Nigeria: INEC Declares Bello Kogi State Gov-Elect, Tight Contest in Bayelsa
Yenagoa/Lokoja — All Progressives Party (APC) governorship Candidate, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has emerged winner in the Kogi State governorship supplementary election polling 6,885 votes to defeat incumbent governor and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Mr Idris Wada, who got 5,363 votes. Bello was declared Governor-elect by the state Returning Officer, Professor Kusa Emmanuel, having polled a total of 247,752 as against PDP’s 204,877 votes. But in Bayelsa, it was a tight contest between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Hon. Seriake Dickson, and his All Progressives Congress (APC) rival, Chief Timipre Sylva, in saturday State governorship election that claimed at least four lives and injured several others as violence broke out in part of the state. Saturday’s election had been projected to be a walkover for Bello who replaced the former candidate of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Audu, the APC governorship candidate that died on the verge of victory in the inconclusive governorship election held two weeks ago. The result of yesterday’s supplementary poll as announced by INEC at its office in Lokoja showed that in Okene, Yahaya Bello’s local government, the APC candidate polled 208 votes while Wada got 2 votes. Surprising, in Dekina, Captain Wada’s local government, APC scored 2178, while PDP got 1999.
Other results announced showed that in Okehi, APC scored 108 votes, PDP 0; in Kogi KK, APC got 406, PDP 281; Idah, APC got 62, PDP 70; Yagba West, APC 86, PDP 73; Adavi, APC 878, PDP 12; Igalamela/Odolu; APC 92, PDP 434; and in Kabba/Bunu APC 201, PDP 131; Ajaokuta, APC 538, PDP 12. The APC candidate also scored 167 in Olamaboro while PDP got 332. In Omala, APC scored 317, PDP 323; in Ijumu, APC got 86, PDP102; in Ankpa APC scored 562, PDP 629; in Bassa, APC got 221, PDP 114; in Ibaji, APC secured 369, PDP got 220; in Ofu APC scored 105, PDP 484; and in Lokoja APC secured 301, PDP got 145. Counting began early but progressed into late evening Saturday in the supplementary governorship election held in 91 polling units of the state. APC had defeated the ruling PDP in the state in the main election on November 21, but it was with a margin lower than the number of registered voters in the 91 polling units where the election was cancelled. This led to the declaration of the governorship poll as inconclusive by INEC. The late APC candidate polled 240,867 votes ahead of Wada who polled 199,514 leaving a difference of 41,353. The number of cancelled votes was about 44,500. But things got tricky after the APC candidate, Abubakar Audu, died soon after the declaration by INEC on November 22. In the ensuing political and legal logjam, APC picked Alhaji Yahaya Bello as replacement for Audu. The suits by Audu’s running mate, Mr. Abiodun Faleke, and incumbent Governor Idris Wada, challenging the choice of Bello and seeking to stop the supplementary election failed on Friday at the Federal High Court in Abuja, clearing the way for yesterday’s election. While yesterday’s supplementary election was relatively peaceful, it was marked by low voter turnout. But in the Bayelsa, four persons were killed, with many more injured in the governorship election that witnessed violence and the malfunctioning of the smart card readers in many areas.
Just like it happened during the March 28 presidential election, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) card reader again rejected the thumbprint of former president Goodluck Jonathan in yesterday’s governorship election.