Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Garba Ajiya has been declared winner in the last Saturday’s Takum 1 state constituency by-election.
Ajiya polled 10,725 and led in five of the six wards while the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atem Ansho polled 3,268, and won in one ward.
Mr. Hosea Ibi who represented the constituency was kidnapped on December 31, 2017 and gruesomely murdered by his abductors in January, after they had collected ransome.
Announcing the final result, the returning officer of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the bye-election, Dr. Ayuba Daniel Kwada disclosed that nine political parties participated.
Kwada said results from nine polling units in Chanchanji ward were cancelled due to irregularities.
“The total number of votes cast was 14, 717; total number of valid votes was 14,337 while 380 votes were rejected. Haven scored the highest number of votes and satisfied other conditions required by law, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mr. Garba Ajiya is hereby declared winner of this election and returned elected,” he said.
Meanwhile, the candidate of the APC, Ansho has rejected the result, as he alleged gross irregularities and manipulation by the ruling PDP.
Ansho who claimed collation were still ongoing in some wards when electoral officers were mobilised to leave some polling unit said he was in talks with his lawyers for advice on the next course of action.
Daily Sun correspondent who monitored the election reports that the election was relatively peaceful except for pockets of tension across the constituency that culminated in the attack on a minister and the smarshing of two vehicles in the convoy.
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Reacting to the election result, Governor Darius Ishaku commended the peaceful atmosphere of the election and reemphasised the need for state police.
“The country would have more efficient and pronounced security apparatus if it adopts state policing just like other civilised countries.”
Gov. Ishaku described the process as a litmus test for the 2019 general elections in the state, and noted that the victory margin could have been wider if all those that turned out to exercise their franchise had their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs).