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Atiku wins in Sokoto as Kwankwaso takes Kano

By From Murtala Adewale (Kano) and Habeeb Hazeez (Sokoto)
01 March 2023   |   4:00 am
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has emerged winner in last Saturday’s presidential election in Sokoto State.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar smiles during an interview in Yola on February 25, 2023, during Nigeria’s presidential and general election. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

• Confusion as INEC declares Shekarau winner of Kano Central senatorial seat
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has emerged winner in last Saturday’s presidential election in Sokoto State.

Announcing the result in the early hours of yesterday, the collation officer, Prof. Kabiru Bala, Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said Atiku scored 288,679 votes, followed closely by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who polled 285,444 votes. Peter Obi of Labour Party came a distant third with 6,568 votes, while Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) scored 1,300 votes.

Tinubu was momentarily ahead with a slim margin from 12 local councils: Gudu, Sabon Birnin, Rabah, Tangaza, Binji, Wurno, Dange/Shuni, Illela, Gwadabawa, Wamakko, Sokoto North and South. The result from Tambuwal Council, however, turned the table against him.

In Kano State, Kwankwaso emerged victorious, defeating Tinubu, Atiku and Obi with a wide margin.

At the end of collation, Kwankwaso won big across 36 local councils, while Tinubu had victory in eight councils. Atiku and Obi could not secure any ground.

Announcing the results, the Chief Returning Officer, Prof. Lawal Suleiman Bilbis, said Kwankwaso polled 997,279 votes, while Tinubu scored 517,341 votes. Atiku secured 131,716 votes while Obi came third with 28,513 votes.

Meanwhile, NNPP candidate, Abduuraham Kawu Sumaila, won the Kano South senatorial seat. The former presidential aide defeated serving Senator Ibrahim Gaya.

Also, the senator representing Kano North, Barau Jubril, won the election, defeating NNPP candidate and former Executive Secretary of TETFund Dr. Abdullahi Baffa Bichi.

However, there was confusion as Senator Ibrahim Shekarau emerged winner of the Kano Central senatorial seat.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Shekarau winner under NNPP, even when the former governor didn’t contest the election, having since defected to the PDP.

INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Tijani Darma, who declared the results, said Shekarau, who was misrepresented as NNPP candidate, polled 456,787 votes to defeat other candidates.

According to the umpire, Abdulkarim Zaura of APC polled 168,677 votes while Laila Buhari of PDP secured 55,237.

NNPP agent, Shehu Usman, raised an objection to INEC’s declaration. He queried the rationale behind announcing Shekarau, who neither contested nor was a member of NNPP, winner.

Shehu lamented that despite Shekarau’s announcement of his defection to PDP and a subsisting court orders directing INEC to replace Shekarau’s name with Rufai Hanga, the NNPP candidate, the Commission failed to comply.

However, the agent to APC senatorial candidate, Yusuf Atta, urged INEC to declare Abdulkarim Zaura, who came second as winner of the election.

Atta, a former Speaker of the Kano State House of Assembly, argued that the APC candidate reserved all legal right to be declared winner, since Shekarau did not participate in the election.

Darma urged the political parties to channel their complaints to INEC and the election tribunal.

Hanga did not make the final list of senatorial candidates released by INEC.