Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), through its Returning Officer, Professor Fatima Mukhtar, has declared the gubernatorial election in Sokoto State as an inconclusive exercise.
Professor Mukhar, who is also the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Dutse, made the pronouncement at the election collation centre in Sokoto at exactly 2:54am on Monday.
She submitted that since the margin between the two leading candidates in the poll was less than the total number of cancelled votes in the state, she could not go ahead to declare a winner.
She noted that the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and governor of the state, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal had polled a total of 489,558 votes while his closest rival and candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), secured 486,145.
She explained that the difference between the two leading candidates was 3,413 votes which was less than the total number of cancelled votes in the state.
According to her, there were cancellations in 136 polling units across 22 local government areas of the state which amounted to 75,403 of the registered voters
“These are the results collated in 23 local government councils of the state for the gubernatorial election. There were cancellations in 22 local government areas across 136 polling units with a total number of registered voters of 75,403. The margin of win between the two major parties is just about 3,413 votes.
“The cancelled votes were far higher than the margin of win, and as a result of this, I cannot conclude on the winner. So I declared this election inconclusive,” she submitted.
The returning officer noted that the electoral umpire would, however, take a final decision on when to conduct the concluded part of the exercise. “In view of this, INEC will have to take a decision on this.”
Prof Mukthar put the total number of registered voters at 1,887,767 while the number of accredited voters stood at 1,033,081. She further said valid votes were 987,942, rejected votes were 30,082 while the total votes cast were 1,018,024.