…APC wins senatorial seats in Katsina, Bauchi, clinches Reps seat in Kogi
…PDP wins C’River Assembly seat, alleges rigging in Katsina, Bauchi, Kogi
It was a purely family matter in Daura, Katsina State, during the bye-election conducted for the Katsina North Senatorial District, the Senatorial District of President Muhammadu Buhari, at the weekend as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Hon Ahmed Babba Kaita of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the election.
Hon Ahmed Babba Kaita of the APC, a current member of the House of Representatives, scored 224,607 votes to defeat his elder brother, Alhaji Kabir Babba Kaita of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 59,724 votes.
Prof. Hudu Ayuba-Abdullahi, the returning officer, who announced the result at about 4:42 am in Daura on Sunday, said the total number of registered voters was 864,046. He added that the number of accredited voters was 308,500.
According to him, the total votes cast was 294,050, out of which 287,155 votes were counted as valid and 10,891 rejected.
Six political parties contested for the seat, which became vacant after the death of Senator Bukar Mustapha (APC, Katsina).
Apart from the APC and the PDP, the other parties that took part in the election were Democratic Alliance (DA), Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), Masses Movement of Nigeria (MMN) and MPN.
GPN scored 1056, DA 796, MPN 633 and MMN 343 votes.
Malam Habibu Suleiman, the agent of the PDP, who signed the results as declared, alleged some irregularities.
The Katsina North Senatorial District is the home district of President Buhari, now in London on a vacation. The APC candidate defeated the PDP candidate in all the 12 local councils that make up the district.
In Bauchi State, the candidate of the ruling APC, Yahaya Gumau, also won Saturday’s Bauchi South senatorial district bye election.
Announcing the results on Sunday evening at INEC state headquarters in Bauchi, the returning officer for the bye election, Prof Ahmed Fagam Sarki Misau, from the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, stated that the APC candidate, Lawal Gumau, polled a total of 119,489 votes to emerge victorious.
Gumau is currently a member of the House of Representatives.
According to Prof Misau, Dr. Ladan Salihu, a former Director-General of FRCN, who was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, had 50,256 votes to come second in the poll.
The immediate past governor of the state, Malam Isa Yuguda, was third in the election with the total votes of 33,079. He was the candidate of Green Party of Nigeria (GNP).
The returning officer also disclosed that the total votes cast in the election was 256,763, adding that while 51,460 votes were cancelled, the total valid votes was 245,652 and rejected votes was 11,111.
The ruling APC won in six of the seven local government in the senatorial district, Alkaleri, Bauchi, Dass, Kirfi, Tafawa Balewa and Toro LGAs.
The PDP only won in Bogoro LGA, which is the local government area of the Speaker of the House of Representative, Hon Yakubu Dogara
The election was conducted by INEC to fill the vacant seat created by the death of late Senator Ali Wakili, who died in March.
In Kogi State, the incidence of violence and irregularities allegedly characterised Saturday’s House of Representatives bye election for Lokoja/Kogi federal constituency.
But INEÇ, on Sunday, announced the APC candidate, Haruna Isa, as the winner.
The Returning Officer, Rotimi Ajayi of the Federal University, Lokoja, who announced the results, said having fulfilled requirements in compliance with the Electoral Act, Haruna Isa of the APC won the election with the highest number of votes cast.
According to the Returning Officer, the APC candidate scored 26,860 votes, while Bashir Abubakar of the PDP got 14,845 votes.
Other candidates of the ADC and SDP Kasim Mabo and Umar Imam got 2,984, 2,916 respectively.
Prof Ajayi explained that results from 17 polling units totaling 19,960 votes were cancelled due to violence and massive irregularities.
He said 15 of the cancelled units are from Lokoja local government, while Kogi LGA got 2 of the units cancelled.
As widely reported, the Saturday bye election was characterised with violence and massive irregularities which culminated into killing of four persons who wanted to snatch ballot boxes and wanton destruction of vehicles and properties.
The opposition parties further alleged non-compliance with the Electoral Act, claiming that top government officials allegedly invaded voting centres with heavily armed security personnel, intimidating voters and chasing away agents of other parties.
Meanwhile, the PDP has accused the ruling APC of vote buying in the Saturday’s bye election into the Katsina North Senatorial district seat.
Making the accusations, the Chairman of the Katsina State chapter of the PDP, Salisu Majigiri, while speaking with newsmen in Daura during the monitoring of the election exercise, alleged that the APC doled out N200,000 each in the 1,825 polling unit in the senatorial district.
He said: “No single polling unit that we didn’t get report that there was vote buying by the APC. We have our agents there and they complained to us.
We complained but nothing was done. So, there was no single polling unit that there was no report of vote buying. We raised complaints to the security.
“We have some pictures as evidence from our agents. We have our proof. They gave about N200,000 in each of the 1,825 polling units. We have alot to say, but we are waiting for the results to be declared.
Since they are making the same allegations, the truth will come out. After the declaration of the results, we would know who would be found wanting of this serious illegal business.
“Even if the election results came out in our favour, the APC must be punished for doing what is not good because we are heading to 2019 general election. We want all these behaviours to be changed before the 2019 general election.
“It happened in Ekiti and it’s happening in Daura zone. So we don’t know where we are heading to.”
But in a swift reaction, the APC debunked the allegations by the PDP, saying it is not true and that it is only a flimsy excuse.
The Public Relation Officer of the party, Abubakar Gambo Danmusa, said the allegation made by the PDP was like putting the cat before the horse, noting that the senatorial district is predominantly Buhari.
“PDP has never won the Senatorial district since Buhari joined politics in 2003. It is not true but only a flimsy excuse. They are not prepared and didn’t field the proper candidate for the election,” Danmusa said.
In Cross River State, the candidate of the PDP, Mrs. Abbey Ukpukpen, emerged winner of Saturday’s Obudu State Constituency by-election into the state House of Assembly.
Mrs. Abbey Ukpukpen, is widow of a member of the Assembly, Stephen Ukpukpen, who died in May.
His seat was declared vacant following his death.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Dr. Frankland Briyai, announced the results on Sunday in Obudu, Headquarters of Obudu Local Government.
According to Briyai, the PDP candidate scored 12,712 votes to beat her closest rival, Mr. Ishamali Bendel, of the APC, who scored 4,345 votes.
Other results include Awafang Angiating of Mega Party of Nigeria (MPN), who scored 132 votes and Agwupuye Umeka of African Democratic Party (ADP), who scored 114 votes to place third and fourth, respectively.
The REC commended the electorate for the peaceful conduct of the exercise and urged them to replicate the same disposition in the 2019 general election.
Mrs. Abbey Ukpukpen, a staff of the University of Calabar, will now replace her late husband in the assembly.
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the PDP in Bauchi State and a former FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, has alleged that there was a massive vote buying by the ruling APC during the election.
Speaking with The Daily Times correspondent at his home town, Duguri in Alkaleri Local Government Area of the state, the former minister revealed that money was given to voters in almost all the local governments to vote for the APC.
He alleged that the ruling party deployed many of its people to almost all the voting units and gave N200, N500, and N1,000 to vote for APC, saying that the money was given outright in his presence at his home town.
Mohammed, who is a governorship aspirant under the PDP for the 2019 general election, threatened that the opposition party will not hesitate to head for the court if it discovers that electoral malpractice, including ballot box snatching and rigging, is witnessed during the bye election.
However, amidst allegations of vote buying and low turn out of voters that characterised the Saturday Bauchi South Senatorial election, the opposition PDP comfortably won against the ruling APC in Bogoro Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
Bogoro LGA, one of the seven LGAs that made up Bauchi South senatorial district, is the local government of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara.
The PDP candidate led in the area with a total votes of 8,420 to lead the APC candidate, Lawan Yahaya Gumau, who polled 3,992 votes in the LGA.
A member of the Bauchi State House of Assembly, Hon Aminu Tukur, came third in the area with 1,557 votes.
The immediate past governor of the state, Malam Isa Yuguda, who flew the flag of Green Party of Nigeria (GPN) in the election, came a distant fourth in the LGA with a total of 817 votes.
Meanwhile, the PDP has called for the cancellation of Saturday’s bye-election to fill the vacant Lokoja/ Kotonkafe Federal Constituency seat in Kogi State due to what it alleged as irregularities bordering on snatching of ballot boxes, falsification of results, financial inducement of voters, using of security agents to harass voters and involvement of Kogi State officials in perpetrating irregularities.
The party attributed cancellation of a total 19,760 votes in 17 polling units by INEC as part of the grand plot to rob PDP of victory.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Sunday on behalf the party’s stakeholders, Kogi State chairman of PDP, Engineer Sam Ohuetu, said the election was marred with violence, brazen impunity, coercion, intimidation and vote buying.
The PDP also alleged that identified appointees and key officials of the Kogi State Government who were not indigenes or voters in the Federal Constituency were seen intimidating and harassing the electorate with armed thugs.
The party also alleged that officers of SARS and the Nigeria Police should be prosecuted and adequately punished for electoral offences.
Some of allegations raised by the PDP include “accredited voters were not allowed to vote, as armed thugs shot sporadically into the air after accreditation, forcing the electorate to flee for their lives, for instance, this was widespread in Osuku in Kotonkarfe Area of the Federal Constituency”.
Stakeholders present at the press conference include former governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris, Senator Attai Aidoko, Senator Yahaya Ugbanne, Chief Olusola Akamode, Hon. Sunday Karimi, Hon. Emma Egwu and Hon. Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP national publicity secretary.