11 December 2006

Nigeria: Mukhtar Shagari Wins in Sokoto

Sokoto — Former Minister of Water Resources and a PDP gubernatorial aspirant in Sokoto State, Alhaji Mukhtari Shehu Shagari has won the PDP gubernatorial ticket for the forthcoming general elections.

Shagari got an overwhelming victory as he polled 2,701 votes against the two other contestants Senator Illa Gada who pollled 447 while Ahmad Gusau, a former deputy governor in Sokoto State during the NRC days got a paltry 431 votes.

A total number of 3,691 votes were cast at the primaries which was conducted amidst tight security at the Giginya Memorial Stadium, Sokoto while 112 votes was declared invalid by the electoral panel that monitored the election.

The primaries which started at 11.00 am yesterday, had about 6,000 delegates from the 23 local government councils of the state that participated in the event. Due to the large number of delegates, the results was announced around 2.00 am in the wee hours of the morning.

Speaking with newsmen at the venue, after the announcement of the results, Alhaji Shagari described the race as a duel and competition among brothers who really have the interest of the people and nation at heart.

Shagari, who was highly impressed with the level of decorum during the election, called on the two contestants that lost for support, assuring them that he will carry everyone along so as to ensure their victory in the forthcoming general elections.

Meanwhile, the losers who were also at the¬,stadium when the results was announced, embraced and congratulated the winner.They ¬,promised to work together with the party's candidate inorder to ensure that PDP emerge victorious¬,next¬,year adding that there is no misgivings over the outcome of the election.

In the same vein, the Chairman of the electoral panel and monitoring committee, Alhaji Abba¬,Gubio described the election as free and fair.He said:"initially we hoped to avoid the primaries but none of the contestants was willing to step down for the other".

He advised them to bury their differences and also support the winner during the campaigns and elections, stressing that¬,it was an in house democratic exercise where there is 'no victor no vanquish'.The election was conducted peacefully in the state without any rancour and violence.

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