•Leads in Bauchi
In what was no less a message, the All Progressives Congress (APC), yesterday, defeated its main rival, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in two bye-elections conducted for Kankiya/Kusada/Ingawa Federal Constituency area of Katsina state and Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero Federal Constituency Area of Kwara State, while maintaining lead in Toro Federal Constituency area of Bauchi State.
In Katsina bye-election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Alhaji Abubakar Kusada, a former speaker of the state, as winner after polling 48,518 votes.
The returning officer, Prof Adedayo Hamza, who announced the result, said Alhaji Abdussamad Yusuf of PDP came second with 20,193 votes, while Nasiru Kankiya of the Peoples Redemption Party scored 1,810 votes as second runner-up. Abdullahi Umar of the Yes Electorate Solidarity (YES) got 221 votes.
According to Hamza, the total number of registered voters in the constituency was 193,904, while the number of accredited voters was 74,242.
The number of valid votes cast was 70,742 and rejected votes, 2,331.The total number of votes cast was 73,073.
However, from Kwara, INEC, late Saturday night, confirmed Raheem Olawuyi, candidate of the APC as winner of the Ekiti/Irepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero constituency.
INEC’s Chief Returning Officer for the poll, Prof. Abimbola Adesoji, said Olawuyi polled 21,236 votes, while his main PDP rival, Jimoh Alatise scored 18,095 votes.
The Labour Party had 150 votes, the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) cored 76 votes and UPN had 42 votes.
Professor Adesoji said out of the 40,930 total votes cast, the total number of valid votes was 39,599 while 1,331 votes were rejected.
Reacting to the news, President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, thanked the people of Ekiti/Oke Ero/Isin/Irepodun, who “came out to vote today — defying the heavy intimidation and the siege laid by the security agents and thugs invited into the 4 LGAs by the APC.
“The public should note that today’s #KwaraByElection was simply between PDP and security agents plus APC. This was due to the heavy deployment of police, soldiers and other security agents who gathered to support APC and harass PDP leaders and supporters.
“This is the first time that elections in Kwara State will be held under such charged, tensed and militarised conditions. We had INEC officials complaining about their own safety — and PDP supporters were brazenly intimidated, which resulted in low turnout of voters.
“It is important to reiterate that ahead of the 2019 elections, such open displays of intimidation are sending wrong signals. Our democracy is being undermined with this misuse of our nation’s security apparatus,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Bauchi, details of the bye-election results had not been released when the newspaper went to press, but INEC had earlier hinted that only two political parties fielded candidates for the Toro Federal Constituency Area of the state.
Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Bauchi, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi listed the two candidates as Mr. Yusuf Nuhu of the APC and Alhaji Shehu Umar of the PDP.
He said that INEC had recruited 1,550 ad hoc staff to man 1,553 polling units in the 11 wards within the federal constituency. Unconfirmed reports had claimed the APC was in comfortable lead in the election.
The Bauchi by-election was called as the aftermath of the death of Senator Ali Wakili, who represented Bauchi South in the senate.