INEC declares APC winner of Kwara, Katsina, Bauchi by-elections
• PDP alleges fraud, rejects Kwara results
• It is a sign of things to come, says presidency
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Raheem Tunji Olawuyi as the winner of Saturday’s by-election into the House of Representatives seat of Irepodun/ Isin/ Ekiti/ Oke- Ero federal constituency in Kwara State.
The Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Abimbola Adedeji of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife in Osun State, while announcing the results in Omu-Aran, the headquarters of Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara, said the APC’s candidate scored 21,236 votes to beat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Saheed Alatise who polled 18,095 votes.By the results, Olawuyi would replace Funke Adedoyin in the House of Representatives. Adedoyin died a few weeks ago during a protracted illness.
This would be the first time any candidate backed by the Senate President Bukola Saraki would lose an election in any part of the state. In his reaction, the Kwara State APC governorship candidate, AbdulRahaman AbdulRasak, described the victory of the party as a political freedom for the people.
According to AbdulRasak yesterday in Ilorin, through his media aide, Rafiu Ajakaye, the victory has led to granting succour to the people after many years of political limbo occasioned by politics of “god fatherism.”But PDP rejected the results. It described the outcome of the election as a daylight robbery and that it did not reflect the true will of the people, alleging that its members were harassed and intimidated during the poll.
Addressing a press conference in Ilorin yesterday, the state PDP Chairman, Kola Shittu, further described the election as a charade and direct assault on the nation’s democracy. Shittu, who was flanked by the state publicity secretary of the PDP, Tunde Ashaolu, noted that some of the concerns raised by the party prior to the conduct of the election, which included alleged importation of thugs and heavy deployment of security personnel later manifested during the poll.
He lamented that the poll was characterised by ballot box snatching, widespread irregularities and illegal arrest of members of the PDP before and while the election was on going. Shittu called for outright cancellation of the election “because it fell short of the expectations of the people of the constituency.”
Also at the weekend, the Speaker of the Katsina State House of Assembly, Abubakar Kusada of the APC won the by-election for Kankia/Kusada/Ingawa Federal Constituency seat in the House of Representatives. Kusada beat three other candidates to clinch the seat after scoring a total of 48,518 votes. His closest rival, Abdussamad Abdullahi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 20,119 votes.
Announcing the results at the collation center in Kankia Local Government Area, the Returning Officer, Prof. Rasheed Adedayo said Kusada, having “satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby returned as winner of the by-election.”The seat became vacant after the member representing the constituency, Ahmed Babba Kaita, contested for and won the Katsina North senatorial by-election in August.
Kusada’s victory has, however, created another vacant seat in the House of Assembly, as there are now 33 lawmakers instead of the official 34.
In Bauchi State, the candidate of the ruling APC, Alhaji Yusuf Nuhu, won the by-election in Toro Federal Constituency held at the weekend.
While announcing the results yesterday at the INEC collation center, Toro Local Government Area Office, the returning officer, Prof. Ahmed Tijani Fagam, declared Nuhu winner having scored a total vote of 22,317 to lead his close rival. The PDP candidate, Alhaji Shehu Buba, polled 18,235 votes to come second. The seat became vacant when Mr. Lawal Gumau emerged senator at the August 11 Bauchi South senatorial by-election.
Gumau, before then, represented the Toro Federal constituency of the State.The presidency yesterday stated that the bye-election victories recorded by the APC in Bauchi, Katsina and Kwara states was a death knell that has foreclosed the return of the PDP to power.
Basking in the euphoria, the presidency, in a statement signed by President Mohammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, last night, said the victories had shattered the myth of PDPs return. “This is a sign of things to come in the 2019 elections,” Shehu said.