21 April 2003

Nigeria: Gov Makarfi Returned in Kaduna

Kaduna — Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the incumbent Governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi winner in last Saturday governship contest in the State. Results from the 23 local government councils indicated that the incumbent governor, Makarfi, of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) swept the polls, beating his five other opponents with a wide margin.

The State INEC Resident Commissioner Alhaji Aliyu Marafa released the results, which have Makarfi polling 1,143,890 while his closest rival, Alhaji Suleiman Hunkuyi of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) polled 668,446 votes.

The ANPP Representatives at the collation centre, Alhaji Abdulazeez Mohamnmed when asked for comment regretted the result, "we will not be part of this morkery of democracy, he said.

However, it still remained uncertain yesterday afternoon which of the duo of president Olusegun Obasanjo and Major-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari would capture Kaduna State, given the closeness of the figures so far for the two presidential candidates.

Presidential poll results from 17 of the 23 local government areas indicated that the PDP was leading with a total of 723,000 votes while the ANPP trailed closely with about 650,000 votes.

The results as earlier announced showed that PDP won in Makarfi, Kudan Soba Jaba, Ikara, Kubau, Zangon-Kataf and Jema'a local government areas, while the ANPP had majority votes in Igabim, Zaria, Sabon-Gari and Giwa local council areas.

While the ANPP won Kaduna North and Kaduna South local governments, within the Kaduna metropolis.

A combination of forces, including socio-ethnic and religions factors before the elections had actually hinted that Makarfi would emerge victorous after all, in spite of what was generally considered the Hunkuyi factor.

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