INEC declares Taraba and Abia governorship elections inconclusive

The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared Saturday’s governorship election in Taraba state inconclusive.

INEC Returning Officer for the election, Professor Muhammad Kariey, said there has to be a supplementary election because the total number of votes rejected and cancelled were more than the total votes with which the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Darius Ishaku, led the runner-up, the All Progressives Congress’ Aisha Al-Hasan.

According to the returning officer the difference between the PDP and the APC is 54,881, while the rejected votes from some troubled areas are over 100, 000 votes.

He said a supplementary election must be held within 30 days.

PDP had scored a total of 317,198 votes to APC’s 262,386.

Reports say the elections in Donga, Wukari and Zing local governments were cancelled following alleged irregularities.

Similarly; The Returning Officer for Abia State, Prof Benjamin Ozumba, has declared the state governorship election inconclusive.

Ozumba, who spoke in Umuahia, the state capital on Monday, said this was because the total number of registered voters in areas, where elections did not hold or where elections were cancelled, was higher than the margin of difference between the two leading candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressive GrandAlliance.

The Taraba governorship election is one of the most keenly contested, and perhaps the most watched by Nigerians because one of the leading candidates is a woman.

Nigerians had expected that the election would yield the first female governor in Nigeria’s history.

But as results of the election from the local government areas trickled into the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, Ms. Al-Hasan, fondly known as Mama Taraba by supporters, at some points overtook her main challenger, Mr. Ishaku.

This triggered nationwide celebration by people who thought Ms. Al-Hasan was on her way to becoming the first female governor.

But after all votes in the election were collated, Ms. Al-Hasan trailed the PDP candidate by over 50,000 votes, but the electoral body declared the election inconclusive.

Credit: Austin Ajayi/Premium Times/Emeka Obi/Punch