Tambuwal, Ganduje, Ortom, Lalong win re-election as Muhammed defeats Abubakar in Bauchi

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…PDP, CISLAC condemn violence in Kano, call for cancellation of supplementary poll

By Ayo Fadimu, Omeje Ikenna, Muhammad Goronyo, (Sokoto) and Titus Atondu, (Makurdi)

Governors Aminu Tambuwal, Abdullahi Ganduje, Samuel Ortom and Simon Lalong of Sokoto, Kano, Benue and Plateau States respectively   have won second term tickets as governors  of their states. While former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Senator Bala Muhammed was announced as governor-elect of Bauchi State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In Kano, Ganduje won with a margin of less than 9,000 votes after the collation of figures for the supplementary election. Kibitz and Nasarawa Local Government Areas had delayed the final collation.

In Benue State, Governor Ortom of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared winner of the supplementary governorship election in the state.

Governor Ortom, defeated his closest rival, Emmanuel Jime of the APC and 31 other contestants to retain his seat  in the supplementary election, which  was held in 204 polling units in 22 local governments.

Declaring the result, the state Returning Officer, Sebastain Maimako, said that Governor Ortom polled a total of 434,473 votes to beat Mr Jime who got 345,155 votes.

Prior to the supplementary election, Governor Ortom had scored 410,576 votes and had a lead of 81,554 votes over  Jime who had scored 329,022 votes.

In Sokoto,  Tambuwal scored a total of 512,002 votes to beat Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who scored 511,660 votes. The votes margin is 342ý.

In the supplementary elections that took place on Saturday, the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 25,515 votes in the 136 polling units cancelled in 22 local governments of the state, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 22,444 votes.

Nigerian NewsDirect reports that APC scored 486,145 in the March 9 governorship elections, while the PDP scored 489,558, leaving a difference ýof 3,413 votes. The cancelled votes of 75,403 had made the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare the polls inconclusive.

While declaring Tambuwal the winner of the poll,  the State Collation/Returning Officer, Prof. Fatima Batul Mukhtar ,  said, “I Fatima B. Mukhtar hereby certified that I am the returning Officer of the Gubernatorial elections in Sokoto.

“That the candidates of APC, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu scored 511,660 while the PDP candidate, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal scores 512,002.

“That Tambuwal Aminu Waziri, having satisfied the electoral acts is hereby returned as elected governor of the state.”

The announcement led to jubilation in the hall by the PDP supporters with shout of ‘ Allahu Akbar (God is great ).  This was despite the fact that the APC   collation agent, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, rejected the results of Kebbe local government as announced by the collation officer for the local government area.

Meanwhile, the former governor of the state, Senator Aliyu Wamakko and the governorship candidate of the APC, Ahmed Aliyu, have called Governor Tambuwal to congratulate him on his victory at the poll, according to the Twitter handle of the Sokoto Government House.

In the meantime, Senator Wamakko, has urged the faithful of APC, in the state to remain peaceful , resolute and calm .

Wamakko was reacting to the outcome of the 2019 Gubernatorial elections in the state, which were capped by supplementary elections conducted on March 23, 2019.

Senator Wamakko said,” the party’s leadership, membership and the entire electorate in the State would not despair, in anyway.

“We have jointly struggled, fought and won. We are never losers. All and sundry have done their possible best , by coming out en masse and massively cast their invaluable votes for our candidates,  at all levels.

“In this direction, we are really appreciating and cherishing the immense sustained support of the members of the party to beat the APC, as well as the electorate, in general.

“These laudable gestures of the electorate were kick-started with the Presidential and National Assembly polls, then during the first Gubernatorial and State Assembly elections and climaxed with the supplementary polls on March 23.”

Senator Wamakko who is a Member of the World Muslim League and represents Sokoto North Senatorial District noted that, the candidates of the party had recorded myriad of landslides during the 2019 general polls sequel to the unflinching loyalty and unshakeable devotion by its supporters and the electorate.

Senator Wamakko further promised that, the APC and its leaders, at all levels, would remain religiously committed to the welfare, security and general comfort of Nigerians.

These, he noted, form part of the cardinal ideals and objectives of the party, vowing that, Nigerians would never regret giving their mandates to the APC.

“Our Leader, President Muhammadu Buhari was just given a second term by Nigerians and he will surely take the entire country to the NEXT LEVEL.

“The leaders of the party, at all levels, most especially the ninth Senate, would relentlessly strive to fully complement the efforts of the President to better the lives of Nigerians, in all ramifications.

“The leadership and membership of the party,  as well as entire Nigerians should continue to be peaceful and united

In Plateau State, Governor Lalong of APC was declared winner of the 2019 governorship election by, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Prof Richard at the state INEC office , after the conclusion of the supplementary election held on Saturday.

Lalong defeated Jeremiah Useni of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who came second in the election.

The Plateau governorship election was, on March 11, declared inconclusive by the state returning officer, Professor Kimbir. He said the margin between the two leading candidates was less than the number of votes cancelled in the entire election.

According to INEC, on March 11, Governor Lalong had scored 583,255 votes while Mr Useni scored 548,336 votes, highlighting that none of the leading candidates met all the requirements of the law to win the election.

49,347 votes across 40 polling units were cancelled in nine Local Government Areas of the state.

The affected LGAs where the rerun held include; Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Bokkos, Jos North, Kanam, Langtang South, Mangu, Pankshin, and Shendam.

Announcing the final election results scored by each party, the returning officer said Mr Lalong of the APC scored 595,582 votes while Mr Useni of the PDP scored 546,813.

“Simon Lalong of the APC, having satisfied the requirement of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared winner and returned elected,” the returning officers said.

The margin between the winner and the runner-up is 48,769 votes.

The result of the election indicated that out of 17 LGAs of the state, Mr Lalong won in 11 while Mr Useni won in six.

Sunday’s final result marks the second time Mr Lalong is defeating the PDP in the state. In 2015, he defeated the late Gyang Pwajok of the PDP to become the first governor from opposition to win governorship election in the state

In Bauchi State, Sen. Bala Mohammed polled 6,376 votes as against 5,117 garnered by the incumbent governor, Muhammed Abubakar of the ruling APC at the last Saturday’s supplementary election which took place in 15 Local Government Areas of the state

Prof. Mohammed Kari, the Returning Officer for the governorship election in the state, said after the results collation, that the PDP candidate, Senator Mohammed got 6,376 votes while the APC candidate, Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar of the APC got 5,117 votes.

In the meantime, the governor-elect has promised to bring back good governance denied the people. Bala Mohammed made the promise during a press conference in Bauchi on Sunday, shortly after the announcement of the supplementary poll results by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Mohammed polled 6,376 votes as against 5,117 garnered by the incumbent governor, Muhammed Abubakar of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

He said. “Today is a very auspicious day for us in Bauchi and on behalf of the party, I wish to express gratitude and appreciation to God Almighty. “The collation of the supplementary poll that has just been concluded by INEC is a work of God and we owe it to him. “We also owe it to the people of Bauchi who have stood very firm on the threshold of freedom and liberty and have shown that they are the icons of democracy and liberty. “Words alone cannot express my appreciation to them all,” the governor-elect said.

Muhammed also said that the auspicious achievement recorded by the PDP in the supplementary election deserved to be celebrated. He however, called on all his supporters to celebrate in peace.

“They should all go out to celebrate but they should celebrate in peace and with gratitude to God because what we want is peace and tranquility, harmony and good relationship with one another. “We do not have any acrimony or hatred against anybody, even those who didn’t vote for us, we want them to join us in this celebration because this is democracy,” he said.

Muhammed also appreciated the security agencies in the state promising to continue to work with them as they had shown they were the key partners of the society.

In Kano, collation of results was still ongoing, as compilation for two Local Government Areas (LGAs) was still pending as at the time of filing this report. Results for Nasarawa and KibiyaLGAs have not been announced  due to some  anomalies that were found in the two local government areas according to unconfirmed  reports.

Based on the results that have been collated so far, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, of the APC is leading by a slim margin.

But the election in the state was characterized by incidents of violence in some parts of the state as political hoodlums attacked voters, with many sustaining injuries. There were also incidents of vote buying.

Meanwhile, a Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has condemned in totality the open display of lawlessness and rascality involving indiscriminately massive deployment of hoodlums in the conduct of supplementary gubernatorial elections with resultant sabotage of electoral process and loss of lives in Kano state.

The group in a statement signed by its Executive Director,  Auwal Ibrahim Musa

(Rafsanjani) noted that while an election constitutes a formal citizenry decision-making process by which a population chooses a credible individual to hold public office, “we find it disturbing that citizens’ choices and decisions were largely influenced and determined by high incidences of vote-buying facilitated by hoodlums and party agents, vote rigging and intimidations from various political parties in several Local Government Areas, including Gaya, Dala, Nasarawa and Karaye”.

The statement read further, “We are not unaware of the arrogant and unchecked display of badges by the party agents and supervisors in many polling centres as an indication of their preferred political party-APC or PDP and outright prevention of photographic evidence which raise suspicious motives for rigging as extensively reported and narrated by independent observers.  We find it worrisome that without an iota of respect to the rule of law and democratic values, a larger population of hoodlums was unlawfully deployed to disrupt electoral process and deprive voters the right to exercise their electoral freedom through free, fair and credible process”.

The group remarked that it is concerned that the deployment of violence and cruelty in electoral process as demonstrated in several polling centres without appropriate justice and noted that such would without doubt widen the existing distrust by citizens in electoral body and security agents and amplify unwanted electoral apathy.

The statement read further “We find the unprincipled decisions of relevant political parties to result in deployment of illegalities and destructive mechanisms in influencing voters’ decisions, instead of constructive proposal and realistic ideology, as despotic, undemocratic and unacceptable in our democratic system. We are seriously perturbed by the unwary decisions of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agents to continue with the election despite reported outcries and anticipated threat to peaceful electoral process as evident in some polling centres, constituting a total breach of Section 26 (1) of the Electoral Act which calls for immediate postponement of elections in such circumstance.  We are surprised that even with the deployment of highly placed police personnel, the situation could not be managed and down-play by the police of the obvious problems that arose is a source for concern. The inability of the police to manage the situation leading to widespread violence and unchecked intimidation of voters is highly disappointing”.

“We are surprised at a clear case of double standard reportedly maintained by both Kano REC and the State Returning Officer who had agreed and called for cancellation of the earlier result from Gama as thugs disrupted the collation process; and their present reluctance to cancel the latest results given despite widespread violence across all the 62 polling units. We also bemoan a dishonest move by four presiding officers from Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state, who made away with the result of election to an undisclosed location. This hampers credibility and further justifies our call for discountenance of the supplementary elections”

While calling for the cancellation of the supplementary election, CISLAC said “We therefore call on INEC to discountenance the supplementary elections and return to status quo prior to the 23rd March 2019. Anything of short will be setting a very dangerous precedent where the use of force to capture electoral gain will become the rule rather than the exception”

Similarly while reacting to what transpired during the supplementary elections in  Benue, Bauchi, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto States, the Centre for Democracy and Development’s (CDD) Election Analysis Centre (EAC)  said that the elections were marred by violence and widespread irregularities.

This was contained in the second preliminary report of the centre, which was presented to newsmen on  Saturday in Abuja by Idayat Hassan,  the CDD Director.

Hassan, represented by an analyst of the CDD-EAC, JideoforAdibe,  said, “From the information gathered in the states, the two major political parties were involved in trying to induce voters. Issues of vote buying were noticed in Sokoto State and the allegation was against the two dominant parties. A voter who preferred not to be mentioned told our observer that at the Katta Hakimii polling zone EC 30 B, Gidan Katta area of Illela in Sokoto State, he was offered N10, 000 by the PDP agent while that of the APC offered him N15, 000.

“Although, the voter refused to mention the names of the agents he maintained that before sliding your thumb printed paper into the ballot box, you will have to lift it up for the agent to see and nod as a sign that you have fulfilled your own part of the deal hence qualified for the payment,” Hassan said.

She expressed sadness over the fact that  vote buying is an offence punishable under Nigerian laws , but despite that , it has become a recurring decimal ,  with none of the culprits  ever been punished or faced the  full wrath of law.

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