WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

Because Nigeria’s 2019 national elections, particularly state elections were characterized by varying levels of violence, forcing the Independent National Electoral Commission to declare results in six states as inconclusive and suspending vote collation in volatile Rivers State. The supplementary elections likely will be mostly peaceful in Sokoto, Bauchi, and Plateau States, but violent in Benue and Kano States. The Kano results could provoke protests and violence that could challenge security forces capacity.

Nigerians across five states of the country, including Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau, and Sokoto, will return to the polls tomorrow to conclude gubernatorial and assembly elections. Supplementary elections in Bauchi is unlikely to result in a winner because a state high court had issued an order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from further vote collation or announcements in disputed Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area (LGA).

After the March 9 state elections, INEC declared results in these states as inconclusive, after it cancelled some election results because of violence, vote irregularities, and failure of the card reader equipment to capture voter data. INEC also postponed vote collation and announcement in Rivers State and is barred by a court from further vote collation in Adamawa State, which it had earlier indicated it would conduct supplementary election for.

The INEC claimed it had the power to cancel election results, declare same as inconclusive, and conduct supplementary elections because Clause 34 (e) of its Regulation and Guideline for 2019 General Elections specifies that supplementary elections will be held if “the margin of lead between the two leading candidates is not in excess of the total number of registered voters of the Polling Units where elections were not held or were cancelled…”

In results INEC announced following the 9 March elections, the difference in votes among the leading candidates in the affected states were less than the registered voters in the polling units where elections were cancelled or postponed, prompting INEC to declare the elections as inconclusive.

Breakdown of 9 March Results in the Five Affected States

In Bauchi State, INEC announced results of 19 of 20 LGAs (excluding Tafawa Balewa LGA, which it says is pending result collation and about which a court has retrained it) for the gubernatorial contest, with the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate and incumbent governor, Mohammed Abubakar, polling 465,453 against the 469,512 votes obtained by his main challenger, Mr. Bala Mohammed of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). 4,059 votes separates both candidates, but the number of registered voters in the 36 polling units spread across 15 LGAs where votes were cancelled or postponed is 22,759.

In Benue State, 81,554 votes separates the two leading candidates, PDP’s Samuel Ortom, who is the incumbent, and Emmanuel Jime of the APC.  While Governor Ortom scored 410,576 votes, Mr. Jime scored 329,022 votes. Supplementary elections will be held in 204 polling units spread across 22 LGAs. The total number of registered voters in the affected areas is 121,299.

In Kano State, incumbent governor Abdullahi Ganduje of the APC is trailing Mr. Abba Kabir-Yusuf, by 26,655 votes, but votes were cancelled in 234 polling units across 30 of 44 LGAs with 141,694 registered voters. In results announced by INEC, Ganduje scored 987,819 votes compared to Kabir-Yusuf’s 1,014,353 votes.

In Plateau State, the APC candidate and incumbent gover, Simon Lalong is leading the PDP challenger, Retired General Jeremiah Useni, with 44,929. INEC has scheduled supplementary elections in 40 polling units across nine LGAs with 48,828 registered voters.

In Sokoto State, the PDP candidate and incumbent governor, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, is leading the APC candidate, Ahmad Aliyu, with 3,413 votes. INEC canceled election results in 135 polling units across 22 LGAs with 75,403 registered voters.

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