SBy-elections are underway in Sokoto State for three senatorial and 11 federal constituencies. The state has the largest number of seats in the National Assembly where elections are being held.
In the February 25 presidential election, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar polled 288,679 votes to defeat President-elect Bola Tinubu who polled 285,444 votes. But the National Assembly elections could not be decided that day.
However, in the governorship election, the fortunes of the two major parties reversed as the APC candidate, Ahmed Aliyu, scored 453,661 to defeat Sa’ad Umar who had 404,632 votes.
Elections in Sokoto State have always been exciting, especially since 2007 when the then Governor Attahiru Bafarawa clashed with his deputy, Aliyu Wamakko. The couple has controlled state politics ever since.
In the 2023 general election, Mr. Bafarawa backed PDP candidates, including his son who contested for the deputy governorship, while Mr. Wamakko, who is vying to retain his senate seat, is the defacto leader of the APC.
According to experts, the election did not end at the first moment because of the people involved and their situation.
Mr. Wamakko is running with the current deputy governor, Manir Dan Iya (PDP), in the Sokoto central senate seat. Governor Aminu Tambuwal (PDP) hopes to unseat Ibrahim Danbaba (APC) in Sokoto South Constituency, just as a former Commissioner Shuaibu Gwanda – Gobir (PDP) is in a tight battle for the Sokoto East senatorial seat against Ibrahim Lamido (APC).
The election was declared inconclusive due to issues that disrupted voting in some constituencies including, but not limited to, voting and violence.
How they stop
Mr Wamakko (APC) leads Mr. Dan Iya (PDP) in Sokoto Central with 11,732 votes, who scored 114,866 votes against the 79,991 votes scored by the PDP candidate.
The zone comprises eight local government areas and there are 106,207 registered voters in 166 affected polling stations in 46 areas.
In the Sokoto South contest, Mr. Tambuwal (PDP) is leading with 7,859 votes, with 87,850 against Mr. Danbaba’s (APC) 79,991 votes. The zone has seven local government areas. There are 73,461 eligible voters in the 133 affected polling stations undergoing recount. And 44 areas are registered.
Gwanda – Gobir of PDP is leading with 2,050 votes in Sokoto East. He has 99,198 votes against the 97,147 votes obtained by Mr. Lamido of the APC. 48,075 voters are affected in the 90 polling stations where the elections are taking place. The zone has eight local government areas.
TThe results of the presidential and gubernatorial elections are expected to influence the by-elections. APC supporters, whose party won the last election, hope to repeat the feat by turning out en masse to vote for their candidates in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
On the other hand, PDP loyalists are not so thrilled with the election, especially since Mr. Tambuwal did not support the incumbent governor in the primaries. The PDP house went into the election divided. With no gubernatorial seat, some party supporters may decide not to vote or fight for the party.
ALSO READ: Former Sokoto governor, Wamakko, seeks peaceful polls on Saturday
PDP has the upper hand in the figures so far. Both Mr Tambuwal and Mr Gwanda – Gobir are leading in their respective areas while the deputy governor is behind APC’s Mr Wamakko with about 11,000 votes. If the PDP can put more pressure on Mr. Wamakko in the metropolitan local government areas, the margin may narrow but the APC is strong in the center with the governor-elect being from the metropolitan local government area.
The activities of bandits have also resumed in the eastern part of the state and although the PDP has used it against the APC government, insisting that it is the federal government that has not been serious in the fight against terrorists, voters may refuse to come out. vote especially in areas like Goronyo, Rabah, Wurno, Isa and Sabon Birni where there have been recent cases of such activities.
This could affect the chances of both candidates. 48,075 voters will not be able to vote in the affected areas.
Another factor that could decide the election is that civil servants who were hitherto afraid to vote for the APC may feel it is safe to do so before the governorship election as the governor-in-waiting is from the APC.
Mr. Tambuwal, who has lost his bid to succeed his state secretary, Sa’ad Umar, and failed nationally now that Atiku lost to Mr. Tinubu, will give it his all for the senate seat. because now it is the only ticket he has for political importance in the next four years.
Accept PREMIUM TIMES’ journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. However, only good journalism can guarantee a good society, a responsible democracy and the possibility of a transparent government.
For free access to the best investigative journalism in the country, we ask that you make a modest contribution to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain journalism that matters and keep it free and accessible to all.
Text ad: Call Willie – +2348098788999