GOVERNOR Babangida Aliyu of Niger State and senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for Niger East, has conceded defeat to David Umaru, candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who won the senatorial seat at the Saturday, March 28, National Assembly polls. Umaru defeated the governor by more than 170,000 votes.
Aliyu, who spoke on Wednesday, April 1, in Minna, before a state executive council meeting, said he had been calling the senator-elect to congratulate him but his calls and text messages had not been answered. “I have already conceded defeat to Barrister David Umaru. I have called Umaru’s number after he was declared about seven times but he did not pick. I sent a text saying ‘this is the Chief Servant calling, please pick’ and I have not received a reply by now.
“I have no qualms about the defeat. I did not see my defeat as an insult to my person but as God’s will,” Aliyu said.
The governor also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for paying attention to details and advised the commission to note all the shortcomings in the past election and work towards correcting them.
PDP will Retain Its States – Akpabio
AFTER losing the presidency to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has promised not to surrender its states to the opposition in gubernatorial elections slated for April 11. Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom and chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, made the vow on Wednesday, April 1, maintained that the party would not lose any of its states during governorship elections.
Speaking with State House correspondents after meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan along with other PDP governors, Akpabio commended Jonathan for sacrificing his political ambition for the sake of Nigeria. He commended Jonathan for his statesmanlike record in Africa by conceding victory to the opposition despite what he called glaring flaws which he claimed characterised the election like malfunctioning voter card readers and intimidation.
“I am sure the PDP as a party will react on matters connecting with the elections of March 28. But as governors we came to pay solidarity with our president and to commend him for being a statesman. Honestly, he has done something that no African leader has done in such a flawed exercise, with underage voters everywhere, with disparity between states, some using card readers, some failed card readers, some using manual and some states not using manual and some just taking ballot papers to government houses, particularly in certain parts of the country.
“Yes, very flawed exercise; yet he looked at it and said in spite of it all I want to ensure peace, unity and stability of the country, let me give an opportunity to the APC Presidential candidate to come in and then give his own to the country. That kind of sacrificial stand by a president can only come from a PDP president and that is why we are very proud of what has happened,” Akpabio said.
INEC Commissioner Burnt to Death
IT WAS a tragic end for Munka’ila Abdullahi, resident electoral commissioner in Kano, his wife, and two children as mysterious fire burnt them to death in his official residence on Friday morning, April 3.
The incident which was said to have occurred at his Nassarawa GRA resident midnight, razed the entire building. Idi Ali, an eyewitness, claimed that efforts by good Samaritans to break into the building to rescue the family failed as they could not gain entrance into the building.
Magaji Musa Majia, an assistant superintendent of Police and Police public relations officer, who confirmed the incident, said that police investigation was ongoing.
Also confirming the incident, Balarabe Kabara, director of the state Fire Service, said his men received a distress call from the neighbours of the deceased at about 4.30am on Friday. Kabara said the commissioner, his wife and two children died owing to injuries they sustained during the incident.
The INEC said the deceased would be buried after the Friday prayer at his home town, Gantsa, in Buji Local Government Area of Jigawa State.
Aregbesola Wins Again
GOVERNOR Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, again floored Iyiola Omisore, a senator and gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, at the Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Thursday, April 2. The court dismissed the appeal by Omisore in respect of the governorship election in Osun State, on August 9, 2014.
Omisore had approached the Appeal Court to challenge the ruling of the Osun State Elections Petition Tribunal delivered on February 6, which upheld the victory of Governor Aregbesola of the All Progressives Congress, APC. But in a judgement delivered by Justice Gana Mcshella on behalf of four other judges, declared that Omisore’s appeal lacked merit.
The court also upheld the cross appeal by Governor Aregbesola that Omisore’s petition ought to have been dismissed as an abandoned petition by the tribunal.
The court deemed Omisore’s appeal as incompetence saying the grounds for appeal did not arise from the tribunal’s judgment.
In determining the appeal, the court adopted the seven issues formulated by the appellants, Omisore and the PDP.
At the hearing, Alex Iziyon, SAN, leading counsel to Omisore, argued that the tribunal erred, saying that it failed to examine all the allegations and issues raised by his client. He claimed that the tribunal failed to address the allegations of corruption and non-compliance with the Electoral Act in the election producing Aregbesola as governor. Iziyon, therefore, urged the Appeal Court to discountenance the judgment of the tribunal.
But Akin Olujimi, SAN, counsel to Aregbesola and Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, objected to the grounds of the appeal, arguing that the tribunal was clear and unbiased in its ruling.
Olujimi said the ruling of the tribunal upholding the governor’s victory was unchallengeable as it was decided after a thorough investigation.
In its reaction, the APC in the state said the decision of the Court of Appeal had confirmed that the people did not want Omisore as governor.
In a statement by the party’s Directorate of Publicity and Research, the APC said that “for as long as Omisore persisted in cohesive politics and would not desist from objectionable disregard for truth, he will be unelectable. Also, for as long as the PDP remains under his leadership, that party will never again be voted to power in Osun.
“The truth of the matter is that Omisore has a crisis and no reasonable community or state will risk its future on such a personality.”
Omisore has, however, vowed to appeal the case.
— Apr. 13, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT