FCT polls

By Omeiza Ajayi, Ezra Ukanwa & Fortune Eromosele, Abuja

Last Saturday’s Area Council election in the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Abuja, has seen the opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP levelling up with the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, on the control of the six councils in the territory, with both parties now controlling three councils each.

Vanguard recalls that in the 2019 election, the APC had won four area councils of Abuja Municipal Area Council AMAC, Abaji, as well as Gwagwalada and Kwali while the PDP won Bwari and Kuje area councils.

However, in what appeared to a referendum on the performance of the APC administration in the territory, the PDP effectively upstaged the APC to win Abuja’s all important council – AMAC. The council plays host to Nigeria’s seat of power, the Three Arms Zone, and most of the important public and private institutions in the territory.

The PDP went further to retain Bwari and Kuje Area Councils while the APC won Gwagwalada, Kwali and Abaji. In Kwali, the incumbent chairman (APC) won with a 301 votes difference while in Abaji where the party also won, no return could be made due to the fact that two aspirants are in court laying claim to the ticket of the party.

The APC Councils

In Gwagwalada, the candidate of the APC, Jibrin Abubakar, was returned as Chairman-elect of the council.

According to the INEC Returning Officer, ID Umar, Mr Abubakar, a former chairman of the council, garnered 11,125 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mohammed Kassim of the PDP who scored 9,597 votes.

In Kwali, the candidate of the APC, Mr Danladi Chiya emerged winner of the Chairmanship election.

He polled a total of 7,646 votes against his closest rival, Mr Haruna Pai of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, who scored 7, 345 votes.

The Returning Officer of the election, Professor Wesley Daniel Nafarnda of the University of Abuja made the declaration at the INEC Office in Kwali, Abuja.

Mr Chiya is the incumbent Chairman of the council and the first to be reelected for a second term consecutively.

In Abaji, the Returning Officer for the Council, Prof. Gabriel Mordi however reserved the declaration of the winner of the Saturday poll.

Mordi had read out the total scores for all participating political parties in the election, noting that while the APC scored the highest votes, its candidate could not be returned as validly elected because the party had no specific candidate for the election.

According to him, the winner will be announced after the determination of a case before an Abuja court on who the real candidate of the party is.

The PDP Councils

In Bwari, incumbent chairman and candidate of the PDP, Mr John Gabaya was declared winner of the Chairmanship election.

The Returning Officer for the election in Bwari, Professor Amuche Madu declared Mr Gabaya, who polled 13, 045 to defeat his closest rival, Mr Haruna Shekwolo of the APC who scored 7, 697.

Mr Gabaya was then returned elected having met the requirements of the Constitution and the Electoral Law.

In Kuje, the INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Sule Magaji, returned the incumbent Chairman and PDP candidate, Suleiman Sabo as winner of the election.

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Sabo had polled a total of 13,301 votes to defeat his closest rival, Sarki Hamidu of the APC who got 7,694 votes.

In AMAC, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Christopher Zakka was returned as validly elected in Saturday’s Chairmanship election.

Though the seat is currently held by the APC, the ruling party had gone into the contest with a divided house as two aspirants were laying claim to its ticket. The case is currently at the apex court.

The PDP candidate polled 19,302 votes to defeat Murtala Usman of the APC, who polled 13,240 votes out of the 34,675 total votes cast in the election.

Declaring the results, the INEC Retuning Officer for AMAC, Prof. Sani Saka, said; “Zakka of the PDP, having satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared winner and returned elected.”

According to Saka, the total number of accredited voters in the council election was 35,010; total registered voters was 687,274; valid votes was 33,764; while the invalid votes was 21.

Saturday’s election witnessed voter apathy in many areas, even though analysts also contend that many residents of the FCT are registered as voters in their states of origin and so could not have participated in the election.

It’s a rebound of PDP-Ayu

Reacting to the election, the National Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, described the rebound of the PDP in the Abuja Municipal Council Polls as “a great omen under my watch as we lead PDP back to winning ways and rebuilding Nigeria.”

In a statement released by his media office yesterday, Dr. Ayu said “the promise of a better Nigeria has just been flagged off by the victory at the FCT polls of Saturday, February 12, 2022, adding another seat for the party.

The statement reads: “The victory of our great party, the PDP, signposts the promise of a better Nigeria under my watch, leading this team of dedicated and committed party members.

“The victory at the FCT polls of Saturday, February 12, 2022, represents a great omen under my watch as we lead PDP   back to winning ways and rebuilding Nigeria.

“This victory, which gave us the important Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, is a signal that Nigerians are tired of the woes and hardship of the moment, occasioned by the worsening socio-economic realities of today.

“This victory is dedicated to all leaders of our party, particularly the state governors, NEC members, NWC members as well as the millions of party members across the nation.

“What we have just achieved in Abuja, the seat of power, will be replicated in Ekiti and Osun State later this year, culminating in our take over of power at the centre next year, to usher in a better, more prosperous and secure Nigeria.

“PDP is back to rescue Nigeria and the rescue begins from the seat of power in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT”

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