PDP Asks INEC To Declare Tambuwal Sokoto Governor-Elect

As pressure mounts on electoral umpire Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, urged Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to save its time and resources by declaring Aminu Tambuwal winner of the election held on March 9.

The party, which stated this while
reacting to claim by the umpire that it was under pressure to declare
the governor winner of the polls, said given the margin of victory
recorded on the first ballot, there was no reason not to declare
Tambuwal duly elected. Spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said:
“Our position has not changed and we insist that His Excellency,
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal should be declared winner of the
governorship election in Sokoto State.

Governor Aminu Tambuwal
“If we go by the figure of votes collated so far, the governor has
satisfied the provisions of the law because he won clearly in almost all
the local governments of the states. “What are they waiting for to
declare him duly elected? We are a party that has respect for the laws
of the land. So, we advise our members and supporters to remain calm
because at the end of the day, victory is ours.”

Pressure on
INEC Meanwhile, barely a week to the March 23 date for the supplementary
governorship election in some states, pressure continues to mount on
INEC to declare Governor Aminu Tambuwal the winner of the March 9 guber
poll in Sokoto State.

There were indications over the weekend
that the tension in the seat of the Caliphate may worsen if the
incumbent governor who was enjoying a clear lead in the poll is denied
victory.

A top politician from Sokoto who spoke on condition of
anonymity, said tension was building up in the state over fears of plans
to undemocratically stop Tambuwal for another term in office. Our
source alleged that though the governor appears to be the popular choice
of his people as shown in the collated result of the guber poll, the
power brokers of All Progressives Congress, APC, were bent on taking the
state which they consider strategic to the party’s future political
plans. Our source said: “The powers that be should declare Tambuwal as
the authentic winner of the March 9 governorship election in Sokoto
State.

The collated result showed that he won the election by
the simple majority, which is what the constitution provides. They
should not set the seat of the Caliphate on fire. “Remember that even
President Muhammadu Buhari won his election by the same simple majority.
He was declared winner, even when elections were yet to be conducted in
areas where the exercise could not hold because of one reason or the
other. “A common man on the street of Sokoto knows that Tambuwal won the
election. There were so many hurdles the APC which controls the centre
put before him ahead of the election but he surmounted them all.

So,
what they could not get democratically, they want by all means through
the back door in collaboration with INEC.” Over the weekend, this
newspaper gathered that there were fears in the PDP, of a plan by the
ruling party and INEC to repeat what happened in the Osun governorship
election where the PDP lost to the APC under controversial
circumstances. A video recording between the INEC Admin Secretary in
Sokoto and a collation officer which trended over the weekend further
escalated fears of interference in the coming supplementary election.

The video which was in Hausa but translated to English, showed an
exchange between the INEC Admin Secretary in Sokoto and the collation
officer. The exchange between them ran thus: Admin Sec to Collation
officer….This is the number of votes scored by one candidate, this is
the total secured by the other candidate and this is the difference in
votes between them… Collation officer: Collation officer: Yes Admin
officer: You must refer to the total number of registered voters in the
cancellation areas and compare that with the margin of votes between the
leading candidate and the one next to him, do you understand? Collation
officer: Yes I do Admin officer: Then you will just announce the votes
secured by every candidate but you should not declare the winner, do you
understand? Collation officer: Yes Admin officer: You will say the
election is inconclusive, and you are leaving it to INEC to decide, do
you get it? Collation officer: Yes, I do Admin officer: You will not
declare a winner, do you understand Collation officer: …Yes Recall that
the INEC declared the March 9 governorship election in Sokoto
inconclusive and claimed that the decision was because 75, 403 votes
were cancelled, which were higher than 3, 413 margin difference between
the PDP candidate and his rival in APC.

The returning officer,
Fatima Mukhtar, said the margin of win was lower than the number of
rejected votes, hence, the election was declared inconclusive. In the
results declared by INEC, Mr Tambuwal was leading his closest rival,
Ahmed Aliyu of the APC, with a margin of 3,413 votes. Speaking on the
development at a press conference, the governor had observed there was
no cause for the election to be declared inconclusive. Though the
governor said the INEC was yet to communicate to him the reasons for
cancellation of votes in the 136 polling units, he said it was necessary
to draw the attention of the electoral umpire to its guidelines for the
exercise.

He stated that the issue of margin difference was
technical and alien to the Nigerian constitution which stipulates a
simple majority and 25 percent of votes cast in two-thirds majority of
states of the federation, as basis for determining a winner. “This
technical reason of margin differences has not been applied in Osun and
Ekiti elections,” Tambuwal said, arguing that since he secured the
higher number of votes at the concluded election, he ought to have been
declared the winner. He said: “Going by Section 179(2) of the
Constitution as amended, there was no clause

Source:- Vanguardngr


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