signed by Mal Ibrahim Dosara, Special Adviser to the governor on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communication, Yari said the members have also done their best in ensuring the viability and capability of the party to continue to hold on to power to provide more dividends of democracy to the people of the state, but as Allah wanted it, the Supreme Court judgement went the way it happened.
The governor then urged all members of the party as well as other citizens of the state to remain calm, peaceful and law abiding.
He also directed security agencies in the state to be more vigilant to ensure adequate protection of lives and property of the people in the state.
How PDP candidate won Zamfara Governorship Polls
In the aftermath of Friday’s Supreme Court judgement which invalidated the primary election of the APC as well as the election of its candidates returned in the general elections, there has been a debate as to why the candidate of the PDP must be sworn in as governor, having polled the second highest votes in the election.
However, since the apex court voided the votes of the APC, it follows, therefore, that what the party scored does not exist in the eyes of the law, hence the total votes cast would not take that into consideration too.
So what are the statistics?
Zamfara has a total of 14 local government areas. To be duly elected as governor, a candidate ought to have scored at least 25 percent of the total votes cast in two-thirds, that is, nine of the 14 local government areas.
Having voided the votes of the APC, the PDP is the party with the second highest votes and so INEC then had to calculate if the PDP had one quarter of the votes cast in nine local government areas, as well as having the majority of votes, to fulfill S.179 (2) of the 1999 Constitution.
Below are the governorship election results for Zamfara according to the local government areas.
Total Valid: 101,568
APC: 67,299 (voided)
Total Valid – APC = 34,269
¼ of 34,269 = 8,568.
Total Valid: 35,742
APC: 17,582 (voided)
Total Valid – APC = 18,160.
¼ of 18,160 = 4,540.
Total Valid: 26,916
APC: 18,890 (voided)
Total Valid – APC = 8,026
¼ of 8,026 = 2,007.
Total Valid: 74,012.
APC: 41,387 (voided)
Total Valid – APC = 32,625
¼ of 32,625 = 8,157.
Total Valid: 54,825
APC: 38,937 (voided)
Total Valid – APC = 15,888
¼ of 15,888 = 3,972.
Total Valid: 35,568.
APC: 26,650 (voided)
Total Valid – APC = 8,918.
¼ of 8,918 = 2,230.
Total Valid: 81,847.
APC: 66,151 (voided)
Total Valid – APC = 15,696.
¼ of 15,696 = 3,924.
Total Valid: 71,610.
APC: 41,335 (voided)
Total Valid – APC = 30,275.
¼ of 30,275 = 7,569.
Total Valid: 44,588.
APC: 30,142 (voided)
Total Valid – APC = 14,446.
¼ of 14,446 = 3,612.
Total Valid: 72,668.
APC: 56,970 (voided)
Total Valid – APC = 15,698.
¼ of 15,698 = 3,925.
Total Valid: 56,263
APC: 38,535 (voided)
Total Valid – APC = 17,728
¼ of 17,728 = 4,432.
Total Valid: 44,203.
APC: 24,200 (voided)
Total Valid – APC = 20,003
¼ of 20,003 = 5,001.
Total Valid: 30,691.
APC: 20,986 (voided)
Total Valid – APC = 9,705.
¼ of 9,795 = 2,427.
Total Valid: 62,547.
APC: 45,467 (voided)
Total Valid – APC = 17,080
¼ of 17,080 = 4,270.
Overall Valid: 258,341.
Overall PDP: 189,452.
Overall Other Parties: 68,889.
Overall Rejected: 17,844.
Leading Margin Between Overall PDP and Overall Rejected: 171,608.
- PDP scored the highest lawful votes.
- PDP scored ¼ of votes cast in all 14 LGAs to fulfill S.179 (2) of the CFRN 1999.
- PDP wins Zamfara governorship position.