The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday released more results of Saturday’s governorship election with anointed candidates of some governors losing the poll.
All the results so far declared as of 10 pm on Monday indicated that the All Progressives Congress won the governorship polls in 15 states including Sokoto, Katsina, Jigawa, Gombe, Lagos, Kwara, Niger, Yobe, Nasarawa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Ogun, Benue, Kaduna and Borno.
The Peoples Democratic Party on the other hand won Plateau, Bauchi, Oyo, Delta, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states while the New Nigeria Peoples Party emerged victorious in Kano.
The results of the election in Abia and Enugu States were delayed following the dispute between the Labour Party and the PDP over the results from some local government areas.
To resolve the issues, INEC suspended further collation of the governorship election results pending a review of the process of the contentious balloting in parts of the two states.
On Sunday, INEC declared Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo, PDP) Dapo Abiodun (Ogun, APC), Muhammadu Yahaya (Gombe, APC), Babatunde Sanwo-Olu (Lagos, APC), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe, APC) and Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq (Kwara, APC) the winners of the governorship election.
Also, the PDP candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno and Dr Dikko Radda of the APC in Katsina also emerged as the governors-elect.
The APC candidate in Sokoto State, Ahmed Sokoto, and his counterpart in Jigawa State, Namadi Dammodi, were declared governors-elect.
However, the anointed candidates of the Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje; his counterpart for Plateau State, Simon Lalong, Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Samuel Ortom (Benue) were defeated by the opposition parties.
Ganduje failed the NNPP in Kano as the opposition candidate, Abba Yusuf, was declared the governor-elect, defeating Yusuf Gawuna.
Gawuna, who is the deputy governor of the state, was Ganduje’s anointed candidate, while Yusuf was backed by the NNPP presidential candidate and ex-Kano governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The INEC returning officer, Ahmad Ibrahim, announced that Yusuf won the election with 1,019,602 votes, while Gawuna got 890,705 votes.
Yusuf had contested against Ganduje in 2019 in what was regarded as a very controversial election, which went into supplementary polls in 28 out of the 44 local government areas in the state.
At the end of the first election, Yusuf was leading Ganduje with 26,655 votes. Yusuf, who was at the time the PDP candidate polled 1,014,474 votes while Ganduje got 987,819 votes.
Ganduje eventually won by scoring 45,876 votes while Yusuf amassed 10,239 in the supplementary polls.
Meanwhile, the opposition PDP has retaken the Plateau State governor’s office from the APC after eight years of Lalong in power.
Its candidate, Caleb Mutfwang, was declared the winner of the election by the Returning Officer and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Lafia , Prof Idris Amali at exactly 3:33 pm on Monday after collating results from the 17 local government areas of the state.
Recall that the PDP had been in power in the state from 1999 to 2015 when Lalong dislodged the party.
Lalong also won re-election in 2019 to retain power until last Saturday’s polls.
Declaring Mutfwang as the duly elected governor at the INEC collation centre in Jos, the state capital, Amali said that the PDP candidate polled 525,299 votes to defeat the rival APC candidate, Dr Nentawe Yilwatda who had 481,370 votes.
He stated, “I’m going to declare the results that I have here. There are 18 contestants. That Caleb Manesah Mutfwang of the PDP, having satisfied the requirements by the law, is hereby returned and declared the winner.’’
According to the results, the PDP candidate won in 10 LGAs while his APC counterpart won in seven LGAs.
In Sokoto, Tambuwal’s anointed candidate was defeated by his APC candida who was declared the winner of the governorship election in the state.
The state Collation Officer, Bichi Amaya’u, who announced the result late Sunday night, said Sokoto garnered 453,661 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Saidu Ubandoma who polled 404,632.
The governor-elect, an ally of a former governor of Sokoto State and s senator, Aliyu Wamakko, was the deputy to Tambuwal during his first tenure between 2015 and 2019.
In 2019, he contested against Tambuwal, a member of the PDP, and lost with a close margin of 342 votes after a re-run.
Also, the APC candidate in Benue State, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, was declared the governor-elect on Monday by the Returning Officer, Prof Faruk Kuta.
The cleric routed Ortom’s candidate, Titus Uba of the PDP, to emerge the winner of the poll.
Announcing the election outcome at the INEC office in Makurdi, Kuta, the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, disclosed that the priest scored 473,933 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Uba who had 223,914 votes.
The LP candidate, Hemma Hembe secured 41,841 votes to come a distant third.
The APC governorship candidate won in 17 LGAs, the PDP candidate won in four and the LP was victorious in one council.
But the governorship election could not be held in Kwande Local Government Area due to print errors in the ballot papers meant for the council.
The returning officer said that the commission relied on section 24 (1) of the Electoral Act and INEC guidelines to declare the winner of the election.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Prof Sam Egwu had earlier said that when the margin of lead was more than the registered voters in the affected local government, the commission would declare the winner of the election.
Kwande LGA with 15 Registration Areas has 172,294 registered voters.
Findings show that the margin of lead was 250,020 votes.
Also on Monday, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State won a second term in office by a landslide.
Out of the 649,855 votes cast, Zulum, on the platform of APC, scored 545,543, defeating Ali Jajari of the PDP, who polled 82,147 votes.
The state Returning Officer, Prof Jude Rabo, said Zulum was returned elected having scored the highest number of votes and secured a quarter of the votes cast in each of the 27 LGAs of the state.
The APC also won all 28 house of assembly seats in the election.
The APC equally strengthened its foothold in Nasarawa State as Governor Abdullahi Sule was declared the winner of the governorship election.
Sule had 347, 209 votes to win a second term in office, beating his closest challenger, David Ombugadu of the PDP who scored 283, 016 votes.
Abdullahi Maidoya of the NNPP had 11,726 votes.
The election results were collated and announced in Lafia on Monday by the INEC’s Returning Officer in Nasarawa State, Prof Ishaya Tanko.
Tanko, who is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Jos, Plateau state, added that the Social Democratic Party candidate, Mohammed Mustapha, amassed 9,003 votes.
The returning officer further explained that the total number of registered voters in the state was 1,899,244; accredited voters, 668,978 but the total votes cast were 660,805 while 6,934 ballots were invalid.
“Having satisfied the requirements and having received the total votes of 347,209, the APC with the candidate, Sule Audu Alhaji is hereby returned and declared the winner of the governorship election in Nasarawa State,” Tanko declared.
The APC’s winning streak equally spread to Niger State where its candidate, Umar Bago, won the governorship election in the state.
The state collation officer, Prof Clement Allawa, stated that the Bago won in 20 of the 25 LGAs and polled a total of 469, 896.
But the PDP candidate, Isah Kantigi won in five local government areas with 387, 476 votes.
Yahaya Mohammed of the NNPP came third with 3, 378 votes while the only female candidate in the election, Khadijat Abdulahi of the All Progressive Grand Alliance polled 1, 746 votes.
Announcing the result, Allawa stated, “I, Professor Clement Allawa, hereby certify that I am the Returning Officer for the 2023 governorship election that was contested on the 18th March 2023.
“I declare that Umar Mohammed Bago of the APC, having satisfied the requirements of the law, is hereby declared the winner of the 2023 governorship election in Niger state.’’
In Bauchi State, Governor Bala Mohammed resisted the APC onslaught as he won re-election on the platform of the PDP.
Announcing the result on Monday, Abdulkareem Mohammed, the returning officer, said the governor polled 525,280 votes to defeat Sadique Abubakar of the APC who had 432,272 votes.
Mohammed won 15 of the 20 LGAs in the state while Abubakar, the immediate past chief of air staff, clinched five.
Mohammed, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory and senator, was first elected as governor of the state in 2019.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress rejected the results of the election as its agent, Abdulmumuni Kundak, refused to sign the results sheet claiming that it was marred by irregularities.
After the returning officer wrote the results in the Form EC 8, Kundak and other party agents were asked to sign but he refused, saying the results were questionable.
“I won’t sign the results because I am not satisfied, because I’m not sure that this is the genuine result. It is a cooked result. I have made several alerts before everyone here. I won’t sign except if they will hold my hand and force me to sign.
“There were many irregularities which I raised before the returning officer but they refused to hear what I was saying. How can you send your staff to conduct an election and bring the results to you without allowing the witnesses to also come along when the results are being presented?,’’ he queried.
The APC, in a petition, addressed to the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state alleged massive rigging, violence and electoral malpractices and called for the cancellation of the results of the election in five LGAs.
They also demanded that after the cancellation, the election should be declared as inconclusive so that a rerun can be held.
The petition, which was signed by the APC Legal Adviser, Rabiu Garba, read: “We hereby complain about the massive rigging, violence and electoral malpractices committed which marred the Bauchi State governorship election conducted on 18th march, 2023 in Alkaleri, Kirfi, Toro, Warji and Zaki Local Government Areas.”
The party alleged that their supporters were chased away by suspected thugs in the Alkaleri LGA and their supporters were disenfranchised.
“The election in Alkaleri LGA was characterized by over-voting without cancellation, box snatching. A returning officer was beaten, tortured and threatened at gunpoint to sign the concocted result.
“Consequent upon the above, we categorically state that the governorship election of 18 March 2003 conducted in Bauchi State was rendered invalid by reason of non-compliance to the Electoral Act, 2022 and INEC guidelines for the 2023 general elections.
“We, therefore, call for: the cancellation of the governorship election held in Alkaleri, Toro, Warji and Zaki Local Government Areas and the declaration of the election in Bauchi State as inconclusive,’’ the petition read in part.
The PDP was equally triumphant in Delta State where its candidate, Sheriff Oborevwori, was declared the winner.
Oborevwori, the incumbent Speaker of the state assembly and favourite of the outgoing Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, recorded 360,234 to beat Ovie Omo-Agege of the APC who chalked up 240,229 votes.
The Labour Party candidate, Ken Pela, bagged 48,047 votes; the PDP won in 21 LGAS and the APC in four.
However, the APC has kicked against the result, alleging bypass of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and illegal updating of false results in 20 councils.
According to the party, the alleged malpractice was perpetrated in Aniocha North; Aniocha South; Ika North East; Ika South; Oshimili North, Oshimili South; Ukwani; Ndokwa East and Ndokwa West, among others.
The APC stated this in a protest letter written by the Delta APC Campaign Organisation dated March 20, 2023, signed by Mr Godwin Anaughe, the party’s Director, Election and Strategy, and addressed to the INEC Returning Officer.
The copies of the petition were also forwarded to the INEC chairman, the commissioner of police in charge of elections and the media.
The party claimed the collation and announcement of results from the state governorship election were flagrantly in breach of the Electoral Act, 2022.
“The All Progressives Congress has disputed and is still disputing before this collation body the correctness of the collated results from all polling units in the affected local government areas of Delta State,” the petition noted.
In his reaction, the Young Progressives Party candidate, Sunny Ofehe stated that “the 2023 Delta governorship was sadly for the highest bidder.”
In a statement made available to journalists in Warri, Ofehe said, “We have witnessed yet again a mere selection called an ‘election’ on Saturday, March 18, 2023, for gubernatorial and state house of assembly members, where huge fraud was sadly perpetrated.
“The good people of Delta State were disenfranchised and denied right to free choice of their political leaders by widespread thuggery, vote buying, a concoction of figures at collation centres and the likes.’’
The APC carried the day in Cross River State as its candidate, Senator Bassey Otu, was declared the governor-elect on Monday.
He scored 258,619 votes to defeat Senator Sandy Onor of the PDP who garnered 179,636 votes in the keenly contested race.
Otu won in 15 of the 18 local government areas while the PDP won three LGAs.
Declaring Otu winner, the state Returning Officer for the governorship election, who is the VC of Federal University, Otuoke, Teddy Adias, said “That Otu Bassey Edet, having got the maximum number of valid votes and having met the requirements of the law is hereby declared elected.”
In Adamawa, Governor Umaru Fintiri’s hope of savouring victory was dashed as the election was declared inconclusive by the electoral body.
Prof Mohammed Mele, the state Collation and Returning Officer for the election said that Fintiri of the PDP polled 421, 524 of the votes cast to defeat the APC candidate, Senator Aishatu Binani who scored 390,275, the election was cancelled in 69 polling units which affected no fewer than 37,016 potential voters.
The APC state party agent, Usman Maulud, said the party was rejecting the outcome of the polls because their complaint against accepting the results for the Fufore LGA was not considered which was why he did not sign the result sheet.
The PDP agent, Dr Aliyu Idi-Hong, equally kicked against the declaration of the election as inconclusive.
According to him, those affected in the 69 polling units were not more than 7,000 registered voters.
He alleged collusion by the APC and INEC officials ‘’to steal the election in Adamawa at all cost.’’
“ Their notion of inconclusive is criminal. It is deliberate collusion and it also proved one thing that this election result has always been decreed to be stolen,” Hong said.
But the Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi-backed candidate, Francis Nwifuru, was declared the winner of the governorship poll in the state.
Nwifuru, the two-term speaker of Ebonyi State assembly and APC candidate, was announced as the governor-elect by the state Returning Officer, Prof Charles Igwe, who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
While Nwifuru secured 199,131 votes, the PDP candidate, Dr Ifeanyi Odii, pulled 80,191 votes.
The APGA candidate, Prof. Benard Odoh, scored 52,189 votes.
Dissatisfied with the result, Odili said he would challenge it in court, describing the exercise as a ‘’broad day robbery of the people’s mandate.’’
In a statement on Monday, the PDP candidate stated,
“Though victory may be delayed, it cannot be denied. The people’s mandate remains our mission. We will not be deterred. The Promise of Possibility remains alive and strong. By the grace of God, the will of the people shall prevail.”
In Kaduna State, the APC governorship candidate, Senator Uba Sani, was declared as the winner of the election despite the protest by the PDP.
The INEC Collation Officer, Prof Suleiman Bilbis, from Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, who announced the result, said, the APC governorship candidate polled 730,002 votes while his closest rival, Isah Ashiru Kudan of the PDP scored 719,196 votes.
He added that the Labour Party governorship candidate, Jonathan Asake polled 58,283 to come third while the NNPP candidate, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, came to a distant fourth with 21,405 votes while rejected votes stood at 19,114.
The PDP candidate won in 13 LGAs of the state while Sani, the incumbent Senator representing the Kaduna Central Senatorial District of the state won 10 LGAs.
The LGAs won by Ashiru included Kaura, Sanga, Kajuru, Jaba, Makarfi, Jema’ah, Zango-Kataf, Soba, Chikun, Kagarko, Kachia,Lere and Kudan.
On the other, the APC candidate won in Giwa, Ikara, Kauru, Sabon-Gari, Zaria, Kubau, Kaduna South, Kaduna North, Igabi and Birnin-Gwari.
However, prior to the announcement, there were wild jubilations in some parts of the state that the PDP candidate won the election, a development that saw residents celebrating the victory at the various pubs in the state. Places, where that erupted with wild jubilations, included, Barnawa, Sabon Tasha, Narayi as well Gonin-Gora, all in the southern part of the state.
The Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in Rivers State, Siminaliayi Fubara, has been declared the winner of Saturday’s governorship election.
The INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, said the PDP candidate polled 302,614 votes to defeat his closet rival Tonye Cole of the All Progressives Congress who scored 95,274 votes.