2 April 2012

Nigeria: Dakingari Wins Kebbi Amid Controversy

Alhaji Saidu Nasamu Dakingari.

ALHAJI Saidu Nasamu Dakingari of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday bounced back to office in the Kebbi State's re-run governorship election amid controversy.

The Elections Returning Officer, Professor Lawal Sulaiman Bilbis, said Dakingari polled 875,492 out of 934,693 total votes cast in the election.

The Congress for Progressive Change and the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) got 17,918 and 4,656 votes respectively, despite earlier withdrawal from the race.

There are, however, conflicting reports whether the CPC would contest the elections or not. Its National Secretary, Buba Galadima, yesterday said the party would go to court to challenge the refusal of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to allow the party changes its candidate in the election.

But the CPC's state Secretary, Alhaji Bashir Matawalle, said the party has accepted defeat in Saturday's rerun governorship election, blaming its poor performance on intra-party crisis.

'The CPC has no problem with the result and shall not contest it in any court,' he said, adding that 'the controversy over CPC's withdrawal from Saturday's governorship rerun election should not be blamed on INEC, the CPC did not put its house in order.'

For the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) candidate, Alhaji Suleiman Argungu, the re-run election was a sham. Going by the low turnout of voters, the general apathy to the exercise and the lopsided nature of the results, it is clear that the election did not meet expected standards.'

Fifteen political parties, including ANPP, whose candidate, Alhaji Suleiman Musa Argungu, withdrew from the race 24 hours before the election, contested the re-run governorship election. Only ten days earlier, the candidates of CPC and ACN, had withdrawn from the race and joined PDP.

The election was necessitated by the nullification of the victory of Dakingari in the 2011 general election by the Supreme Court following a petition by the CPC candidate, Abubakar. The CPC's boycott of the election was due to the refusal of INEC to allow it field a replacement for Abubakar.

However, President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated Alhaji Saidu Dakingari of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on his victory in election, urging him to do his utmost best to ensure that the people of Kebbi State who gave him and the PDP a landslide victory are rewarded with an effective and efficient administration.

A congratulatory statement, signed by the Presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, said President Jonathan thanked both old and returning members of the PDP in the state for heeding calls by the party leadership for reconciliation and unity.

The president assured Dakingari of the support and assistance of the Federal Government.

He commended the voters in the state, the INEC and security agencies for playing their parts in ensuring that the re-run election ordered by the Supreme Court was peacefully and successfully conducted.

Also, Senate President David Mark yesterday congratulated Dakingari for his resilience in the face of challenges.

Senator Mark, in a congratulatory message to the governor-elect, said 'your election has proved doubting Thomases wrong. The people have decided and reposed their trust and confidence on you. It is incumbent on you, therefore, to justify the mandate by working assiduously to improve the economic and infrastructural development of the state. The people expect much from you; put them first in all you do.

'I earnestly implore you to bring your wealth of experience to bear to transform the state and leave a positive legacy that will endure.'

He reminded Dakingari of the need to bring all stakeholders on board in the onerous task of administering the state and advised those who lost at the election to accept the result in good faith.

The Senate President pleaded with them to join hands with the governor-elect to develop the state, adding that Kebbi State is endowed with enormous potentials yearning to be tapped.

The governor-elect has also said the fresh mandate he received in Saturday's election was an indication of his acceptance by the people of Kebbi State.

Dakingari, according to his media adviser, Malam Alhassan Musa, said yesterday that his new mandate was an indication of the popularity of his policies and programmes over the years.

'In this election, there is no victor or vanquished. The PDP will carry everyone along in major decision-making and progarmme implementation,' he said.

Dakingari urged the people to expect development, especially in the areas of agriculture, rural development, education and health.

He commended the electorate for conducting themselves well and ensuring peace during the election and urged the opposition to join his administration to make Kebbi a home for all.

The total results of the election conducted in all the 21 local government councils showed that Kabiru Turaki- ACN had 4,656 votes; Alhaji Sani -AD, 463; Hajia Hauwa Muhammed ADC 289; Alhaji Lawal Mohammed ALP 320; Alhaji Sulaiman M. Argungu ANPP 2,528; Mallam Umaru B/Kebbi- APGA 1,509; Mallam Abubakar Abubakar CPC 17,918.

Alhaji Sani Abubakar -CPP 831; Muhammed Danbare - LP 581; Sahabi Atiku -NNPP 8262; Mallam Tukur Musa Yaro -NSDP 579; Muhammed Nasiru NTP 2056; Saidu Usman Nasamu- PDP 875,492; Abubakar Umar-PPA 1,698; and Alhaji Muhd Nusa-PPP 3.

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