INEC Decides On Bauchi, Kano, Rivers, Sokoto, Others Today.
Mar 12, 2019 Politics 1406 By Afam Jude Offor
The controversies trailing non-conclusion of governorship elections in some states will be resolved today at a crucial meeting summoned by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Top INEC sources confirmed the electoral umpire would meet today to take decisions on the yet-to-be-concluded elections and possibly fix dates for rerun polls, especially in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Sokoto, Rivers, Plateau and other states where the processes were stalemated. The commission has 21 days to complete elections in areas or states where the processes have been declared inconclusive. The states were among the 29 states in the country where the governorship elections were held on Saturday, March 9 but the final results were either not announced or the leading candidate did not have a convincing margin of votes. In other cases, the number of voided votes and the figure required for a winner to be declared was below the cancelled votes thereby warranting a rerun. However, the governorship elections did not hold in Anamabra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Kogi, Ondo, and Osun States because the tenures of the incumbent governors have not elapsed. And after a long wait, INEC last night declared the outcome of Saturday's governorship election in Kano State as inconclusive. The announcement was made yesterday evening by the state's returning officer, Prof. Bello Shehu. Shehu said that the election was 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 incumbent governor Abdullahi Ganduje of the APC. Announcing the results, Shehu said that while the PDP candidate polled 1,014,474 votes, Ganduje scored 987,819 votes leaving a difference of 26,655 votes. He also said the total number of votes cancelled in 22 local government areas including Gama ward of Nasarawa councils was 141,694 votes.
INEC national commissioner and chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye,while briefing the press yesterday, said that the commission would today take a stand on the states where elections have been declared inconclusive. Okoye said: "As at now, collation is still ongoing in some states. We are still monitoring the situation. We are also in contact with the resident electoral commissioners (REC) where the elections were declared inconclusive. By tomorrow (today) we will take a stand on when the supplementary elections will hold in these states." In Benue State, for instance, the INEC returning officer, Prof. Sabastine Maimako, did not declare Governor Samuel Ortom, the winner of the governorship election because the total number of votes cancelled outnumbered the margin of win by Ortom, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate. Ortom got the highest votes of 410,576 while the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, came second with 329,022 votes. Maimako explained that the difference of margin of lead by Ortom was 81,554 while the cancelled votes stood at 121,019. He, therefore, urged INEC to conduct a fresh election in the affected areas within 21 days. It gathered that of the 23 local governments in the state, Ortom won in 12 councils. Also yesterday, Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, asked INEC to declare him as the winner of the governorship election having met all the Electoral Act and constitutional requirements such as scoring the highest number of votes cast.Tambuwal told a press conference at the Sokoto Government House that INEC chairman, Prof Mahmud Yakubu and all other officials of the commission should not forget that they have their integrity to uphold the truth before Nigerians. While appreciating the people of the state for their trust and confidence in him, the governor said that the outcome of the vote was a confirmation of their trust in his leadership.He "You cannot underrate God's factor in whatever you do. I, therefore, wish to thank the people of the state for coming out en mass to cast their votes for us. Their action at the polling on Saturday, 9th March, 2019 was a confirmation of their trust and belief in our leadership style." Tambuwal, who insisted that the provision of the constitution and Electoral Act should be judiciously followed by INEC to declare him the winner of the poll, added that "we are still waiting for INEC on the purported declaration of inconclusive election in Sokoto." He said that his party would not boycott any rerun election in the state because the will of the people would certainly prevail.