Saraki dethroned, Tinubu keeps Lagos, Rivers boils · PDP gains Oyo, loses Gombe
It was the final knell for Senate President Bukola Saraki’s hold on Kwara politics as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, was declared winner of the governorship race by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Declaring the results of the poll on Sunday at the office of the commission in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, the state Returning Officer and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Prof. Muhammad Liman, said AbdulRazaq polled 331,546 votes to defeat Mr Abdulrazaq Atunwa of the PDP, who polled 114,754 votes to emerge as the runner-up in the election.
Consequently, Abdulrazaq beat Atunwa with a margin of 216,792 votes.
The total decimation of the PDP saw the APC win in all the 16 local government areas of the state.
Saraki wasted no time in congratulating Abdulrasaq for emerging winner of the Kwara State governorship elections.
In a message on his official twitter page, Saraki said “I thank all Kwarans, particularly PDP supporters, who worked for the party in the just concluded elections. My congratulations go to Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq and all those who emerged at all levels. I wish them all the best.”
In his acceptance speech, AbdulRazaq said as much as the “historic” event called for celebrations, the people should rather reflect on the challenges ahead and be united.
He said, “On March 9, the people of Kwara State finally shook off the yoke of political subjugation and socioeconomic stagnation by voting overwhelmingly for our party in the governorship and House of Assembly elections.
“We are faced with the challenge of evolving a Kwara that works for all, away from the abysmal state of affairs now. We promise to diligently implement our manifesto for the good of our people.”
Also, in Lagos, the godfather of the state politics, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, saw his protégé Babajide Sanwo-Olu elected.
The state Returning Officer, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, declared Sanwo-Olu winner of the governorship poll on Sunday at INEC’s collation centre in Yaba, Lagos
Sanwo-Olu announced on his Facebook page that his main challenger, Mr Jimi Agbaje of the Peoples Democratic Party, had called to congratulate him.
“At exactly 19:07, I received a call. Thank you Jimi Agbaje for your congratulatory call filled with kind words.
“It was an intense campaign and I am happy we can now focus on the very important job at hand; delivering a Lagos that works for all. #ForAGreaterLagos.”
Sanwo-Olu garnered 739, 445 votes while Agbaje got 206, 141
In a dramatic swap, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Seyi Makinde, clinched the Oyo State governorship election as the party lost its more than 16 years hold on power in Gombe state.
APC’s Inuwa Yahaya was declared winner over Senator Usman Nafada of the PDP.
Makinde defeated Bayo Adelabu of the APC to emerge winner.
In a related development, the electoral commission suspended the electoral process in River State.
The commission made the announcement in a press statement signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye.
“Based on reports from our officials in the field, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has determined that there has been widespread disruption of elections conducted on the 9th day of March, 2019 in Rivers State.
“These initial reports suggest that violence occurred in a substantial number of polling units and collation centers, staff have been take hostage and materials including result sheets have either been seized or destroyed by unauthorized persons.
“In addition, safety of our staff appears to be in jeopardy all over the state and the commission is concerned about the credibility of the process,” INEC said.
The commission said all electoral processes in the state has been suspended until further notice.
The Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room in its second interim statement on the conduct of the governorship and assembly election, expressed worry over the militarization of votes in Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Imo states.
“While appreciate the existing security challenges across the country, Situation Room is worried about reports of excessive military involvement in Nigeria’s elections, particularly in the South-South and South-East – Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Imo States.
“The militarisation of the country’s electoral process is a troubling one as this is not just about the presence of military officials, but the actions of our intelligence agencies, the use of the military by the political class and the partisanship and non-recourse to rules of engagement of our armed forces,” its statement said.