By Ifeanyi Ottah
The All Progressives Congress, APC, won most of the 29 governorship seats contested last Saturday. The huge victory has catapulted the Party to the enviable position of the ruling party in Nigeria.
The APC won in 19 States while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won in Enugu, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom, Gombe and was coasting home to Victory in Rivers, Delta and Taraba.
This also came as the PDP made in-road to the Lagos State House of Assembly winning six seats for the first time as APC’s Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode won a tightly contested governorship election beating PDP candidate Jimi Agbaje.
However, the struggle to win more governorships between the political parties, shifted to the media with the two major political parties accusing each other of conspiring with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies to rig the governorship elections against them where they lost out.
The accusation and counter accusation came as INEC declared governorship results in Imo, Abia and Taraba State, as inconclusive.
The Nigeria civil Society situation Room, a coalition of 60 Civil Society organizations on Monday urged INEC to clinically scrutinize results from Abia, Akwa Ibom and Rivers State. The coalition in a statement, yesterday particularly affirmed that there was sufficient reason to “question the credibility of the elections results in Rivers and Akwa Ibom State.”
Echoing the CSOs, the European Union, EU, Election Observation Mission, EU EOM, pointed at Rivers and Akwa Ibom States as the two most out-standing states where the elections were marred by violence and deliberate interference.
Briefing newsmen in Lagos, on Monday, on the outcome of the elections, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC Alhaji Lai Mohammed painted a picture of how, according to him, the elections in Rivers and Akwa Ibom were manipulated by the Presidency and the PDP.
He said the Party was left with no option than to call for the cancellation of the election conducted in the two states.
Explaining how the elections were manipulated in the two states, he said: “As you would recollect, our party’s chapter in Rivers had written a petition complaining of the crass partisanship of the Rivers state commissioner of Police in the Presidential and National Assembly elections held on March 28. Because of this petition the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Suleiman Abba posted three commissioners of Police from the Force Headquarters to oversee the April 11 Governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers state but as soon as the President learnt of this development, he directed the IGP to reverse the decision and instead requested that AIG Tunde Ogunsakin be posted to oversee the April 11 elections in Rivers state.
“As soon as electoral materials were distributed, the DPO for Akukutoru Local Government Area simply handed over the election materials for this Local Government to the Militants. Upon learning of this development, AIG Ogunshakin ordered that the materials be recovered and given to the Electoral Officer for the local government within the next hour.
“Irked by AIG Ogunsakin’s directive, the Presidency ordered him to leave Rivers State within six hours, and a pliant replacement was asked to take over from him. From then on, unimaginative terror was unleashed on the electorate particularly on APC members and supporters. It was a straight fight between the police, the Militants and the PDP on the one hand and the APC on the other hand.
“Contrary to the directive from INEC that card readers be used for the elections, the machines were discarded in Rivers and that is why the voters turnout for Rivers, as announced by INEC stood at more than 75 percent compared with the national average of between 25 and 35 percent.”
On the other hand, PDP also accused the APC of collaborating with INEC and security agencies to rig the elections across the country.
The Party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olise Metuh, flayed INEC and security officials of having succumbed to the intimidating propaganda of the APC.
According to the Party, “evidences abound of widespread irregularities across the country with INEC rejecting results from the strong holds of PDP candidates for no just cause while accepting the figures those of the APC.
“In Lagos, Adamawa, Plateau, Benue, Kwara, Ogun, Oyo, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Nasarawa, Niger, Yobe, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kebbi and Imo States, there are proofs of electoral manipulations ranging from under-aged voting, ballot stuffing and intimidation of PDP supporters to alteration of some aspects of the process in favour of APC.
“In Abia State, but for the out cry of the People and timely intervention of the INEC headquarters which rejected the illegal cancellation of results from three local governments and strong holds of the PDP by the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, even after they have been announced by the returning officers, the PDP would have been robbed of its well deserved Victory in those areas…”
Ugwuanyi Wins in Enugu:
Meanwhile the PDP governorship candidate in Enugu, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has won with 482, 277 votes against his main challenger of the APC, Barr. Okey Ezea who polled 43,839 votes.
The ruling party also cleared all the 24 House of Assembly seats in the results that were announced by the INEC Returning officer in the State, Prof. Hillary Edoga, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike in Umuahia, Abia State.
Ugwuanyi was the preferred candidate of the incumbent Governor Sullivan Chime.
However, the opposition APC has called for the cancellation of the entire election in the state, alleging widespread irregularities in all the 17 council areas. The Party in a joint press conference addressed by Ezea, his running mate, Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku and the state, chairman, Ben Nwoye, said it was rejecting the results because the PDP did not only collude with the INEC and the Police to manipulate the process but their members were seriously attacked in most of the polling units in the State.
“As far as we are concerned, there was no election in Enugu State, so we call on the INEC to cancel the exercise and fix a date for a fresh election.
“We cannot continue with this rubbish in Enugu State any longer; all of you are witnesses to what happened yesterday and if that is what we should expect in Enugu State, it is very unfortunate.
“They want to push us out of the Politics of Enugu State but that will not happen; we shall never give up”, they said.
Ajimobi wins in Oyo
Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s Victory in Saturday’s governorship election has broken the Jinx.
Incumbent Governor Ajimobi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) polled 327,310 to win a fresh four year mandate in the Agodi, Oyo Government House.
Two of his predecessors in the Pacesetter State-Alhaji Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja and Adebayo Alao Akala-tried to retain their seat but they were rejected at the polls in 2007 and 2011.
They were both of the PDP. Interestingly, the duo of Ladoja and Alao Akala, flying the banners of the Accord Party and Labour Party (LP) contested against Ajimobi but lost to the incumbent.
Ladoja’s Accord Party scored 254,520 and Alao-Akala’s LP polled 184,111. The PDP candidate and former Senate Leader, Teslim Folarin Scored 79,019.
Umahi Wins Ebonyi:
Ebonyi State Deputy Governor and PDP Governorship candidate, Engr. Dave Umahi won the April 11 governorship election after scoring 289,867 votes to beat his closest rival, Edward Nkwegu of the Labour Party, who polled 124,817 votes. The governorship candidate of APC, Senator Julius Ucha came third with 27,583 votes.
Announcing the result at the INEC’s headquarters in Abakaliki, the State Collation Officer and Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku declared that Umahi had met all the constitutional requirements and returned elected.
Meanwhile, the State Governor, Chief Martin Elechi was defeated in his home town in Ikwo Local Council, as he was unable to deliver his preferred candidate, Nkwegu.
Abubakar Wins in Bauchi
In Bauchi State Mr. Mohammed Abubakar of the APC won the governorship election.
Abubakar scored 654,934 votes to beat his main Challenger, Auwal Jatau of the PDP who scored 282,650 votes across the 20 local councils of the State.
Abubakar won in 19 Local Councils while Jatau, who won only in Bogoro Local Government Area of the State where he polled 16,980 votes as against the APC which had 9,914 votes.
The Bauchi State returning officer, Mohammed Kabiru Faruk, a Professor and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Kashere, Gombe State who announced the result at the INEC office in Bauchi returned Abubakar as the winner after meeting the requirements.
Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna:
Former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister Nasir El-Rufai won the Kaduna State Governorship election by a landslide based on 80 percent result from polling units across the State. The diminutive former Minister defeated the incumbent governor of the state.
El Rufai was leading Yero by at least 500,000 votes in 16 out of the 20 local government areas announced by the Kaduna office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Even with the results still being collated, incumbent Governor and candidate of the PDP conceded defeat to El-Rufai of the APC.
Yero, a Political godson of Vice President Namadi Sambo was elevated as governor after the death of Governor Patrick Yakowa in an air Mishap from Yenagoa. Spokesperson of the Kaduna State APC campaign council, Samuel Aruwan, said Yero called El-Rufai and at around 3pm to congratulate the latter on his victory.
Aru’Wan said: “He (Yero) congratulated El-Rufai and wished him success. He prayed for peace and development of Kaduna State and Nigeria at large. El-Rufai in his response thanked Yero and wished him all the best and hope to see him soon.
Ambode wins in Lagos
Akinwunmi Ambode of the APC has emerged winner in the governorship election in Lagos beating his close rival Jimi Agbaje of the PDP.
Ambode polled 811,994 votes to defeat Agbaje of the PDP, who polled 659,788 votes.
APC won in 15 local government areas, while PDP won in five local government areas across the state.
Prof. Isaac Adewole, INEC, returning officer for Lagos State Governorship election, announced Ambode as winner at about 7:30pm having satisfied all the requirements in line with the electoral act.
According to Adewole, the margin of lead between Ambode and Agbaje is 152,206, while the total number of voter is 13,972, this he said was far less than margin of votes and would not invalidate the exercise.
He said both parties scored 25 percent of votes cast in 20 local government areas.
While describing the exercise as one of the most credible elections in the country, Adewole expressed his appreciation to INEC officials, security agencies, IG, Suleiman Abba and AIG, Joseph Mbu and other security agencies for providing adequate security as there was no recorded life lost throughout the exercise.
Representatives of each of the contesting political parties later signed the result sheets.
Ambode, in a swift reaction to his victory as posted on his facebook thanked all Lagos residents for twisting him and promised to fulfill all his campaign promises in collaboration with them.
He said: “Thank you Lagosians, we promise to serve you better. Thank you for trusting APC, we will work harder to serve you better.”
However, some results were cancelled in some polling units in areas like: Mushin, Kosofe, Agege Alimosho, Epe. The electoral officers said the results were cancelled for electoral offences such as over-voting and thuggery.
The opposition PDP has made in-road into the Lagos State House of Assembly, winning six of the 18 seats so far declared results for 22 constituencies are being awaited. Among the six PDP House members elect is an Igbo, Mr. Emeka Idimogu elected to represent Oshodi-Isolo Constituency II.
Nollywood star, Desmond Elliot of the APC won in surulere I Constituency and Lai Mohammed’s son, Folajimi also of the APC won the Ikeja I seat.
Ortom Wins in Benue:
The APC, governorship candidate in Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom has emerged the winner of last Saturday’s governorship elections in the State.
In the results so far released by INEC in Makurdi, from 22 out of 23 local government areas of the State, Dr. Ortom polled 394,047 votes to defeat Mr. Terhemen Tarzoor of the PDP who polled 302,324 votes.
Though the votes from Buruku Local Government Area were being expected at Press time, it was not expected to alter the outcome of the entire result.
As it stands, the difference between the votes garnered by the APC and PDP candidates is 91,723.
Meanwhile the PDP won 15 of the State House of Assembly seats so far released by the electoral body, the APC had 10, Labour Party secured one seat while results from four states constituencies were still being awaited.
Tambuwal wins in Sokoto
The speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, was declared winner of the Sokoto State governorship election.
The State’s collation and Returning Officer, Prof. Abdullahi Bagudu, who is a Deputy Vice Chancellor, Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, declared that Tambuwal polled the highest number of votes in Saturday’s governorship election in the State.
Announcing the results at about 7:15pm Prof. Abdullahi Bagudu disclosed that the total votes cast were 958,736 while total valid votes were 926,682 and voided votes were 32,054.
Tambuwal polled 647,605 votes, while the PDP candidate, Senator Abdalla Wali scored 269,074.
The speaker won in all 23 local government areas, while his PDP challenger did not win in any local government.
In the State House of Assembly election, the APC won 28 seats, PDP won two while PDM got one seat.
Stalemate in Abia State:
There was stalemate in Abia State after the returning officer for the governorship election reversed himself on the cancellation of the results in three local government areas following a visit to the INEC office by Governor Theodore Orji.
Eearlier, the returning officer for the election, Prof. Benjamin Ozurumba, had cancelled the results presented for Osisioma Obingwa and Isiala Ngwa North on the basis of alleged irregularities. The decision was, however, vehemently challenged by officials of the PDP leaching to a statement that was only broken after the visit of Governor Orji to the INEC office where he held private meetings with the REC.
The decision to revalidate the result from the three local government areas, has however, been seriously rejected by the APGA representatives at the collation centre. Both APGA and PDP were running neck and neck in the results, at Press time.
PDP Wins 19 House Seats in Ondo as two die:
The PDP in Ondo State won 19 of the 24 House of Assembly seats declared by INEC in the last Saturday election just as two hoodlums were shot dead for hijacking electoral materials.
It’s main opposition APC secured five seats while the results of Ilaje I and II constituencies were declared inconclusive.
The PDP won in Idare, Ifedore, Ese Odo, Akure South I, Akure North, Akoko South East, Akoko North West II, Akoko North East, Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo, Irele Odigbo I and Odigbo II, Okitipupa I and Okitupupa II, Ondo East, Ondo West I and Ondo West II, Ose and Owo I.
The opposition APC won the seats in Owo II, Akoko North West I, Akoko South West I, Akoko West II and Akure South II.
Addressing Newsmen in Akure on the out come of the Saturday Poll, the Resident Electoral Commissioner Olusegun Agbaje said that the two electoral offenders were shot dead by Naval officer in the Oil rich Ilaje area of the State.
Agbaje added that eight, guns, six mobile phones belonging to INEC Ad-Hoc Staff and other materials belonging to the commission were recovered from the hoodlums.
Speaking on the election results Agbaje said over 35,000 voters were disenfranchised in the 73 units in Ilaje constituencies where electoral materials were hijacked by the hoodlum.
Agbaje said that the election was characterized by low turn out of voters across the State and pocket of security breaches in some local government areas.
He listed the areas to include Akoko North West, Akoko South West, Ese Odo, Idanre, Ilaje, Irele, Okitipupa, Ondo East, Owo and Ose.
Amosun’s Victory: PDP alleges irregularities
The PDP in Ogun State has kicked against the declaration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun as winner of the governorship election in the state. The Party said the development “is clearly not a true reflection of Ogun people’s wish and it will be challenged as appropriate.”
The INEC in the State had declared Amosun who is the candidate of the APC as governor-elect having polled 306,988 votes to defeat the PDP governorship candidate in the state, Prince Gboyega Isiaka who polled 201,440 votes.
Reacting to Amosun’s declaration, the Party, through the Gboyega Nasir Isiaka campaign Organization declared the gubernatorial election “as very unfortunate and a travesty staged to help the APC achieve victory.”
The Party in a statement signed by Director of Media, Ifekayode Akinbode, said, “whereas, INEC declared APC the winner with 307,008 votes and the PDP coming second with 201,440 votes we are not obvious of the clear manipulations, misrepresentations, underhand dealing and outright rigging by the APC, and most unfortunately with the culpability of INEC.
“Let us quickly state emphatically that we are displeased with the outcome of the governorship election particularly as being irregular in most aspects.
“However, we must state a few facts here to support our preliminary position. Before the election, we alerted that huge numbers of uncollected Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) were in the possession of APC statements with the intention to give same to their party members for use with active connivance of compromised corps members and INEC staff.
“This was indeed what happened. Secondly, on the election dates, Ogun people trooped out and actually votes for the PDP. As at 3pm. We were actually receiving good results from all over the state as results were being announced and posted from various polling booths.
“This was the situation until Senator Amosun defied the electoral law and moved out of his polling zone into other areas of Abeokuta and then to Sagamu, Ota and Ifo local government areas with a full retinue of buses.
“What followed were reports of snatching of ballot boxes and stuffing of same in these locations. Same manipulation happened enroot the collation centres.
“It was for these reasons that some PDP agents refused to sign the results streets; yet the umpire went ahead to announce result despite the over voting, result falsification, harassment of our party agents and other irregularities.
Clearly, the huge votes from Ogun central local governments of Abeokuta North, Abeokuta South, Odeda, Obafemi Owode as well as Ado Odo / Ota local governments in Ogun West Senatorial district were a true reflection of the rigging.
The Chief Returning Officer of gubernatorial election in Kwara State, Professor Musbau Akanji also declared the gubernatorial candidate of the APC Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed as winner of the election.
Prof. Akanji said that Governor Ahmed who was seeking re-election polled 295,832 votes to defeat the candidate of the PDP Senator Simeon Ajibola who scored 115,220 votes and came far second while the candidate of Labour Party Dr. Mike Omotosho polled 2,973 to come third.
Similarly, the APC as declared by the respective returning officers won all three twenty four House of Assembly seats across the 16 local governments in the state.
APGA Wins Assembly Polls in Anambra:
Results of 25 out of the 30 House of Assembly seats in Anambra State have been declared by the INEC, with the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, in the State winning all.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Mr. Edqin Nwatarali, who gave details of the Saturday’s polls in the State, said that there would be elections on April 18,2015 in four state constituencies where the exercise was inconclusive.
The result of Anambra West State Constituency was still being collated at the Press time the REC was briefing reporters.
Areas where there were inconclusive polls include Aguata I constituency (where elections will be repeated at Uga ward), the whole of Ekwusigo Constituency where a chieftain of one of the political parties led thugs to cart away election materials before the commencement of the exercise on Saturday, as well as in Anaocha I Constituency, where there would be repeat election in five polling units at Adazi Ani, one polling unit at Adazi Nnukwu and Agulu ward 1, 2, 3 and 4.
In Anaocha II constituency, there would be a repeat exercise at Nri wards I and II.