VOTERS in six states are to wait a little longer to know who will be their governor as from May 29 when the tenure of incumbent governors expires.
Reason: elections in the six states have been declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the cancellation of votes in some polling units (PUs).
The states are: Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa, Benue, Plateau and Bauchi.
The development came yesterday as the electoral umpire announced governorship election results in more states, including Yobe, Borno, Zamfara, Nasarawa, Cross River, Delta, Imo and Kaduna.
INEC’s decision to declare the polls inconclusive in the affected states was taken because the number of cancelled votes was more than the margin between the two leading candidates in the affected states.
The commission will organise supplementary polls in the affected PUs to determine the winners of Saturday’s governorship elections in 29 states. Seven states have their governorship elections staggered.
INEC will today review the suspension of the electoral process in Rivers State. It suspended the process on Sunday for 48 hours following widespread disruptions in the Southsouth state.
With 1.045,427 votes as against his PDP challenger Isa Mohammed Ashiru’s 814,168, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has retained his seat for the APC. He was declared winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Kaduna State.
The Returning Officer, Prof. Mohammed Yahuza Bello, said El-Rufai pollled 1.045,427 to beat Isa Mohammed Ashiru of the PDP, who got 814,168, and other candidates.
Bello said: “Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai of the All Progressives Congress, having scored the highest number of votes and met all the requirements of the law, is hereby returned elected.”
The results of the 23 local government areas show that El-Rufai won in 14 local government areas of Makarfi, Soba, Kudan, Ikara, Kauru, Kubau, Kaduna North, Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Sabongari, Lere, Kaduna South, Zaria and Igabi.
Ashiru won in nine local government areas of Jaba, Kachia, Kaura, Kajuru, Zango Kataf, Sanga, Chikun, Kagarko and Jema’a.
El-Rufai got 56 per cent of the total votes scored. Ashiru scored 44 per cent.
In Zamfara, APC’s candidate Mukhtar Shehu Idris was declared governor-elect after polling 534,541 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Dr. Bello Muhammad who got 189, 452 votes.
The governor-elect told reporters in his Gusau country home that he will continue with the party’s policy and programmes.
Idris said the incumbent Governor Abdul Aziz Yari has sacrificed a lot for the development of the stare and the well-being of its citizens.
He said: “I assure you that my administration will work right from day one towards meeting your yearnings for a more developed prosperous Zamfara state.”
In Sokoto, where INEC declared the election inconclusive, Governor Aminu Tambuwal and candidate of the PDP urged the commission to declare him winner of the poll in the spirit of fairness and justice.
According to him, the decision by the Returning Officer of INEC, Professor Fatima Mukhtar, to declare the exercise inconclusive was unconstitutional.
Citing Section 179(2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic stated that the provision clearly explains how to conduct governorship polls.
He said: “Our party, the PDP has returned the highest number of votes and have won 2/3 of the local governments in the state and, therefore, the decision of INEC is not founded in law. We wonder why INEC is coming with this technical reason to declare the exercise inconclusive.”
Addressing a news conference in Government House, Sokoto, the governor said the decision would be put to test in the court, adding: “We have not been given substantial reasons for such decision.
“INEC should note that it has an image and integrity to protect as an agency and for its officials. It should not put its integrity to public questioning.
“Up till now, we have not been told why the cancellations of the exercise in 136 polling units across 22 local government areas. We know there are adverse factors that should be considered to warrant such decisions and not in all cases rerun should be conducted.”
Urging INEC to revisit its decision, Tambuwal added: “There is the need for INEC to revisit its decision. A little more has to be done by the umpire. Prof Mahmood Yakubu and his staff should know that they have the duty of holding to public trust given them by Nigerians.
“I believe we have won the elections in Sokoto State. We got the majority votes which confirm Sokoto people’s readiness and support for the party and its candidate.”
On whether he would participate in a rerun, the governor said: “Our court action will not stop us from participating. We want to make sure the right thing is done based on constitutional provisions.”
Thanking security agencies for their support to the election process and INEC for its ability to do and to be seen doing the right thing in defence of the democratic process, the governor insisted that “INEC and security agencies should do their best during the rerun.”
The PDP candidate, Umaru Fintiri, said the electoral commission has only postponed his victory by declaring the election inconclusive.
Fintiri said he was sure of winning the supplementary poll whenever it is conducted.
The PDP flagbearer was leading incumbent Governor Jibrila Bindow by end of the collation early yesterday.
INEC pronounced the election inconclusive because the margin of lead between the two leading candidates was smaller than the number of cancelled votes.
Fintiri polled 367,471 votes to take the lead. He was being trailed by the incumbent, who is the APC candidate. Bindow got 334,995 votes.
Explaining how he arrived at declaring the election inconclusive, the state returning officer, Prof Andrew Haruna, had said the 32,467 margin between Fintiri and Bindow was lower than the 40,948 votes cancelled in 44 polling units.
Prof Andrew said election would be held in the affected units to address the vote cancellation anomaly.
Fintiri, who chatted with reporters in Yola, asserted that he would eventually be announced as winner.
He said: “I’m very hopeful of victory. Adamawa is my constituency and I have been voted across the length and breadth of the state. If INEC, for reason of its own cancellation of results, has opted for supplementary election, we are ready for it.”
The local government areas where elections were cancelled in some units are: Madagali (three polling units), Michika (five polling units), Mubi North (three polling units), Hong (four polling units), Song (four polling units), Toungo (three), Demsa (four polling units), Numan (six polling units), Lamurde (three polling units) and Guyuk (three polling units).
Fintiri said despite the turn of events regarding the election, he regarded its conduct as having been generally credible.
“I am satisfied with the electoral process. It was credible and transparently so in most places,” he said.
Incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was yesterday declared winner of the governorship election in Delta State.
Returning Officer Prof Seth Accra-Jaja said Okowa, of the PDP, polled 925,271 to defeat his closest rival, Great Ogboru of the APC, who scored 215,938 votes.
According to Accra-Jaja, 1,188,784 of the 2,831,205 registered voters were accredited for the election.
He said that 24,147 votes were voided and 1,154,188 valid, bringing the total valid votes to 1,178,335.
The ruling PDP won in 23 local government areas spread across the three senatorial districts. The APC won in two local government areas of Ughelli North and Ethiope East.
But the APC rejected the results. It alleged that the election was marred by massive rigging and non- compliance with the electoral law.
The APC state agent, Prof Festus Arunaye said: “I reject the votes as announced because right from the ward level to the local government collation centre, there was gross mayhem and violence that resulted in deaths. The elections were conducted in gross violation of the electoral laws.”
He said his party will seek legal redress to claim the mandate given to it by the people.
PDP State Chairman Kingsley Esiso was happy over his party’s victory, describing it as a “victory for Deltans”.
The governorship candidate of the APC in Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule,was declared winner by the Returning Officer, Prof Bala Abdullahi
Sule polled 327,229 votes to defeat his closest rivals, Emmanuel Ombugadu of the PDP who scored 184,281 votes and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Labaran Maku, who came third with 132,281 votes.
According to the returning officer, the APC candidate won in 11 of the 13 local government areas. Maku and Doma Aliyu of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) won one local government each.
The 11 local government areas won by the APC candidate are: Awe, Keana, Obi, Lafia, Wamba, Akwanga, Kokona, Keffi, Karu, Toto and Nasarawa.
Maku won in Nasarawa Eggon and Doma won in Doma.
Incumbent Cross River State Governor Prof Ben Ayade retained his seat for the PDP.
Ayade, who won in all the 18 local government areas, polled 381,484 to beat the APC to the second position with 131,161 and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to the third with 4, 818 votes.
Announcing the results early yesterday, the returning officer and Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Warri, Delta State, Prof Akii Ibhadode, said the PDP candidate, having scored the highest number of votes and fulfilled the requirements of the law, was returned elected.
INEC suspended indefinitely the collation of results from the Nassarawa Local Government Area, following the destruction of electoral materials by thugs.
Results of 43 local council areas had already been declared with incumbent Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and APC candidate winning in 29. His challenger, Abba Kabiru Yusuf of the PDP, held sway in 14 local government areas.
The PDP candidate was leading with 6,608 votes.
The results of Nassarawa Local Government were delayed following the cancellation of some polling units in Gama ward.
Speaking to reporters at the INEC collation centre, about 4am, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof Riskuwa Shehu Arabu, said the suspension of the collation followed “disturbing” reports of electoral violence.
He said: “We have received disturbing reports of disruption of results collation of Nassarawa Local Government polls by some people which led to the destruction of some of the result sheets.”
Riskuwa noted that INEC could not continue with the collation and final declaration of the result due to the commotion that disrupted the compilation of the results.
He said INEC had resolved to refer to its primary and secondary data from the polling units and wards that will confirm those that will be acceptable within the Electoral Act.
Mai Mala Buni of the APC was declared governor-elected governor of Yobe State.
Buni, a former National Secretary of the APC, was dlared as winner of the March 9 governorship poll in the Northeast states after polling 444, 013 votes to beat Umar Iliya Damagum of the PDP, who polled 95, 703.
Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Abubakar Musa Kundiri, who announced the results, said the election was generally peaceful.
There was wild jubilation across the state as supporters of the APC took to the streets to celebrate the victory.
Prof Babagana Umara Zullum of the APC won the governorship in Borno.
Declaring him governor-elect, the INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof Alhassan Muhammad Gani, who is also the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Kashere, Gombe State, said Prof Zullum scored 1,175,440 votes across the 27 local government areas to trounce his closest rival Mohammed Alkali Imam of the PDP, who got 66,115 votes.
Prof Mani also announced that 32 political parties registered and participated in the governorship election, noting that the election was peaceful.
Former House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha was yesterday declared governor-elect in Imo State.
The PDP candidate polled 273, 404 to defeat the Action Congress (AA) candidate Uche Nwosu, who scored 190,364 and Ifeanyi Ararume of APGA, who got 114, 676 votes.
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Adapted from thenation.