MORE governorship candidates emerged yesterday from the All Progressives Congress (APC) nationwide primaries.
Among those who picked the party’s tickets are Akinwunmi Ambode in Lagos, former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, who won the primaries in Kaduna; Mohammed Abubakar (Bauchi); Dr. Nyere Anyim (Abia); Senator Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindow (Adamawa); and Barr. Simon Lalong (Plateau).
This came on a day that a Benue High Court ordered the cancellation of the rescheduled governorship primaries in the state and former Vice President and APC Presidential Aspirant, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar failed to get his preferred candidate elected in his home state, Adamawa.
Among the 31 states where governorship elections will be held next February, the APC is yet to produce candidates in Imo and Ebonyi (South-East); Bayelsa and Cross River (South-South); Benue and Kogi (North-Central); Gombe (North-East); and Katsina, Jigawa and Kebbi in North-West.
El-Rufai grabs Kaduna APC ticket
In Kaduna, El-Rufai defeated four other aspirants in a primary election that started on Thursday and ended at 8.30 am yesterday. The exercise was peaceful, free and fair.
The Zaria-born El Rufai polled 1,965 votes, Isah Ashiru had 1,379 votes, Haruna Sa’eed scored 127 votes, Shamshudeen Abdullahi Ango got 25 votes while Salihu Mohammed Lukman polled 22 votes.
Announcing the result at the Kaduna International Trade Fair Complex venue of the primary, the Returning Officer, Prince Ekenyem Orizu, said accredited delegates were 3557, total votes cast 3546, valid votes 3518 and invalid votes were 28.
While declaring Mallam El-rufai as the winner, Orizu commended the delegates for their comportment and urged the unsuccessful aspirants to rally round the winner to ensure that the party emerged victorious at the 2015 general elections.
In his acceptance speech, Mallam El-Rufai thanked all who supported him and particularly those who contested with him, saying: “I commend the transparent, free and fair manner the election was conducted and I’m calling on other aspirants to join me in the struggle to make Kaduna State great again as a big family. I will visit other aspirants so that we can unite to vote out PDP in 2015.
“My priority among others will be to fix the education sector by providing free education from primary school to junior secondary school level, just as the APC government will bring to an end the insecurity not only in Kaduna State but in the country at large.”
Adamawa: How Bindow beat Atiku’s candidate
In Adamawa, Senator Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindow, representing Adamawa North won the ticket with heavy bruises from his opponents.
Bindow beat three other aspirants with 1,880 votes to emerge winner in the primary elections concluded yesterday morning.
His closest rival, Alhaji Ibrahim Mijinyawa Yayaji, who was the candidate of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar scored 1,183 votes to come second.
Immediate past Secretary to the Adamawa State Government, Mr. Kobis Ari Thimnu, got 85 votes, while former Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Dr. Tahir Mamman scored 17 votes.
A total of 3316 votes were cast and 24 invalid votes were recorded.
The Chairman of the State Primaries Election Committee Chairman, Alhaji Abubakar Yawe returned Bindow as the winner “having scored the highest votes in the election.’’
This is the second time in three months that Atiku Abubakar is suffering a similar defeat in a party that he is regarded as the political godfather of Adamawa State.
During the aborted October 11, 2014 bye-election to complete the tenure of the impeached Governor Murtala Nyako’s tenure, Senator Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla Bindow equally beat Ibrahim Mijinyawa Yayaji and emerged as APC candidate before the election was scuttled by a law
court that sacked the then Acting Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri and reinstated Barrister Bala Ngilari.
Court cancels primaries in Benue
A Makurdi High court presided over by Justice Ada Onum, yesterday, ordered the cancellation of the rescheduled APC governorship primaries in Benue State.
Justice Onum’s order was premised on an ex-parte motion brought before the court by Prof. Steven Ugba who was allegedly excluded from the race by the top hierarchy of the party in the state.
Ugba had in his “suit No. MHC/1996M/2014 sought an interim order to restrain the respondents, Comrade Abba Yaro, State APC chairman and the party itself from conducting the party primaries to nominate the flag bearer of the party to contest the governorship election in the Benue state.”
According to his counsel, Mr. Simon Orkumah, the motion also challenged the propriety of his purported exclusion from the exercise.
Ruling on the motion, Justice Adah Onum said: “I see profound merit in this interim order sought to restrain the respondents from conducting the party primary scheduled for later in the day or at any other time pending the determination of the application’s motion.”
He adjourned the matter to June 9., 2014 when a motion on notice on the matter would be heard by the court.
Meantime, at press time, there were confusing signals from top party officials in the state as the accreditation of delegates was still going on at the Makurdi IBB Square, venue of the exercise as party officials claimed that they were not in receipt of any court injunction restraining them from conducting the primaries.
A member of the Benue state Governorship Primaries Committee told Vanguard that the primaries would go ahead, maintaining that he had not been served with any court injunction.
However, it was reliably gathered that some court officials had gone to the venue of the primaries to serve the party with the injunction.
Lalong wins on the Plateau
The Plateau State Chapter of the APC has announced Barr. Simon Lalong as the winner of its governorship primary election held Thursday night in Jos.
Lalong, a former Speaker of the State House of Assembly won by a landslide as he scored a total of 2,222 defeating four other contestants.
A total of 2,960 delegates were accredited for the exercise, 2,909 of the delegates voted and 2,869 of the votes were valid while 40 were invalid.
Speaking with Saturday Vanguard, the Chairman, Plateau State Gubernatorial/House of Assembly Committee, Mr. Sunny Moniedafe who came from the Party’s national headquarters to monitor the exercise said he was impressed with the delegates’ conduct. “Despite the stress, delegates conducted themselves peacefully, all those who lost congratulated the winner and pledged their support. This is the spirit Nigerian politicians should imbibe”
Also speaking, an elder statesman, Amb. Yahaya Kwande reiterated that Plateau people are clamouring for power shift hence, Barr. Lalong from the southern zone of the state is not only APC candidate but Plateau candidate.
Kwande charged Lalong to be true to himself knowing that “if he fails the people, he has failed himself” and called on all stakeholders to support the candidate at the polls.
It’s Abubakar in Bauchi
Barrister Mohammed Abubakar, who polled 930 votes beat former Minister of Police Affairs, Dr Ibrahim Yakubu Lame (806 votes) to win the tightly ran race conducted at the Zaranda Hotel, Bauchi on Thursday.
Anyim emerges in Abia
In Abia, Dr. Nyere Anyim emerged as winner following the voluntary withdrawal of Barr. Nans Ikeocha from the race.
Addressing newsmen at the venue of the primaries, the chairman of the National Primaries Committee of the party, Hon Joseph Umoru said following the voluntary withdrawal of Ikeocha, Dr. Nyere had no aspirant to contest with.
However, the 108 governorship delegates still went ahead to cast their votes for or against Nyere and at the end, Umoru declared him as the winner of the primaries.
How Arhassan won in Taraba
Senator Jumai Aisha Arhasan (Taraba North) won the primaries after three other aspirants including Dr. Muhammed Julde, M T Tumba and Yusufu Akirikwen boycotted the exercise
Announcing the result, the chairman of APC primaries Committee for Taraba State Hon. Kola Shitu stated the total number of votes cast at the primaries was 2,471.
He further announced that Dr. Muhammed Julde scored 14 votes, Barr. Akirikwen (14 votes) and M T Tumba (18 votes) while Aisha Arhasan scored 2,425 votes.
In her acceptance speech, Arhasan called on the people of Taraba State to vote out the PDP government at all levels in Nigeria in the 2015 general polls.
She said APC government if voted into power will eliminate poverty and insecurity in Nigeria.
APC GUBER CANDIDATES
Kano Abdullahi Ganduje
Lagos Akinwunmi Ambode
Plateau Simon Lalong
A/Ibom Umana O. Umana
Rivers Dakuku Peterside
Kaduna Nasir El-Rufai
Kwara Abdulfatah Ahmed
Sokoto Aminu Tambuwal
Niger Abubakar Sani Bello
Nasarawa Tanko Al-Makura
Zamfara Abdulaziz Yari
Delta O’tega Emerhor
Oyo Abiola Ajimobi
Yobe Ibrahim Geidam
Ogun Ibikunle Amosun
Enugu Okey Ezea
Adamawa Unaru Jibrilla Bindow
Taraba Aisha Arhasan
Borno Kashim Shettima
Bauchi Mohammed Abubakar
Abia Nyere Anyim