APC In Kaduna, Plateau
By Our Correspondents
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was on Sunday declared winner of all the three legislative seats where a re-run pool was on Saturday conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Just as veteran Senator David Mark also of the PDP, emerged victorious in the Benue South senatorial district re-run.
This is even as the All Progressives Congress(APC) won seats contested for in Kaduna and plateau State, and taken over, thereby consolidating its dominance in those two states, which it had earlier controlled the executive arm.
Announcing the outcome of the re-run on Sunday, in Jalingo, Resident Electoral Commissioner for Taraba, Hon. Habu Zarma Hinna, said the candidate of the PDP Hon. Dan-Asabe Hosea, emerged victorious, after scoring a total of 37,645 votes to clinch the Sardauna/Kurmi/Gashaka Federal constituency, while his challenger, Ibrahim Elsudi of APC who polled 37,609 votes.
Similarly, former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Abel Peter Diah of the PDP won Mbamga State Constituency with 7,825 as against Emmanuel Bongo who polled 5,642, while in Ardo-Kola state constituency, Hon. Emmanuel Dame also of the PDP was declared winner with 12,138 votes to defeat Sanusi Wale of the APC secured 11,047 votes.
In Benue, the story wasn’t different as the now opposion PDP’s candidate in the only contested senatorial seat, David Mark, won a record 8th return to the Senate.
Mark, a former President of the Nigerian Senate, (2007-2015), was declared winner amid protests by his challenger, who demanded that the election, held Saturday, be declared inconclusive.
The former Senate President defeated his sole challenger, Daniel Onjeh, a 41-year old former students’ leader, who contested on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
Senatorial Returning Officer, Prof Ishaq Eneji, on Sunday, at 5.51am, announced Mark as scoring 84,192 votes, leaving a margin of 12,571 between him and Mr. Onjeh, who scored 71,621 votes.
“Having satisfied the requirement of the law, David Bonaventure is hereby declared the winner, Eneji announced.
While 522, 713 were registered for the election, only 165, 093 were accredited, indicating voters apathy across the senatorial zone.
According to the results declared by Eneji, out of the nine local government areas of the district, Mark secured victory in five local government areas: Ado, Agatu, Apa, Otukpo and Okpokwu, while
Onjeh won in four, namely Ogbadigbo, his hometown, Ohimini, Obi and Oju LGAs.
At a world news press conference at Oturkpo, senator Mark who dedicated his victory to the people of Benue south assured of quality representation in the senate and call on all stakeholders to come on board in the task of developing Idoma nation as there is no winner or loser and commended the media for ensuring balanced reportage of events during campaigns.
Reacting to the victory, Director of Media, Mark Campaign Organisation, Dr. Adakole Elijah thanked Senator Mark for extending his hands of fellowship to Comrade Onjeh and his supporters to join the team for move Idoma land to the next level; saying the interest of Benue south remain paramount at the moment.
Efforts to get reaction from comrade Daniel Onjeh or his party, the All Progressive Congress in the state proved abortive as the state chairman Abba Yaro could not be reached at the time of the report.
Sources indicate that Onjeh still holds that the election was inconclusive, given that the margin between him and senator Mark was inconsequential when compared with the votes of over twenty five thousand that was still outstanding.
In Plateau, our correspondent reports that, PDP, supporters in the state are angry with the party leaders for the inability of the party to maintain its lead in the state house of assembly as results of the two by elections conducted in the state have indicated.
Istifanus Mwansat, Pankshin South and a one time speaker of the assembly; who was earlier returned as elected now has his victory quashed as the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate Gideon Dashe, his major challenger has now been pronounced victorious in last Saturday rerun election in the constituency.
The Returning Officer for Pankshin South, Dr Chris Vande of University of Jos who declared the result at Longkat in Chip Electoral Ward.
Said, “Pharm Gideon Dashe of APC, having scored the highest number of votes, and having satisfied the electoral law, is hereby return elected,’’ .
Also, attempt by Diket Plang to wrestle power from the only female lawmaker for Pankshin North, Alice Dimlong was unsuccessful as she was again, returned even after the by-elections ordered by the appeal tribunal.
Dimlong had polled 17, 320 votes to defeat her PDP opponent, Diket Plang, who got 16, 817 votes.
The Returning Officer for Pankshin North constituency, Dr Jeff Godwin of the University of Jos, who announced the result at the council chamber, declared Dimlong as the winner of the by-election.
“I, Dr Jeff Godwin, the returning officer, declare that Mrs Alice Dimlong of the APC, having scored the highest number of votes and having satisfied the electoral law, is hereby return elected, ’’ he declared.
State chairman Raymond Dabo had hinted in an interview added that anything more than this numbers from any of the unit, will not be acceptable to the PDP.
As a result, he urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to insist on the use of the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) in the by-elections by for the Pankshin North and Pankshin South State constituencies.
However, divergent views have continue to trail the outcome of the polls; which would have seen the PDP maintaining it’s lead in the 24-member assembly, which had a 13-11 member in favour of the PDP at inception.
Meanwhile, the by election for Langtang South has been suspended till further notice, after a court has forced it to include the PDP candidate who was excluded by the state INEC.
The candidate, Vincent Venmark, who, the tribunal had banned from contesting, saw his party filling a case at the Federal High Court, Jos, challenging the jurisdiction of the commission to exclude its candidate from the election.
The resident electoral officer of INEC in Plateau State, Godwin Kwanga, announced the suspension of the election on Thursday, saying a date would be fixed later for the election.
He said “As a law abiding organisation, and given the short time available to the commission, the chairman, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, has directed the commission in Plateau State to suspend the conduct of the re-run election as ordered by the court, pending the determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
The Plateau State Election Petition Tribunal had on December 5, 2015 dissolved the election of Mr. Venmark, a member of Plateau State House of Assembly, on the grounds that he is an ex-convict.
While ordering for fresh election, the tribunal banned Mr. Venmark from contesting election for five years.
But through to the party’s threat, Dabo, described the by-election as a “sham’’ and “unacceptable to PDP. ’’
“The results of the entire by-election held in Pankshin was not acceptable to us in PDP especially that of Pyabor polling unit in Chip electoral ward of Pankshin South Constituency. “Could you emerging that we the party officials including the candidate were allow access to the polling unit while voting was taking place?; this is strange, ’’ he lamented.
According to him, “this kind of action is not healthy for democracy but very very dangerous. ’’ The party, he stressed, would soon convene a meeting to take a decision on what to do to challenge the result of Pankshin South.
In Kaduna, the APC stole the show in Lere West Constituency bye-election for the Kaduna State House of Assembly.
APC’s candidate Idris Gatari, got over 6,000 more votes than his PDP counterpart who polled 10,772 votes.
With his 17,672 votes, he defeated PDP’s Dr. Mato Dogara to give APC 28 seats to PDP’s 6 seats in the Kaduna State House of Assembly