The candidates of the All Progressives Congress and the People Democratic Party on Sunday displaced candidates of other parties and won the 15 by-elections in held on Saturday in their stronghold states.
In Lagos, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Tokunbo Abiru, won the Lagos East senatorial bye-election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission Returning Officer for the bye-election, Prof. Ademola Oremosu, on Sunday announced that Abiru polled a total of 89,204 votes to defeat his closest rival, Babatunde Gbadamosi of the Peoples Democratic Party, who got 11,257 votes to emerge second among candidates from 12 political parties.
Abiru won in all the five Local Government Areas in the senatorial district.
The candidate of the APC in the Kosofe Constituency II of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Obafemi Saheed, also defeated seven other candidates in the state House of Assembly bye-election held on Saturday.
Similarly, in Katsina State, the returning officer for the Bakori Local Government State Constituency bye election, Prof. Aminu Kankia, declared Dr Ibrahim Kurami of the APC winner of the election.
According to him, Kurami scored 20,446 votes to defeat his close rival, Alhaji Aminu Magaji of the PDP, who polled 11,356 votes.
Likewise, the candidate of the APC in the Dass constituency bye-election in Bauchi State, Bala Lukshi, was declared the winner.
The Returning Officer, Prof. Ahmed Mohammed, said Lukshi, polled a total of 12, 299 votes to defeat Lawal Wandi, candidate of the PDP, who polled 11,062 votes.
He said, “The candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bala Lukshi, haven scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared winner and returned elected.
Also in Plateau State, the candidate of the APC, Prof. Nora Daduut, was declared the winner for Plateau South Senatorial bye-election.
The Returning Officer, Prof. Idris Amali, said Daduut polled a total of 83,15104 to defeat nine other candidates including her closest rival and the PDP candidate, George Daika, who got 70,838 votes.
Additionally, INEC on Sunday declared Mr Egbunu Atule of the APC as the winner of the Ibaji Local Government Constituency bye-election of Kogi State.
The Returning Officer, Prof Rotimi Ajayi, at Onyadega, headquarters of the local government, said Atule polled 8,515 votes to emerge the winner.
Ajayi also announced that Mr Daniel Enefola of the Peoples Democratic Party came second having scored 4,565 votes.
Meanwhile, the candidate of the PDP, Dr Stephen Odey, was declared winner of the Cross River Northern Senatorial District bye-election by the returning officer, Prof Ameh Dennis Akoh.
He scored a total of 129,207 votes to defeat Joe Agi of the APC, who scored 19,165 votes.
The PDP candidate, Maria Akwaji, also won the Obudu State Constituency seat in the House of Assembly.
Likewise, INEC on Sunday declared the candidate of the PDP, Mrs Amaka Ugwueze, winner of the Isi-Uzo State constituency bye-election on Enugu State.
INEC collation officer, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwachukwu, said the PDP candidate polled a total of 11,047 votes to defeat the APC candidate Ejiofor Okwor, who scored 2,293 votes.
Also, in Bayelsa State, the PDP won the bye-elections in Bayelsa Central and West senatorial districts to retain the seats vacated by Governor Douye Diri and his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
In Bayelsa Central, the PDP polled 20,922 votes in Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA; 54,390 in Yenagoa LGA and 44, 707 votes in Southern Ijaw LGA, while the APC scored 4,980 votes; 6,155; and 7,812 votes, respectively.
The INEC Returning Officer for Bayelsa Central, Dr Emmanuel Akpan, declared the candidate of the PDP, Moses Cleopas, winner for the district.
In Bayelsa West, the PDP polled a total of 115, 257 votes in Ekeremor LGA and 68,156 in Sagbama, while the APC scored 17,541 votes and 7,303 votes, respectively.
Also, the flag bearer of the PDP in Bayelsa West, Seriake Dickson, was also declared winner for the district.
INEC fails to name Imo APC candidate
However, there was drama at the state Secretariat of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Owerri when the Election Returning Officer, Hakeem Adikum, declared the APC the winner of the Imo North bye-election without returning a candidate.
Adikum, who quickly rose after announcing the results scored by various political parties and their candidates, simple said, “I hereby return the All Progressives Congress as the winner of the bye-election held in Imo North on Saturday, December 5.”
He said the APC scored 36, 811 votes, while Emmanuel Okewulonu of the People Democratic Party came second with 31, 903 votes.
INEC’s failure to return any APC candidate caused disquiet as the supporters of the two persons, Ifeanyi Araraume and Frank Ibezim, laying claims to the APC ticket went home dejected.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Imo State, Prof Francis Ezeonu, told journalists that the electoral umpire was unable to return a particular candidate from the APC because of several court orders for and against Araraume and Ibezim.
Recall that an Abuja federal High court had on Friday barred Ibezim for from contesting elections.
The same day, a court of Appeal in Owerri sacked Araraume as the candidate of the APC and declared Ibezim as the authentic candidate of the party.
‘Zamfara bye-election inconclusive’
Also in Zamfara State, INEC declared the bye-election in Bakura constituency inconclusive.
Two ad-hoc staff of the commission was similarly declared missing and their whereabouts were still unknown at the time of filing in this report.
Addressing journalists on Sunday, the returning officer, Prof. Ibrahim Magawata, said the election results of five polling units in Bakura ward had been cancelled.
The affected units, according to Magawata, have a total number of 11,429 votes.
He however declared that, so far, the PDP candidate, Alhaji Ibrahim Tudu has scored the total number of 18,645 votes, while the APC candidate, Alhaji Bello Gamji, scored 16,464 votes.
But while celebrating the APC win in Plateau State, Governor Simon Lalong, said the victory was not surprising as the APC was well rooted in the whole state.
Similarly, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State in a statement described Abiru and Saheed’s victory as a validation of peoples’ confidence in the APC.
I’ll not disappoint, says Abiru
Similarly, Abiru, while responding to his victory promised to translate his campaign promises into tangible outcomes.
Abiru said, “I commit myself irrevocably to the agenda I laid out before the electorate, offering people-focused quality representation; ensuring welfare of my constituents; working with my colleagues in the National Assembly to ensure special status for Lagos.”