*Yuguda loses, as PDP clinches C/River Assembly seat
From Hafsat Adebayo (Bauchi) and Ibrahim Obansa (Lokoja)
The crisis-ridden All Progressives Congress (APC) had a better outing on Saturday at its candidates won the three bye-elections in Buachi, Katsina and Kogi States.
They defeated the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties in the contests which were adjudged to be characterised with vote-buying.
Among the losers in the Bauchi South Senatorial District race was the former governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda, who contested under the platform of the Green Party of Nigeria (GNP).
The results announced on Sunday by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) however showed that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, could not deliver his Bogoro Local Government Area to the APC. The PDP candidate, Dr. Ladan Salihu, even though he lost the election, however won overwhelmingly in Dogara’s council.
The election was conducted by INEC to fill the vacant seat created by the death last March of Senator Ali Wakili.
Announcing the result yesterday evening at INEC headquarters in Bauchi, the returning officer, Prof. Ahmed Fagam Sarki Misau, from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, stated that the APC candidate, Lawal Yahaya Gumau, polled 119,489 votes to emerge victorious. Gumau is currently a member of the House of Representatives.
Misau said that Salihu, a former Director-General of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) had 50,256 votes to come second in the poll.
Yuguda, who came third in the election, scored 33,079, while the candidates of the APP got 11,719; NNPP, 22,896; SDP, 3,800 and ADC, 754
The returning officer said that the total votes cast in the election were 256,763, adding that 51,460 votes were cancelled, leaving 245,652 as valid votes and 11,111 votes rejected.
The APC won in six of the seven councils: Alkaleri, Bauchi, Dass, Kirfi, Tafawa Balewa and Toro, which make up the senatorial district. The PDP won only in Bogoro council where Dogara hails from.
Four APC governors were in Bauchi during the bye-election to mobilise support for Gumau. They were Plateau State’s Simon Lalong, Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Badaru Abubakar (Jigawa), and Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State.
Meanwhile, a PDP governorship aspirant and former Federal Capital Territory Minister (FCT) Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, has alleged massive vote-buying by the APC during the Bauchi election.
Mohammed told The AUTHORIT at his Duguri country home in Alkaleri Local Government Area that money was given to voters in almost all the councils to vote for APC.
He alleged that APC deployed its officials to induce the electorates in all the voting units amounts ranging from N200, N500, and N1,000.
According to him, “money was given to voters in my presence, in my home town.”
Mohammed said that the PDP would not hesitate to head to the court if it discovered that electoral malpractices, including ballot box snatching and rigging, were common during the election.
In Katsina State, INEC has declared Alhaji Ahmed Babba Kaita of the APC as the winner of the bye-election conducted in the Katsina North Senatorial Zone.
INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Hudu Ayuba-Abdullahi, who announced the result at 4:42 am in Daura on Sunday, said Kaita, also a member of the House of Representatives, scored 224,607 votes, while his elder brother and a retired customs officer, Alhaji Kabir Babba Kaita of the PDP scored 59,724 votes.
Abdullahi said that the total number of registered voters was 864,046, while the number of accredited voters was 308,500.
He said the total votes cast was 294,050, of which 287,155 were counted as valid and 10,891 rejected.
Six political parties contested for the seat, which became vacant after the death of Senator Bukar Mustapha.
Apart from the APC and PDP, the other parties were the Democratic Alliance (DA), Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), MNM, and MPN.
Malam Habibu Suleiman, the agent of the PDP, alleged irregularities.
The situation was the same in Kogi State as INEÇ on Sunday announced the APC candidate, Haruna Isa, the winner of the House of Representatives bye-election for Lokoja/Kogi Federal Constituency,
INEC Returning Officer, Rotimi Ajayi, of the Federal University, Lokoja, who announced the results, Isa scored 26,860 votes, while Bashir Abubakar of the PDP got 14,845 votes.
Other candidates of the ADC and SDP, Kasim Mabo and Umar Imam, got 2,984 and 2,916 respectively.
Prof. Ajayi explained that results from 17 polling units, totalling 19,960 votes, were cancelled due to violence and massive irregularities.
He said that 15 of the cancelled units were from Lokoja Local Government Area, while Kogi LGA had two of the affected units.
The election was marred by violence and massive irregularities which culminated into the killing of four persons who wanted to snatch ballot boxes. Wanton destruction of vehicles and properties were equally reported.
Governor Yahaya Bello earlier raised the alarm that two former governors of the state, imported thugs into the state.
However, complaints by the PDP included non-compliance with the electoral Act as persons suspected to be political thugs allegedly invaded voting centres, intimidating voters and chasing away party agents.
*PDP candidate wins late husband’s seat in Cross River bye-election
It was however not all losses for the PDP as its candidate, Mrs. Abbey Ukpukpen, won the Saturday’s Obudu state constituency bye-election into the Cross River State House of Assembly.
Abbey, a widow, will be sworn in to replace her late husband, Stephen Ukpukpen, who was a member of the Assembly. He died in May this year which led to the seat being declared vacant.
The State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Frankland Briyai, announced the result on Sunday in Obudu, headquarters of Obudu Local Government Area.
Briyai said that the PDP candidate scored 12,712 votes to beat her closest rival, Ishamali Bendel, of the APC, who scored 4,345 votes.
Other results included Awafang Angiating of Mega Party of Nigeria, who scored 132 votes and Agwupuye Umeka of African Democratic Party, who scored 114 votes, to place third and fourth, respectively.
Briyai said: “Total valid votes 17,303; rejected votes 607; total votes cast 17,910; total number of registered voters 69,908.”
Mrs. Ukpukpen is a staff of the University of Calabar.