On Friday, 24th May, 2019, the Supreme Court gave a landmark judgment which ceded Zamfara State to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, after ruling that the All Progressives Congress, APC, did not hold any primaries in the state making what ever vote that was garnered by the party, null and void. The Apex Court further ruled that the party with the highest number of votes after the APC, in the elections should be declared as the winner of the polls. This party eventually happened to be the PDP who have never ruled the state before in since this political dispension began in 1999.
Immediately after the ruling, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that it was holding a meeting to determine its next course of action as regards the ruling by the Supreme Court. The INEC Director of Voter Education and Publicity, Festus Okoye, revealed this on the same day the Court gave its ruling. However, later in the day, some came out with the opinion in reports that the Nation’s electoral body was being pressured to declare the result of the Zamfara polls as inconclusive, and call for the PDP to slug it out with other political parties due to the high number of votes garnered by the All Progressives Congress, APC during the elections.
However, on Saturday, 25th of May, INEC came out to declare its own position on the ruling of the Apex Court deciding to abide by the judgment. The electoral body said that after its meeting, and taking advice from its lawyers, it had decided to declare the candidate of the PDP, Dr. Bello Mattawalle, as the winner of the polls citing that the PDP fulfilled the INEC Section 179 and subsection 2 of the 1999 constitution.
See the video of INEC declaring PDP as the winner below.
This comes as the final decision in the the Zamfara saga, thus putting to bed any hope of the APC retaining control of the state even though they had the highest number of votes in the polls. This is actually a sign that the PDP is wrestling the north away from the control of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Other cases during the elections in some northern states have also confirmed this trend. Let’s see how
Bauchi State was under the control of the APC as they defeated the PDP during 2015 elections in a political tsunami of sorts which washed over the north at the time. However, the Speaker of the House of Reps, Yakubu Dogara, who also hails from the state, defected to the PDP, and was a major influence in the governorship polls which saw the candidate of the PDP, Bala Mohammed defeating the incumbent, Mohammed Abubakar of the APC. It came as a surprise, as many had written off Dogara for joining the APC, but it was a different ball game altogether.
Kano State is also another place where the PDP made a huge point even though they eventually lost out in the governorship polls. The incumbent Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, was shaken terribly as it had to take a supplementary poll for him to emerge as the winner after trailing with over 40, 000 votes during the first round of elections. It was also a huge surprise as the state was seen as a stronghold of the All Progressives Congress. But the defection of former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso to the PDP served as a huge blow to the fortunes of the party in the state. The PDP is hoever still a major threat as it has headed to the tribunal to seek redress over the victory of the APC which it has deemed as controversial.
The home state of the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. In this state, another incumbent governor, Jibrilla Bindow, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, lost out again to the Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Umaru Fintiri, after he polled 376,552 votes to defeat the Governor of the state who polled 336,386 votes.
The state which contains the seat of the Caliphate, Sokoto was another state where it was expected that the PDP was going to lose as the strong man of the state politics, Aliu Wammako was a member of the APC. The incumbent state governor, Aminu Tambuwal had defied Wammako to defect to the PDP which was hitherto under the control of the APC. He then went on to contest in the Presidential primaries of the PDP, but lost out to Atiku Abubakar. Tambuwal then went back to vie for his governorship seat and had to slug it out with his running mate during the 2015 elections. He was able to pull off a victory which no one had expected of him. Although he won with a slight margin of just more than 300 votes.
This victory for the PDP in Zamfara state seems to be the perfect icing on the cake for the PDP as it seeks to finally take full control of the north which it lost t the APC in 2015.
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