The Independent National Electoral Commission INEC has formally declared Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Bello Mohammed Matawalle, his deputy, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau as the duly elected governor and deputy governor of Zamfara State.
Aside the governor and his deputy, the PDP also swept the three senatorial seats, 7 federal constituency seats in the state and 23 out of the 24 State Assemby seats.
The latest development may have altered the calculations and permutations being made over the configuration of principal officers of both chambers of the National Assembly.
Already, sources in opposition party are said to have now begun to fancy itself in good position to produce the Deputy Senate President, if not the Senate President, if it plays its cards well with a total of 49 senators in the soon to be inaugurated 9th senate.
Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the commission, who made the declaration on Saturday after INEC reviewed results of the Zamfara polls in two emergency sessions, said the decision followed the court judgment that nullified votes cast for the APC .
The apex court had in a unanimous decision Friday, declared the votes cast for the ruling party for governor, National and State Assembly elections in Zamfara State as wasted votes, having failed to conduct valid primaries as required by law. It also held that the party with the right spread be declared winner.
Those declared winners of the senatorial seats include Alhaji Ya’u Sahabi (Zamfara North),Mohammed Hassan ( Zamfara Central) and Lawali Hassan Anka(Zamfara West).
For the House of representatives seat, the following were returned for PDP: Umar Sani Dan-Galadima ( Kauran Namoda/Birnin Magaji ), Bello Hassan Shinkafi (Shinkafi/Zurmi), Kabiru Amadu (Gusau/ Tsafe), Shehu Ahmed ( Bungudu/Maru), Kabiru Yahaya( Anka/ Galata Marafa), Ahmed Muhammad Bakura ( Bakura )/ Maradun) and Sulaiman Abubakar Gumi (Gumi/ Bukkuyum) federal constituencies.
The result declared by INEC shows that only Kabiru Hashimu of the National Rescue Movement(NRM) was able to taint the massive sweep of the Zamfara State Assembly by the PDP.
Prof Yakubu who gave a background to the failure of the ruling APC to conduct valid primaries in Zamfara said, “You may all recall that the Commission issued the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the 2019 general elections on 9th January 2018, over one year in advance. Among other activities, the conduct of party primaries was scheduled to take place between 18th August and 7th October 2018.
“Unfortunately, the APC did not conduct its primaries in Zamfara State within this stipulated time and the commission duly informed the party that it would not be in a position to present candidates for elections in the state. Subsequently, various interested parties, including the APC itself, approached the court over the decision of the Commission. Just before the election, the subsisting court judgment at the time ordered the commission to include the APC on the ballot for the Governorship, National Assembly and State Assembly elections, which the Commission complied with.
“Following the judgment of the Supreme Court, the Commission has met in two emergency sessions and taken briefings from our lawyers and staff on the implementation of the Supreme Court judgment.”
Explaining the reason why INEC tarried in declaring the winners on Friday, he observed that while the legislative elections (Senatorial, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly elections) are straight forward, it was not SO in the case of the governor where the spread of the votes must be taken into account.
The INEC announced that the governor-elect, deputy governor -elect senators elect and House of Reps members- elect will be issued with certificate of returns this Monday, in Abuja, by the commission, while the state assembly winners will receive their certificates from the State’s Resident Electoral Commissioner Friday next week at INEC state office in Zamfara.