By-elections: APC Sweeps Katsina, Plateau, Imo, Bauchi

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has emerged winner of the by-elections held in Katsina, Plateau, Imo and Bauchi states last Saturday.

While the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also won the by-elections in Bayelsa and Cross River states, it however alleged moves to rig the by-election in Zamfara State following the declaration of the poll as inconclusive.

The APC candidate, Ibrahim Kurami, emerged winner of the Bakori State constituency by-election in Katsina State.

The returning officer, Prof Aminu Kankia, declared that Kurami scored 20, 446 votes to defeat his closest rival and PDP candidate, Alhaji Aminu Magaji, who polled 11,356 votes.

The APC candidate in the Plateau South senatorial by-election, Prof Nora Daddut, was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Shendam LGC.

According to the results announced by INEC, Prof Nora polled a total of 83, 15104 votes while George Daika, his PDP rival, secured 70,838 votes.

INEC also declared APC winner of the Imo North bye-election even though the candidate of the party remains a matter of legal dispute. The contenders for APC candidacy are Frank Ibezim and Ifeanyi Araraume, a former senator.

INEC’s returning officer, Hakeem Adigun, after reading out the performance of the parties, said “I hereby return the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the bye-election held in Imo North on Saturday, December 5.”

However, INEC’s refusal to declare any candidate returned elicited reactions from the party agents of both candidates laying claims to the seat.

In Bauchi State, the APC candidate, Bala Lukshi won the Dass State Constituency.

Reacting, however, the Bauchi State governor, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed, has described the defeat suffered by the PDP in the just concluded state assembly by-election in Dass Constituency as a will of God.

Governor Bala, in statement by his special assistant on New Media, Lawal Mu’azu, said his government accepted the defeat with dignity and sportsmanship to avoid overheating the polity at this material time.

The governor called for unity among his cabinet and party members, describing the defeat as a “temporary setback” as it will came to pass.

The PDP candidate, Dr Stephen Odey, emerged winner of Cross River North Senatorial by-election.

According to the results announced by INEC, Odey scored a total of 129,207 votes, defeating his closest rival and APC candidate, Barr. Joe Agi who scored a 19,165 votes.

Odey defeated his opponent by a wide margin in all the five local government areas in the senatorial district.

Reacting, Odey expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the election, commending the electoral commission for playing their observatory role adequately.

Former governor of Bayelsa State,  Seriake Dickson, emerged winner of the Bayelsa West senatorial by-election.

The returning officer, Dean of humanity in Federal University of Otuoke, Prof Ekechukwe okeke, announced that Dickson polled PDP 115,257 while his closet rival, Peremobowei Ebebi of APC scored 17500 votes.

Governor Douye Diri also proved the dominance of the PDP as he won the local government, Kolokuma/Opokuma for the party’s candidate in the Bayelsa Central bye-election.

Results from the collation officer, Dr Abiodun Adelegan indicated that out of the 26,831 accredited voters, the PDP candidate, Mr Moses Cleopas polled 20, 992 votes while Mr Abel Ebifemowei  of the APC polled 4, 980 votes.

In Yenagoa, results collated by Prof Chris Onyeama indicated that Cleopas defeated Ebifemowei with a wide margin, polling 54,390 votes out of the 61,911 accredited votes.

Ebifemowei polled 6,155  votes. Rejected votes were 591 while total votes cast was 60, 855.

Meanwhile, Chief David Lyon, the South South representative at the national caretaker/extraordinary convention planning committee, has described as commendable the peaceful disposition of electorate during the December 5 by-elections.

Lyon, who was in his home town Olugbobiri, ward 4, Olodiama 2, for the National Assembly by-election  expressed satisfaction with improved manner INEC distributed sensitive and non-sensitive materials across the difficult creeks of his constituency.

In Zamfara, INEC declared the Bakura constituency by-election inconclusive even as two ad-hoc staff of the commission were declared missing in the state.

As of the time of filing this report, the whereabouts of the two ad-hoc staff is still unknown.

Addressing journalists, the returning officer, Professor Ibrahim Magawata, said, “The election results of five polling units in Bakura ward have been cancelled.”

However the PDP said yesterday that it is alarmed by what it called an open declaration by the returning officer, Prof. Ibrahim Magatawa, that the planned re-run in the Saturday election already won by the PDP is to enable the APC to gain “upper hand over the PDP.”

The PDP while demanding the immediate removal of Prof. Magatawa over his alleged embarrassing pronouncement alleged he “has betrayed a plot to use the planned re-run in 14 polling units where election was cancelled under unclear circumstances, to rob it party of victory in the Bakura State Constituency by-election.”

A statement by the national publicity secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan said, “Our party and Nigerians were shocked when, in declaring the election inconclusive, given that the total number of registered voters in the 14 polling units is 11,439 higher than the 2,181 difference between the 18,645 votes scored by the PDP and 16,464 votes garnered by the APC, Prof. Magatawa openly suggested that the rerun will give the APC upper hand over the PDP.

“If the APC is to, may gain advantage if there is another election in these units where election is cancelled, that they may get upper hand over the PDP and as a result, we have declared this result inconclusive.’

“Prof. Magatawa’s statement exposes the partisanship of the INEC official, triggers a dangerous crisis of confidence and points to a creepy plot to use the rerun to allocate fictitious votes to APC, the very reason, Prof. Magatawa must not be allowed in anyway to participate in the anticipated rerun.

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“Moreover, Prof. Magatawa’s comments raises apprehension that elections in the 14 units were cancelled to achieve a sinister design to rob the PDP of its victory.

“Currently, the PDP would not go into issues of allegations of plots by the APC to use huge financial inducements, in addition to compromised security operatives by the APC to manipulate this election to its favour.

“We however call on INEC to stop using individuals like Prof. Magawata in our elections. He has shown to be a biased umpire who could not even hide his abominable enterprise.

“The PDP therefore demands that the chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, directly take over the conduct of processes in the Bakura State Constituency bye-election, where our party is in clear victory, as the people will never allow any final outcome that does not reflect the electoral reality already on the ground,” PDP said.

APC Remains Chosen Party for Nigerians – Presidency

Reflecting on the outcome of the by-elections, the presidency has said results from the long list of by-elections show that APC remains the chosen party of Nigerians.

According to a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, the presidency does not take this confidence of the people for granted and will not fail them.

He said Nigerians who appreciate the efforts of the administration in making life better for all citizens, especially under an economy facing the severest test from the global Coronavirus pandemic will not be disappointed.

“We thank them immensely for their trust in the party and government.

“We equally thank the Interim Management Committee of the party under the capable leadership of Mai Mala Buni, the governor of Yobe State, the Progressive Governors Forum under Governor Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi State, all our governors, parliamentarians, state, local government and ward level APC chapters and the entire ranks of the membership for this brave and impressionable performance.

“While congratulating the successful candidates, President Muhammadu Buhari in particular, is very pleased with the election outcomes and urges the party to uphold the spirit of hard work, unity, progress, cooperation that forms the bedrock of these victories,” he said.

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