The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has commenced the presentation of certificates of return to the governors-elect in 26 states where winners have been declared following the conclusion of the March 18 elections.
Also, certificates are to be presented to the lawmakers-elect in the relevant state legislatures across the 36 states of the federation.
In a statement last Saturday, INEC National Commissioner, Festus Okoye had noted that Section 72(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 provides that the Commission is mandated to issue a certificate of return within 14 days to every candidate who has been returned elected under the law.
Consequently, INEC fixed Wednesday (today) and Friday for the issuance of certificates of return to winners of the March 18 elections, adding that the presentations would take place in INEC offices in each state.
So far, the results of 26 of the 28 governorship elections have been announced, leaving the elections in Kebbi and Adamawa, which were declared inconclusive. Supplementary elections are to be held in both states on Saturday, April 15.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) won in 15 states and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in nine, while the Labour Party (LP) and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) won in one each.
In all, the ruling APC won in 15 states, including seven re-elected governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (Kwara), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), Mai Mala Muni (Yobe), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Babagana Zulum (Borno).
The party also secured wins for eight new candidates: Umar Namadi (Jigawa), Ahmed Aliyu (Sokoto), Dikko Radda (Katsina), Uba Sani (Kaduna), Bassey Otu (Cross River), Mohammed Bago (Niger), Hyacinth Alia (Benue), and Francis Nwifuru (Ebonyi).
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On the other hand, the PDP secured nine victories including two reelected governors: Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Bala Mohammed (Bauchi).
Seven first-term governors were also elected on the platform of the opposition party. They are Peter Mbah (Enugu), Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom), Siminialayi Fubara (Rivers), Kefas Agbu (Taraba), Caleb Mutfwang (Plateau), and Sheriff Oborevwori (Delta).
In a historic win, PDP’s Dauda Lawal unseated Zamfara State Governor and APC powerbroker in Zamfara, Bello Matawalle.
In a similar fashion, Abba Kabir of the NNPP unseated the APC in Kano State while LP’s Alex Otti won Abia which had been a PDP state in the last couple of years.
‘Smooth Working Relationship Ahead’
The Rivers Governor-elect Fubara; his deputy, Ngozi Odu; and the 32 members elect of the State House of Assembly, received their certificates of return in the state on Wednesday.
Speaking to Channels Television, the member-elect for Asari Toru I Constituency, Granville Tekenari Wellington, who is returning to the House of Assembly for a third term, expressed joy at his victory.