The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday won senatorial by-elections in Lagos East, Imo North and Plateau South districts.
According to observers, the by-elections, which were the first critical assignments by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Prof. Mohammed Yakubu, who was cleared by the Senate for his second term last week, were generally peaceful.
The APC candidate in the Lagos East, Tokunbo Abiru, defeated his PDP rival, Babatunde Gbadamosi. Abiru, who polled 89,204 votes, defeated Gbadamosi, who got 11,257 votes.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu congratulated Abiru and Kosofe Constituency II candidate Obafemi Saheed for their victories.
Saheed polled 12,494 votes to beat his rival, Sikiru Alebiosu of PDP, who got 2,068.
Sanwo-Olu, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, said APC’s victory with wide margin reflected the confidence of Lagosians in the rulling party
The governor commended the electorate for trooping out to perform their civic responsibilities. He also lauded chieftains of the party and members for working assiduously for victory.
Sanwo-Olu said: “I want to congratulate Mr. Tokunbo Abiru and Obafemi Saheed on their victories in last Saturday’s by-elections in Lagos East Senatorial District and Kosofe State Constituency II polls. Your emergence as federal and state lawmakers is a validation of peoples’ confidence in our dear party, the APC.”
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, congratulated the APC for its victory.
In a statement by his spokesman, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker congratulated Sanwo-Olu for leading the party to victory.
Gbajabiamila urged the APC candidates to be magnanimous in victory.
Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker Mudashiru Obasa said the victory showed that APC is a strong, formidable and unified platform in Lagos State.
“The people of Lagos State appreciate us as a party and this is evident in the landslide victory of the two candidates in the election,” Obasa said.
He urged Abiru and Saheed to see their victory as opportunities to bring government closer to their people and play strong roles in the advancement of Lagos State.
Lagos APC said the defeat of the PDP confirmed that the opposition party had been rejected by Lagosians.
APC chided the PDP chairman, Deji Doherty, for accusing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of allocating votes to the ruling party.
Lagos APC Publicity Secretary Seye Oladejo said in a statement that the allegation of vote allocation to APC was ridiculous, stressing that the elections were free and fair.
He also rejected the allegation of vote buying and other forms of fraud.
Oladejo said: “The reaction of the Lagos State chairman of PDP to the humiliating defeat of his party to the recently held Lagos East Senatorial and Kosofe 2 Lagos State House of Assembly elections can best be described as a comic relief from the recent pressure and challenges.
“It was a referendum on the spineless and ineffectual opposition that the PDP has been providing in Lagos State for over two decades.
“The age-long disharmony and lack of coordination in the PDP effectively laid the foundation for the permanent trouncing of the opposition party in Lagos state.
“The impressive performance of the ruling party, APC, in the determined implementation of its progressive policies has made PDP a taboo in Lagos state.”
He added:” It’s a big surprise that the state chairman could complain about the results of the elections that he was too busy to campaign for his candidates.
“While they were busy conducting fake personal opinion polls, the ruling APC was reaching out to the voters with life changing programs, manifestos and policies that are relevant to the challenges of the day.
“However, we emphatize with Engr Doherty who must still be dazed by the total annihilation.
The bye-election will go down in history as one of the best in terms of conduct by INEC, the professionalism of the security agents and the fact that the results truly reflected the popular will.”
The PDP asked the Returning Officer for the Bakura Constituency in Zamfara State, Prof. Ibrahim Magatawa, to step aside.
In a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party accused Prof Magatawa of plots to rig the poll in favour of the APC.
The electoral commission had declared the election inconclusive, following its cancellation in some areas. INEC had fixed next Saturday to conclude the election.
Ologbondiyan said: “The PDP demands the immediate removal of Prof. Magatawa as his embarrassing pronouncement has betrayed a plot to use the planned re-run in 14 polling units where election was cancelled under unclear circumstances, to rob our party of our victory in the Bakura State Constituency by-election.
“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”.
The PDP quoted Prof. Magatawa as saying: “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”.
The party said Magatawa’s statement exposed the partisanship of the INEC official, triggering a dangerous crisis of confidence and pointing 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”.
“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”
Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed enjoined PDP members to accept defeat at the Assembly by-election with dignity and sportsmanship.
The governor who described the defeat as the will of God, urged party faithful not to be divided by the temporary setback.
The governor in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media , Muktar Gidado and made available to reporters Sunday said the loss was a lesson, adding that ‘his government and the PDP need to plan to regain their lost ground with chivalry, tactics and team work.’
He added: “We lost 21 House of Assembly seats and 3 Senate seats in 2019 but Allah gave us victory in the gubernatorial election. Let us not play to the gallery by indulging in blame game, internal rancor, accusations and mistrust.”
There was drama at the INEC office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Owerri, the state capital, when the Returning Officer, Hakeem Adikum, declared the APC winner of Imo North.
The Returning Officer said APC scored 36, 811 votes, while Emmanuel Okewulonu of the PDP scored 31, 903 votes.
According to Adikum, APC won in five out of the six local government areas in the senatorial district while PDP won in one LGA.
While PDP won in Obowo LGA where its candidate hails from.
APC won in Okigwe, Onuimo, Isiala Mbano, Ehime Mbano and Ihitte/ Uboma LGAs.
INEC’s failure to return any candidate as the winner caused disquiet in the hall, as the supporters of Ifeanyi Araraume and Frank Ibezim, laid claims to the APC ticket.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Imo state, Prof Francis Ezeonu, told reporters that the commission was unable to return the APC candidate as the winner because of what he called court orders for and against Araraume and Ibezim of the APC.
Also, Abuja Federal High Court had on Friday barred Ibezim from contesting the election.
A Court of Appeal in Owerri sacked Araraume as the candidate and declared Ibezim as the authentic candidate of the party.
Justice Uchechukwu Onyemenem who delivered the judgment, ordered INEC to immediately enlist Ibezim’s name as the candidate.
APC candidate in Plateau South Prof. Nora Dabu’ut, was declared winner.
According to the results announced by INEC, Prof. Idris A female, the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Lafia, Nassarawa State, said, Dabu’ut polled of 83,151 votes while George Daika, PDP rival, got 70,838 votes.
Mrs Dabu’ut defeated her opponent in four out of the six local government areas in the senatorial district. while the PDP candidate, Daika, won in two local Government Areas.
Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong congratulated Dabu’ut for making history as the first female Senator-elect in the State.
Dabu’ut will succeed the late Senator Ignatius Longjan.
Lalong said the victory of Prof. Nora Dabu’ut was not surprising as the APC is well rooted in the whole state particularly the Southern Senatorial District.
Also, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ahmed Idris Wase, felicitated with Dabu’ut,
In a congratulatory massage by his Chief Press Secretary, Umar Muhammed Puma, Wase described the victory as a confirmation that the people of southern senatorial district have confidence in the ruling APC.
He also lauded the electoral commission and security agencies for doing their best within the ambit of the law to ensure free, fair and credible elections.
INEC declared Dr. Stephen Odey of the PDP winner.of the Cross River North by-election
Odey and Jerigbe Agom Jerigbe also of the PDP were in court.
They both obtained court orders asking INEC to accept their candidature.
Also, INEC declared the PDP candidates winner in Obudu State Constituency by-election.
The Collation Officer Prof. Ameh Akoh of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ikwo, Ebonyi State, who announced the result said, the PDP candidate, Dr Stephen Odey, scored 129,207 votes to defeat other Eight contestants.
According to him, the APC candidate, Joe Agi (SAN) scored 19,165 votes to place second while African Democratic Congress, standard bearer Mr Gregory Agam came third with 388 votes among others.
The APC candidate Dr. Ibrahim Aminu Kurami declared the winner of the Bakori State Constituency by-election.
Kurami defeated Alhaji Aminu Magaji of the PDP.
The Returning Officer of Bakori local Government State Constituency by-election, Professor A. D. Kankia, declared that Kurani scored 20,444 votes,
He will replace Alhaji Abdurrazaq Tsiga, who died in May after a protracted illness.
He was the House Deputy leader and Chairman, House Committee on Business, Ethics and Privileges, before his death.
INEC declared Mrs Amaka Ugwueze, the PDP candidate of the , winner of Isi-Uzo State Constituency election.
Declaring the results at Isi-Uzo council headquarters in Ikem, INEC Collation Officer for the By-Election, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwachukwu, said that Ugwueze polled 11,041 votes to defeat her close rival, Mr Ejiofor Okwor, candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), who polled 2,293 votes.
Nwachukwu said other seven political parties that contested in the by-election scored less than 70 votes each.
He noted that the by-election had 13,597 total valid votes and 391 rejected votes, while a total of 13,988 votes were cast.
Dr Emeka Ononamadu, INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Enugu State, thanked the electorates and the people for conducting themselves very peacefully during and after the poll.
“I appreciate our INEC staff, security men, stakeholders and especially the good people of Isi-Uzo for ensuring that this by-election was hitch-free,’’ Ononamadu said.
The seat became vacant, following the death of the member representing the constituency, Mr Chijioke Ugwueze.
The late lawmaker’s wife, Mrs Amaka Ugwueze, is the Peoples Democratic Party Candidate and the fourth female legislator in the state assembly.
The APC also won the two State Assembly seats in Borno State.
Announcing the results in Briyel, headquarters of Bayo Local Government, the INEC Returning Officer Professor Gurama Abubakar declared Maina Maigari of the APC winner with 15,484 votes to defeat six other contestants.
Also, Gajiram, Nganzai local government, the Returning Officer, Dr Kamsulum Umar declared APC candidate Mahommed Gajiram winner of the State Assembly seat with 8885 votes and returned elected.
INEC declared former Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson the winner of the Bayelsa West by-election.
Also, Moses Cleopas of PDP won in Bayelsa CentralSenatorial District
The Returning Officer, Prof. Ekechukwe Okeke, Dean of Humanities, the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State and Dickson, the PDP candidate polled 115,257 votes while his closest rival, Peremobowei Ebebi, of the APC scored 17,541 votes.
Dickson, who spoke in his country home of Toru-Orua, shortly after his return, dedicated the victory to God, the voters, Bayelsa and the Ijaw nation.