The Independent National Electoral Commission on Sunday released the results of the run-offs gubernatorial elections it organized in some states after it declared the March 9 poll in the affected states inconclusive.
The states where the governorship run-off poll was held on March 23 are Sokoto, Plateau, Kano, Benue and Bauchi.
But while INEC has declared governors-elect in four of the states, it has not done same in Bauchi State due to a legal reason.
In the election results declared on Sunday, the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal and his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom, fought hard battles to emerge victorious at the governorship supplementary election conducted in their states on Saturday.
Also, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and his Kano State counterpart, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, were also returned elected by INEC. Lalong and Ganduje are All Progressives Congress candidates while Tambuwal and Ortom contested the election under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
According to INEC, Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives,, won a second term with a slim margin of 342 votes, polling 512,002 votes to defeat his erstwhile deputy, Ahmed Aliyu of the APC, who garnered 511,660 votes.
The PDP had won the March 9 governorship election with 3,413 votes scoring 489,558 votes in the inconclusive poll while the APC polled 486,145. The APC, however, won the supplementary election scoring 25,515 votes to PDP’s 24,444.
Announcing the final results of the election on Sunday, the state Returning Officer, Prof. Fatimah Mukhtar, said the total registered voters were 1,887,767 and accredited voters, 1,083,413.
She put the votes cast at 1,067,994 while the number of rejected votes was 31,662.
Declaring Tambuwal the winner of the poll, the returning officer said, “Aminu Tambuwal having satisfied the constitutional requirements, is hereby declared the winner of the election.”
The hall erupted with shouts of Allahu Akbar (God is great) and Sai Mutawalle,’the governor’s traditional title.
The Resident Electoral Officer, Mallam Sadiq Musa, had earlier said the declaration of the winner would be based on a simple majority.
Before the winner was announced, there was apprehension over the late collation and transmission of results from the Kebbe Local Government Area which forced Mukhtar to suspend the declaration of the results around 3.45am on Sunday till 9am.
The results from the local government were considered vital on account of its dense voter population of 20,015 and the high number of polling units put at 35.
Meanwhile, the governor has dedicated his victory to “the resilience and unalloyed trust the people of the state reposed” in his administration.
APC rejects Tambuwal’s victory
But the APC in Sokoto State has rejected the results of the governorship election.
Similarly, the Chairman, APC Governorship Campaign Council, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, denied that Senator Aliyu Wamakko and the APC candidate, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu, had called Tambuwal and congratulated him on his victory.
Dingyadi described such news as being circulated in the social media as malicious and false.
The state Publicity Secretary of the party, Sambo Danchadi, said, “The so-called winning margin of 342 votes is far less than the number of the registered voters in the polling units where elections were not held, which is in contravention of the electoral law.
INEC declares Ortom winner in Benue
Also, the Benue State governorship Returning Officer, Mr Sebastine Maimako, declared Ortom as the winner of the governorship election.
He said Ortom polled 434,473 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Mr Emmanuel Jime, the APC candidate, who scored 345,155 votes.
Ortom had during the governorship election on March 9, polled 410,576 votes as against Jime’s 329,022.
According to the supplementary election results, Ortom polled 23,897 votes while Jime got 16,133 votes.
Maimako said, “Number of total registered voters is 2,471,894 while accredited voters are 858,947, number of valid votes is 830,954, rejected votes, 15,268 and the number of total votes cast is 846,222.
“Ortom scored 434,473 votes while Jime scored 345,155 votes. That Samuel Ortom of the PDP, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected.”
I’ll recover my stolen mandate – Jime
But Jime said he would “recover my stolen mandate” insisting that Ortom’s victory could not stand legal scrutiny.
Jime in a statement by the Secretary of his campaign organisation, Prof. Eugene Aliegba, said Ortom’s victory was a direct product of violence and vote-buying, which he said, would not be allowed to stand.
Jime said, “And because the results announced in favour of Governor Ortom and the PDP are a direct product of brutal violence, vote-buying, ballot-stuffing, result-falsification, non-usage of the card reader and a range of other irregularities that have no place in our electoral laws, we are making it unequivocally clear that the Benue APC will explore all constitutional and legal options available to ensure the votes of the people count.
“In simple terms, we will make a case before the Election Petitions Tribunal to subject the Benue governorship election results to an integrity test.”
APC, PDP supporters disagree as Ganduje wins Kano run-off
Also, Ganduje was on Sunday declared the winner of the governorship election after he garnered 1,033,695 votes to beat the PDP candidate, Mr Abba Yusuf, who scored 1,024,713 votes.
In the result announced by INEC in Kano, Ganduje, who sought re-election for a second term, defeated the PDP candidate, Mr Abba Yusuf.
The PDP alleged that the election, which Ganduje won with 8, 982 margin, was marred by violence, voter intimidation and other malpractices.
In the main election of March 23, Ganduje had scored 987,819 votes and trailed Yusuf, who got 1,014,474 votes at the time.
Yusuf led with over 26,000 votes as of March 23.
However, in the supplementary poll, the governor got additional 45,876 votes to cancel the lead and bring his final tally to 1,033,695.
On his part, Yusuf scored additional 10,239 votes from the supplementary election to bring his overall total 1,024,713.
The declaration was made by the state INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Bello Shehu.
But ahead of the announcement of the final result, the APC and the PDP supporters engaged one another in a shouting match, as they disagreed over the outcome of the rerun poll.
The clash occurred as Shehu collated the results of Nasarawa, a key local government area where 38,181 voters registered in Gama Ward.
The APC won in Gama, the crucial swing ward, by polling 10,536 votes to the PDP’s 3,409 ballots.
But, the PDP members at the collation centre, protested against the figures, insisting that election did not take place in the ward.
They also demanded the cancellation of the entire supplementary election on the grounds that it was marred by violence and other forms of “fraudulent practices.”
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The APC members at the collation centre immediately reacted by insisting that the results must stand, a development that fuelled a shouting match between the supporters of the two parties.
A PDP member of the House of Representatives from Dala in Kano, Mr Ali Madaki, led the protest, as he continued to ask Shehu to halt the collation of the results.
Madaki stated, “What happened in Kano was not an election; the fraud did not pass the integrity test. In Gama, and most parts of Kano State, there was no election, rather it was thuggery aided by the state government. What you call an election should be cancelled.
“As I speak, INEC (members of staff) and party agents are fighting over the results of Gama. We have cases where results were written for polling units where nothing took place at all.”
Madaki berated INEC and the university lecturers, who served as electoral officials. He said he could not believe that professors “can cook the lies and fraud you call an election in Kano.”
As he spoke, the APC members reacted, shouting at him to “sit down”, “who are you?”, “go to the tribunal!”
Madaki got the backing of other PDP members, who also shouted back, “There was no election in Kano!” “We need a rerun.” “This fraud will never stand!”
As the shouting match raged, Senator Jibrin Barau, made a case for the APC, asking INEC to ignore the protestations by the PDP members at the venue.
He said, “The election took place peacefully in the state. In Gama, an election took place because I was there and I monitored the process. The election was transparent because all the PDP agents signed the result sheets.
“We all know that this is not the right place to protest the results of an election. The proper thing to do is to go to the tribunal.”
The state Acting Chairman of the PDP, Mr Rabiu Suleiman-Bichi, also joined in the protest.
“I can’t bring myself to accept these results from all the units. There was violence in Gama and we will never accept what you have presented here,” he added.
Amid the protest and shouting match, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Riskuwa Arab-Shehu, appealed to both parties to sheathe their swords.
He urged for calm, advising any aggrieved party to “patiently follow the process through to the end.”
Arab-Shehu noted that the election petitions tribunal was an opening for aggrieved parties to seek redress.
His intervention did not achieve much as some of the PDP members stormed out of the venue, still calling for the cancellation of the election.
Meanwhile, tension built up in Kano as the exercise came to a close about 8.30pm on Sunday.
The police tightened security around INEC headquarters and quickly intensified patrols on major roads in the city centre.
Plateau: Useni kicks as INEC declares Lalong winner
Meanwhile, INEC in Plateau State on Sunday declared Lalong, as the winner of the Saturday’s election.
But the PDP candidate, Jeremiah Useni, has rejected the results, describing it as a sham.
The election, which was a run-off in nine LGAs of the state was a follow-up to the earlier one conducted on March 9 which could not produce a winner between the two leading candidates.
Lalong had scored 583,255 votes in the March 9 poll, while Useni got 538,321 a development which prompted INEC to declare the election inconclusive because the 44,929 margin of lead was less than the total number of cancelled votes which the commission put at 49,377.
However, the INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof. Richard Kimbir, who announced the results in Jos, said Lalong scored 595,582 votes to defeat 23 other candidates, including Useni, who garnered 546,813 votes.
The returning officer stated that 1,159,954 valid votes were recorded while 16,188 others were rejected; saying 1,176,142 was the total number of votes cast.
According to him, the results for the nine LGAs that took part in the supplementary poll, including Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Bokkos, Jos North, Kanam, Langtang South, Mangu, Pankshin and Shendam, showed that Lalong scored additional 12,327 new votes, while Useni got 8,487.
He added that there was no cancellation of results during the supplementary poll.
But in his acceptance speech which he delivered shortly after he was declared winner on Sunday, Lalong said his victory was a referendum by the people to move the state to the next level.
Lalong said the outcome of the exercise in the state “was clearly an amazing show of confidence and trust” which the people had for his administration.
However, Useni rejected the results of the governorship poll.
Useni, who addressed a press conference in Jos on Sunday a few hours after INEC declared Lalong as winner, said the results of the governorship election as announced by INEC did not reflect the voting pattern of the people whom he claimed voted for him massively at the poll.
He said, “After due consultation, I hereby state that the results announced by INEC are not acceptable to us. Consequently, we have requested our legal team to activate the due process to reclaim our cherished mandate at the tribunal and by the grace of God, we will overturn and recover the people’s mandate.”
PDP gov candidate coasting to victory in Bauchi
In Bauchi State, the PDP governorship candidate, Senator Bala Mohammed, is in a clear lead in the supplementary governorship election.
The supplementary election was held in 36 polling units in 29 wards across 15 LGAs of the state.
The results from the 15 LGAs as presented by the Local Government Returning Officers and declared by the State Returning Officer, Prof. Kyari Mohammed, showed that Senator Bala Mohammed got 6, 376 votes.
His closest rival, the candidate of the APC and incumbent Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, got 5, 117 votes.
According to the results, Mohammed led Abubabakar with 1, 259 votes to emerge the winner of the supplementary election.
Before the declaration of the election as inconclusive, Kyari said the PDP candidate led the incumbent governor with 4, 059 votes. The PDP candidate got 469, 512 votes to lead Abubabakar who got 465, 453 votes.
The PUNCH had reported that the returning officer had earlier cancelled the votes of one of the three local government areas.
The returning officer on Sunday said, “As you all know, I cannot make a return because I understand that the case of Tafawa Balewa LGA is in court.”
The Federal High Court Abuja will deliver a final judgement on the results of the Tafawa Balewa LGA on Monday.
Meanwhile, Mohammed said that with or without the contentious results of the Tafawa Balewa LGA, he had won the election.
Adamawa supplementary poll still on hold
In Adamawa State, the supplementary governorship election in the state has yet to be decided after a court order stopped its conduct on Saturday.
The PDP’s candidate, Hammadu Fintiri, is leading with 32,476 votes from the first election held on February 23, 2019 after polling 367,471 votes while the APC candidate, Jubrilla Bindow, had 334,995 votes. Bindow is seeking re-election.
The INEC had said a supplementary election would hold in 44 polling units spread across 14 council areas of the state, with 40,998 votes to be contested for between the two leading candidates. A verdict will be delivered in court on Tuesday to determine when the supplementary election will be held.
But the PDP won the supplementary and by-elections held in Nassarawo/Binyeri and Uba Gaya state constituencies on Saturday to fill the two remaining seats in the state House of Assembly.
SOURCE: The Punch