609,197 voters to decide Tambuwal, Ganduje, Ortom, others’ fate
A total of 609,197 votes will decide last weekend’s governorship elections in six states declared as inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The affected states are Benue, Sokoto, Adamawa, Bauchi, Kano and Plateau and the major contenders are the candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Among the candidates whose fate would be decided by the re-run polls expected to hold on March 23rd are Governor Aminu Tambuwal (PDP) and his former deputy, Ahmad Aliyu (APC) in Sokoto State as well as Abdullahi Ganduje (APC) and Abba Yusuf (PDP) in Kano State.
Others are Governor Samuel Ortom (PDP) and Emmanuel Jime (APC) in Benue State; Governor Jibrila Bindow (APC) and Ahmadu Fintiri (PDP) in Adamawa State and Governor Simon Lalong and Senator Jeremiah Useni in Plateau State.
A breakdown of the deciding votes among the six states shows that Bauchi tops the chart with 180,652 votes, followed closely by Kano with 141,694.
Others are Benue (121,091), Sokoto (75,403), Bauchi (45,312), Plateau (49,377) and Adamawa (40,988).
Reasons cited by the electoral commission for declaring the polls in the states as inconclusive include over-voting, non-usage of card readers to accredit voters and violence, among others.
Declaring the governorship election in Benue State in which Governor Ortom of the PDP polled 410,576 votes to lead his closest rival, Emmanuel Jime of APC, who scored 329,022 votes inconclusive, INEC said that the margin of lead was below the total number of cancelled votes.
Ortom won in 13 out of the 23 local government areas of the state, while Jime won in 10. The councils where Ortom won are Gboko, Guma, Ukum, Logo, Vandeikya, Agatu, Kwande, Buruku, Konshisha, Ado, Ushongo, Gwer West and Gwer East. Those won by Jime are Makurdi, Tarka, Ado, Otukpo, Katsina Ala, Apa, Ohimini, Ogbadibo, Okpokwu and Obi.
But, the Returning Officer for the state, Prof. Sabastine Maimako, put the total number of cancelled votes at 121,091, while the margin of lead between the two leading candidates was 81,554 votes.
The local government areas affected by the cancellation include Gwer West, Gboko (Yandev North PU), Ukum (Azendeshi PU), Logo (Mbater RA-Kyanyon village square), Okpokwu (RA Ijigo, Okokolo and Okpali PU), Agatu (Adugba playground), Apa (Ibadan playground and Apaganyi open space), Buruku (Mbaakwa and Mbaazager market square).
Others are Otukpo (Okefe RA and Nboju Icho PU), Tarka (RA 08), Guma (Nyiev RA), Tsekeleke (Amua Health Clinic), Makundu, Saawuan, Kpanye and Dzegeor (Inyudu market Square), Konshisha and Oju.
Following the declaration of the Kano State governorship as inconclusive, INEC will conduct re-run elections in 22 local government areas of the state.
INEC had declared the outcome of Saturday’s governorship election in the state as inconclusive.
The state’s Returning Officer, Prof. Bello Shehu, said the election was declared inconclusive because the number of cancelled votes was higher than the difference in votes scored between the two leading candidates: Abba Yusuf of PDP and the incumbent governor, Abdullahi Ganduje of APC.
The PDP candidate polled 1,014,474 votes, while his APC counterpart scored 987,819 votes, a margin of 26,655 votes. However, cancelled votes stand at 141,694.
Among the local government areas mostly affected are Gaya, Bunkure, Kura, Dala, Nassarawa and Bebeji.
The commission cited non-usage of card readers, which led to manual voting and snatching of ballot papers for the cancellation in Kano State.
In Plateau State, INEC declared the gubernatorial election as inconclusive over the inability of the governorship candidate of the APC, Governor Lalong, to secure a margin higher than the number of cancelled votes.
The Returning Officer for the state, Prof. Richard Kimbir, after the collation of the election’s results, said the margin of lead between Lalong and his PDP counterpart, Senator Useni is 44,929, which is 4,448 lower than the cancelled votes of 49,377.
Lalong polled 583,255 votes, while Useni trailed closely by 538,326 votes, but Prof. Kimbir explained that the cancellation was as a result of over-voting and non-use of card readers in about nine local government areas, with a total of 20 registration areas and 41 polling units.
The local government areas affected include Mangu, Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Jos North, Bokkos, Kanam, Langtang South, Pankshin and Shendam.
Mangu has the highest number of cancelled votes, with about 26,135 across three registration areas.
Jos North has 4,157 cancelled votes, Kanam (2,627), Barkin Ladi (570), Bassa (3,078), Bokkos (5,314), Pankshin (1,144), Langtang South (5,501) and Shendam (851).
Giving reasons for declaring the governorship election in Bauchi State as inconclusive, INEC cited the inability of the Collation Officer for Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area to give a clear account of what transpired in the area.
Bauchi State Returning Officer, Prof. Mohammed Kyari, said there was no result from Tafawa Balewa and as a result, the only op tion was to cancel the election result.
From the result announced by collation officer, Dominion Anosike, at the local government collation centre, the PDP polled 40,010 votes, while APC had 29,862 votes. Total figure of registered voters in the area is 135,340.
Kyari had earlier explained that the margin between the two leading candidates, Senator Bala Mohammed of the PDP and Governor Mohammed Abubakar of APC is 4,059 votes, which was less than the 45,312 cancelled votes.
The PDP candidate polled a total of 469,512 votes against his APC counterpart’s 465,453 votes. Declaring the governorship election in the state as inconclusive, INEC said the margin of votes between the two top candidates – Governor Jibrila Bindow (APC) and Ahmadu Fintri (PDP) – is lesser than the 40,988 votes cancelled in about 40 polling units in the 29 Registration Areas. INEC’s Returning Officer for the state, Prof. Andrew Haruna, said the margin of lead is 32,476. Fintiri polled 367,471 votes against Bindow’s 334, 995 votes.
In Sokoto State, 75,403 were votes cancelled, which is higher than the 3,413 margin of difference between the leading contenders – Governor Tambuwal of PDP and Aliyu of APC.
The state’s Returning Officer, Prof. Fatima Muktar, declared that the 75,403 votes were cancelled in 136 polling units across the state.
According to the results declared, Tambuwal polled 489,558 votes, while his closest rival, Aliyu, scored 486,145 votes.