Home News Polls inconclusive in Adamawa, Kebbi, Abia, Enugu

Polls inconclusive in Adamawa, Kebbi, Abia, Enugu

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Adamawa
Adamawa

Thenationonlineng.net

Anxiety has enveloped Adamawa State, following the suspension of the announcement of the weekend governorship election result in the Northeast state.

Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his All Progressives Congress (APC) challenger, Senator Aishatu Binani, were running neck and neck before the poll was declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Also, there were apprehensions in Kebbi, Abia and Enugu states as the electoral agency suspended collation of results.

The exercise was also inconclusive in Benue State.

According to INEC, a supplementary poll will be conducted in Kwande local government today.

Adamawa:

Adamawa Collation Officer, Profesor Muhammed Mele, said the election was inconclusive because the margin of win between the leading two parties was lower than the number of collected PVCs in places where the election did not hold.

Making the final announcement at end end of collation about 7.30pm yesterday, Mele indicated that a repeat election will be held in the affected places.

Fintiri was set to win the poll after polling 421,524 votes. Binani got 390,275 votes.

The votes received by the various parties, according to INEC, were:

AA 641, ADC 2,986; ADP 2,134; APC 390,275; APGA 876; APM 602; ADP 284; LP 2,729; NNPP 4,847; NRM 1,237; PDP 421,524; PRP 1,185; SDP 6,865; YPP 1,425 and ZLP 199.

The APC complained about the suspension of results.

APC National Publicity Secretary, Felix Morka, in a statement in Abuja, accused the PDP of calculated efforts to disrupt the final collation and announcement of result.

Morka accused the PDP of resorting to intimidation, massive thuggery, violence and undue pressure on the electoral and security agencies to upturn and subvert the people’s wishes.

The statement reads: “We draw the urgent attention of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and our security services to massive thuggery, violence, intimidation and undue pressure by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) calculated to disrupt final collation and announcement of the result of the Governorship election in Adamawa State.

“Election results show a clear and decisive victory for Senator Aishatu Dahiru (Binani), the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate. Faced with the imminent and certain prospect of loss in the election, thugs and political actors have unleashed heavily armed thugs to disrupt further collation of result and subvert the will of the Adamawa people as expressed at the polls. The Governor is reported to have torn result sheets at the collation centre in a show of unprecedented impunity and executive brigandage.

“The result of the election in Fufore Local Government Area of the state must not be tampered with as Senator Aishatu Dahiru (Binani) holds a clear, unassailable lead, only awaiting final collation and declaration by INEC.

“Nigeria is on the cusp of a major democratic record with the election and emergence of the first female Governor of a State in the country. We urge all well-meaning Nigerians to stand together to protect and uphold this historic victory for women and our country.”

Kebbi:

The Collation and Returning Officer, Prof. Yusuf Sa’idu of the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, said there were cancelations in 20 of the 21 Local Government Areas.

Sa’idu said: “We aggregated the total number of collected PVCs in those polling units and it came to a total of 91,829.

“When we checked the results, the two leading political parties in this contest, APC and PDP, polled 388,258 and 342,980 votes respectively. When we looked at the difference, it stands at 45,278.”

He said INEC had no option than to refer to the Electoral Act 2022, Section 51, Sub-sections two and three for guidance.

According to him, the law reads: “Where the number of votes cast in an election in any polling unit exceed the number of accredited voters in that polling unit, the presiding officer shall cancel the result of the election in that polling unit.

“Sub-section three of section 51 also states that where the result of an election is cancelled in accordance with sub-section two, there shall be no return for the election until another poll has taken place in the affected polling unit.

“By virtue of these provisions and the powers vested in me as the collation and returning officer of 2023 gubernatorial election in Kebbi State, I, Prof. Yusuf Sa’idu of the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, hereby declare the gubernatorial election in Kebbi State inconclusive.”

Abia

According to a statement from INEC, the reason for the suspension of announcement of results in Abia State is to allow for the review of the Obingwa local government results.

Security operatives have mounted surveillance on entry points into Owerri, the state capital, to forestall post-election violence.

The Returning Officer, Prof. Nnenna Oti, Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology (FUTO), said that the announcement of result was suspended, following a directive from the INEC headquarters in Abuja.

The Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate was leading his closest rival; Okey Ahiwe of the PDP with 172,386 votes while Ahiwe had got 78,248 votes.

The leadership of the PDP in the state has warned INEC to discontinue the audit of the BVAS machines used for the governorship election in Obingwa LGA.

PDP, in a statement by its Acting Publicity Secretary and Vice Chairman, Abia North, Abraham Amah, said: “Abia PDP is constrained to state in very unequivocal terms that the impartiality of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in the ongoing coalition of the 2023 Abia governorship election results is very questionable because of recent decisions it has taken to favour a particular party.

“In the process of the collation of results, the Labour Party prayed the INEC to audit the BVAS accreditation of Obingwa Local Government Area, which INEC graciously granted and has already started the audit exercise but unfortunately in the absence of PDP agents. The PDP agents have been shut out of the process while Labour Party agents are involved.

“But to the chagrin of the PDP, its request for INEC to subject the results of six local government areas of Aba North, Aba South, Umuahia North, Umuahia South, Osisioma and Arochukwu has been blatantly rejected by INEC which is a clear case of partiality on the part of INEC in favour of the Labour Party.

“We are compelled to ask INEC to stop forthwith the BVAS audit for Obingwa because the audit exercise is going on without the PDP agents while the agents of Labour Party have been granted access. This is nothing but daylight robbery as the process is eminently compromised to favor a particular candidate.

“We are dismayed that INEC went ahead to appoint Prof. Nnenna Otti, a first cousin of Alex Otti, one of the candidates in the Abia guber election, as the Returning Officer even when we had raised an objection to that through a petition.

“Again, it is curious that INEC had previously made changes at the lower cader of election officers when such matters were raised but refused to act on the petition raised at the highest level.”

Enugu:

Explaining why the exercise was suspended in Enugu State, the state collation officer, Prof Maduebibisi Iwe, said: “We suspended the exercise last night till this morning to enable us look into objections made by some political parties.

“We got a few of the complaints. Eventually, we have one petition, two observations and one complaint by someone who is in Action People’s Party about election in Nsukka.

“Also, someone from another party, APN said that the election in Nkanu East went well. The PDP requested that the election goes on.

“The LP in their petition is saying that in Nkanu East LGA, there was non-usage of BVAS and over-voting.  They attached printouts showing discrepancies in the number of accredited voters and the total number of votes.

“However, we are not working alone. We have reached out to the headquarters which has asked us to give them some time within which to resolve the matter in an hour or so time and get back to us.”

He added: “There’s no need for some people to create tension here in Enugu State. Some people wrote that we went back to change the results overnight.

“Nobody should be talking about changing the results because all the results are there.

“I will plead that we respect our national office and give them some time to tell us what to do.”

Two different groups of protesters took their protest to the Enugu INEC office to register their grievances over the alleged manipulation of the governorship election results by the commission.

The protesters, who were supporters of the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Chijioke Edeoga and his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Peter Mbah, blocked various roads leading to the INEC office.

They also demanded that their candidates be declared winner of the election.

While the LP supporters alleged over-voting in Nkanu East Local Government Area, where the PDP candidate, Mbah, comes from, and demanded that the results be cancelled, those of the PDP demanded that the collated results should be announced, and Mbah declared winner.

Spokesman of LP protesters and chairman of the party in the state, Casmire Agbo, said they were protesting because of the information at their disposal that the state collation officer had perfected plans to declare PDP winner, despite obvious over-voting in Nkanu East LGA.

“We are demanding that Nkanu East LGA where there was over-voting be cancelled because there were about 7,000 accredited voters in the area, but they returned over 30,000 votes in favour of PDP there. And we are asking why.”

The spokesman of the PDP protesters, U.S.A. Igwesi, said that the collated results should be announced and Mbah declared winner.

He said: “We are here to protest the plan by some people to force INEC to cancel the results already collated. Peter Mbah of the PDP has won the election and so, he should be declared winner because he has scored the highest votes.

“INEC and its collation officer do not have the power to cancel the results.

Benue:

INEC is to conduct the suspended governorship and House Assembly elections in Kwande local government area of Benue State today.

National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye said in a statement that there was a mix up in the sensitive materials meant for the local government.

The statement reads: “The public may recall that the Governorship and State Assembly elections in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State scheduled for Saturday 18th March 2023 had to be suspended.

“This decision followed an inadvertent mix up of some of the sensitive materials for the two State Assembly constituencies in the area i.e. Kwande East and Kwande West.

“For this reason, voters and stakeholders agreed that the elections should be rescheduled. Consequently, the Commission issued a statement that a new date will be announced for the elections.

“After further consultation with stakeholders, our Resident Electoral Commissioner in Benue State, Professor Sam Egwu, has advised that the State office is ready to proceed with the rescheduled elections.

“Accordingly, the Commission approved that the elections shall hold tomorrow Tuesday 21st March 2023.

“The Commission appeals to voters in Kwande Local Government Area to troop out en masse and vote for the candidate of their choice. Similarly, we call on parties and candidates to conduct themselves peacefully.”

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