The weekend witnessed conclusion of rescheduled supplementary elections in most regions, especially the North.
Although state assembly and federal constituency elections held in the South, the Northern region was the centre of attention and tension as the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) battled at the ballots for the office of the Governor.
Governorship re-run took place in Sokoto, Plateau, Kano, Benue and Bauchi.
PDP’S Bala wins Bauchi
Bauchi State witnessed fierce contest between sitting governor of the APC, Muhammed Abdullahi and top contender for the office, Bala Muhammed of the APC.
After the first day of elections on March 9, reports were that Bala led the polls ahead of his rival with 469,512 votes against Abdullahi’s 465, 453.
Disruptions in Tafawa Balewa and Ningi local governments and wraps of disturbances at some centres prompted the collation and returning officer to announce the process as inconclusive; though, she later pulled out of the role following threats of harm and danger to self and family.
Supplementary election was fixed for March 23 with a new collation officer appointed.
The re-run was finally condcuted last Saturday following an enjoinment on INEC to follow through the process by court order, in a suit filed by the APC candidate.
INEC had wanted to shelf the re-run for continuation of results collated from the March 9 exercise but it compelled to proceed to the polls.
On Sunday, results from the Saturday polls showed that PDP and its candidate garnered more votes to increase the lead.
Bala got 6,376 more votes to add to the initial 469,512 while Abdullahi scored additional 5,117 to move up to 465, 453.
The difference shows a gap of 5,318 votes thereby making PDP’s candidate, Bala Muhammed the governor-elect by votes.
Official announcement of Bala as the winner awaits the Federal High Court’s decision on Monday, March 25.
PDP’s Tambuwal wins Sokoto
Northwest state, Sokoto, saw Governor Aminu Tambuwal of the PDP returned for a second term.
The former House of Representatives Speaker defeated APC candidate, Ahmed Aliyu by 341 votes.
Tambuwal polled 512002 votes against Aliyu’s 511661.
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.
The APC has rejected the result and announcement of Tambuwal as winner citing the “so-called winning margin” to be “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.”
PDP’s Ortom wins Benue
Governor Samuel Ortom of the PDP defeated APC’s Emmanuel Jime by 7764 votes.
After the March 9 election, Ortom polled 410,576 votes to Jime’s 329,022. At the end of the re-run, the incumbent polled polled 23,897 votes while Jime got 16,133 votes.
APC candidate, Emmanuel Jime descries unfairness and vows to recover the mandate he believes has been stolen from him.
Jime’s camp said in a statement: “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.”
As PDP claimed victories in Benue, Bauchi and Sokoto, the APC polled more votes in Kano and Plateau.
APC’s Ganduje wins Kano
Sitting Kano state governor of the APC, Abdullahi Ganduje braced the odds to emerge with the highest votes against Abba Yusuf of the PDP.
Ganduje polled a total of 1,033,695 votes to beat Yusuf with 1,024,713 votes from both scheduled dates – March 9 and 23.
In the main election of March 9, Ganduje got 987,819 votes, trailing Yusuf, who got 1,014,474; Yusuf led with over 26,000 votes as of March 23.
Additional votes of 45,876 put the sitting governor in the lead. Yusuf scored additional 10,239 votes from the supplementary election.
The PDP allege that the election, which Ganduje won with 8, 982 margin, was marred by violence, voter intimidation and other malpractices.
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.”
APC’s Lalong wins Plateau
Simon Lalong was declared winner by INEC over PDP candidate,Jeremiah Useni.
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
At the conclusion of the re-run in nine LGAs, Lalong scored additional 12,327 new votes, while Useni got 8,487.
He was declared winner with 595,582 votes to defeat 23 other candidates, including Useni, who garnered 546,813 votes.
Useni rejected the results of the governorship poll. He 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