INEC Declares Lalong, Ortom, Tambuwal, Ganduje Reelected

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday finally drew the curtain on governorship elections in four of the seven outstanding states, returning Governors Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Simon Lalong (Plateau) and Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano) as elected for second term.
Three states, Bauchi, Adamawa and Rivers, however, remain contentious.

In Bauchi, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Senator Bala Mohammed, won the supplementary election held on Saturday, increasing his votes haul at the March 9 poll that puts him ahead of Governor Mohammed Abubakar, who seems to have lost out in the keen contest.

The only thing standing between Abubakar and eventual defeat is the restraining order he secured last week from an Abuja court, which restrained INEC from resuming the collation and announcement of the results of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area, a stronghold of the PDP.

That litigation is expected to be resolved today as the court listens to the PDP’s position on the matter.

Supplementary elections had held on Saturday in some units in Bauchi, Benue, Plateau, Sokoto and Kano States.

The two leading parties, PDP and All Progressives Congress (APC), won two apiece. The ruling APC retained its hold on Kano and Plateau States, while the main opposition PDP retained Benue and Sokoto States.

Although the PDP sustained its lead in Bauchi, the announcement of the winner of the governorship polls by INEC is pending today’s court judgment on the result of the Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area.

The presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has described the victory of the candidates of the party in both Sokoto and Benue States as an acknowledgement from the Nigerian people that it is the only truly national party in Nigeria.
But his party rejected the outcome of Kano’s poll, saying it was a rape of democracy.

Announcing the result of the Sokoto State contest at Maccido Quranic Institute in Sokoto, the Returning Officer, Prof. Fatima Mukhtar of Federal University, Dutse in Jigawa State, said Tambuwal of the PDP polled 512,002 votes against his closest rival, Alhaji Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto of APC who polled 511,660.

Mukhtar said Tambuwal having scored the highest lawful votes has been returned elected.
She added that the votes registered were 1,887,767; accredited votes were 1,083,413, valid votes, 1,036332; rejected votes, 31,662, and number total votes cast were 1,067,994.

According to her, during the re-run election, PDP’s Tambuwal polled 22,444 votes while APC’s Aliyu scored 25,515 in the 135 polling units where supplementary elections were conducted.

She further explained that 49 candidates from other participating parties shared the remaining votes cast.

However, the APC agent at the collation centre, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, raised the complaints the party made to INEC earlier about the malfunctioning card reader at a polling unit in Tambuwal.

Dingyadi added that election was repeated at the polling unit, after lawful election was conducted on March 9 election.

The PDP agent, Alhaji Umar Bature, dismissed the objections on the grounds that the collation centre was not the right place to lodge the complaint.

Mukhtar noted the complaint and said that it would be reflected in the final report.

Reacting to his victory, Tambuwal said he dedicated the victory to Almighty Allah and the people of the state who found him worthy of their mandate.

He stated that he would run an inclusive government to improve the lives of his people.

“This is the beginning of good things that will happen to the state. I will not take the mandate for granted,” he said.

He pleaded with his opponents to join hands with him in building the state, saying he is not better than them but in any contest there must be winner and loser.

The governor advised his supporters to be magnanimous in victory, stressing that they should not jeopardise the existing peace in the state.

In Benue State, Ortom of the PDP was declared the winner by the state’s Returning Officer, Prof. Sabastine Maimako, having polled 434,473 votes to beat his closest contender, Hon. Emmanuel Jime of APC, who polled 345,155 votes.

According to Maimako, the margin of lead between Ortom and Jime was 89,813.

In his acceptance speech, Ortom said he has dedicated his victory to God by visiting the Redeemed Church of God, Gboko Road, where he offered prayers immediately the result was announced.

Wild jubilation greeted the announcement as major areas of Makurdi town were blocked by his supporters, who were singing his campaign songs.

Meanwhile, the APC has announced that it will be heading to the tribunal.

The party in a statement by its campaign secretary, Professor Eugene Aliegba, indicated that it would seek all constitutional and legal means to claim victory.

According to him, “Because the results announced in favour of Governor Ortom and the PDP is a direct product of brutal violence, vote buying, ballot-stuffing, results-falsification, non-use 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 Elections Petitions Tribunal to subject the Benue governorship elections result to an integrity test. If we opt otherwise, we will be as guilty as those who undertake acts that undermine democracy. We have chosen instead to take action that insulates democracy from practices that threaten it.”

In Bauchi State, the candidate of the PDP, Senator Mohammed was declared the winner of the governorship supplementary election held on Saturday in the state.

The result from the supplementary election collated in the 36 Polling Units in 29 Wards across 15 Local Government Areas of the state saw the candidate of the PDP won with 6,376 votes with his closest rival, the candidate of the APC and incumbent governor, Abubakar polling 5,117 votes.

In Bauchi, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Senator Bala Mohammed, won the supplementary election held on Saturday, increasing his votes haul at the March 9 poll that puts him ahead of Governor Mohammed Abubakar, who seems to have lost out in the keen contest.

The only thing standing between Abubakar and eventual defeat is the restraining order he secured last week from an Abuja court, which restrained INEC from resuming the collation and announcement of the results of Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area, a stronghold of the PDP.

That litigation is expected to be resolved today as the court listens to the PDP’s position on the matter.
Supplementary elections had held on Saturday in some units in Bauchi, Benue, Plateau, Sokoto and Kano States.

The two leading parties, PDP and All Progressives Congress (APC), won two apiece. The ruling APC retained its hold on Kano and Plateau States, while the main opposition PDP retained Benue and Sokoto States.

Although the PDP sustained its lead in Bauchi, the announcement of the winner of the governorship polls by INEC is pending today’s court judgment on the result of the Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area.

The presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has described the victory of the candidates of the party in both Sokoto and Benue States as an acknowledgement from the Nigerian people that it is the only truly national party in Nigeria.

But his party rejected the outcome of Kano’s poll, saying it was a rape of democracy.

Announcing the result of the Sokoto State contest at Maccido Quranic Institute in Sokoto, the Returning Officer, Prof. Fatima Mukhtar of Federal University, Dutse in Jigawa State, said Tambuwal of the PDP polled 512,002 votes against his closest rival, Alhaji Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto of APC who polled 511,660.

Mukhtar said Tambuwal having scored the highest lawful votes has been returned elected.

She added that the votes registered were 1,887,767; accredited votes were 1,083,413, valid votes, 1,036332; rejected votes, 31,662, and number total votes cast were 1,067,994

According to her, during the re-run election, PDP’s Tambuwal polled 22,444 votes while APC’s Aliyu scored 25,515 in the 135 polling units where supplementary elections were conducted.

She further explained that 49 candidates from other participating parties shared the remaining votes cast.

However, the APC agent at the collation centre, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, raised the complaints the party made to INEC earlier about the malfunctioning card reader at a polling unit in Tambuwal.

Dingyadi added that election was repeated at the polling unit, after lawful election was conducted on March 9 election.

The PDP agent, Alhaji Umar Bature, dismissed the objections on the grounds that the collation centre was not the right place to lodge the complaint.

Mukhtar noted the complaint and said that it would be reflected in the final report.

Reacting to his victory, Tambuwal said he dedicated the victory to Almighty Allah and the people of the state who found him worthy of their mandate.

He stated that he would run an inclusive government to improve the lives of his people.

“This is the beginning of good things that will happen to the state. I will not take the mandate for granted,” he said.

He pleaded with his opponents to join hands with him in building the state, saying he is not better than them but in any contest there must be winner and loser.

The governor advised his supporters to be magnanimous in victory, stressing that they should not jeopardise the existing peace in the state.

In Benue State, Ortom of the PDP was declared the winner by the state’s Returning Officer, Prof. Sabastine Maimako, having polled 434,473 votes to beat his closest contender, Hon. Emmanuel Jime of APC, who polled 345,155 votes.

According to Maimako, the margin of lead between Ortom and Jime was 89,813.

In his acceptance speech, Ortom said he has dedicated his victory to God by visiting the Redeemed Church of God, Gboko Road, where he offered prayers immediately the result was announced.

Wild jubilation greeted the announcement as major areas of Makurdi town were blocked by his supporters, who were singing his campaign songs.

Meanwhile, the APC has announced that it will be heading to the tribunal.

The party in a statement by its campaign secretary, Professor Eugene Aliegba, indicated that it would seek all constitutional and legal means to claim victory.

According to him, “Because the results announced in favour of Governor Ortom and the PDP is a direct product of brutal violence, vote buying, ballot-stuffing, results-falsification, non-use 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 Elections Petitions Tribunal to subject the Benue governorship elections result to an integrity test. If we opt otherwise, we will be as guilty as those who undertake acts that undermine democracy. We have chosen instead to take action that insulates democracy from practices that threaten it.”

In Bauchi State, the candidate of the PDP, Senator Mohammed was declared the winner of the governorship supplementary election held on Saturday in the state.

The result from the supplementary election collated in the 36 Polling Units in 29 Wards across 15 Local Government Areas of the state saw the candidate of the PDP won with 6,376 votes with his closest rival, the candidate of the APC and incumbent governor, Abubakar polling 5,117 votes.

According to the results announced by the State Returning officer, Prof. Kyari Mohammed, Senator Mohammed led Abubakar with 1,259 votes to emerge the winner of the supplementary elections.

Checks revealed that no fewer than 22,641 registered voters were supposed to vote in the supplementary election in 36 Polling Units in 29 Registration Areas (wards) scattered across 15 of the 20 LGAs of the state.

It would be recalled that the returning officer of the elections in the state, Prof. Kyari Mohammed, had in the early hours of Monday, March 11, 2019, declared the governorship election in the state as inconclusive.

According to him, the candidate of the PDP got 469,512 votes to lead his closest rival, the incumbent governor, who got 465, 453 votes, adding that the margin of lead between the two candidates was 4, 059 votes.

It had also been reported that Prof. Mohammed had earlier cancelled the entire votes of Tafawa Balewa LGA, which has 139,240 registered voters, citing the failure of the Collation Officer, Mrs. Dominion Anosike, to use the prescribed form to enter the result of the elections collated across the local government.

This was despite the explanation given by her to the commission that the result sheets for the governorship election were carted away by thugs who invaded the collation centre in Zwall, Tafawa Balewa LGA, in the early hours of Sunday.

She had also notified the commission via an explanatory memorandum signed by all stakeholders in the election at the collation centre, who unanimously agreed to collate and record the result on another form, and addressed same to the Resident Electoral Commissioner and the State Returning Officer, which was submitted in Bauchi on Sunday.

However, Kyari, rejected the explanation and unilaterally declared that there was no result for Tafawa Balewa LGA and cancelled the election of the entire LGA even though there was no any incident of cancellation, violence or electoral malpractices at both the polling units and wards levels as reported by the Returning Officer.

The PDP candidate was in the lead after results of 19 LGAs were collated, with the incumbent governor trailing behind with a margin of over 4,000 votes.

In the contentious Tafawa Balewa LGA, the PDP had scored 40,000 votes against the APC’s 29,000, putting the PDP ahead with about 15,000 votes.

Announcing the results of the supplementary elections yesterday, the Returning Officer, Prof. Mohammed said: “As you well 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 judgment on the results of Tafawa Balewa LGA today.

Shawn Solomon Elliot

Shawn Solomon Elliot is an Associate Political Writer and Reporter with Naija Gist and Gossips e-Newspaper. Shawn Solomon Elliot is a NCE graduate in Economics and Social Studies College of Education, Ekiadolor Benin city, Edo state. A Diploma in Computer Science. And also a graduate of Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Benin..... Email:Solomonelliot4real2010@yahoo.com, twitter:@Soloenzo0147, Facebook: Prince Shawn Solomon Elliot

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