The All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday won the by-election into the Kankiya/Kusada/Ingawa federal constituency seat of Katsina State and that of /lrepodun/Isin/Oke-Ero federal constituency of Kwara State.
But the lkom ll constituency seat in the Cross River State House of Assembly was given to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by consensus.
Our sister publication, LEADERSHIP Weekend, had reported yesterday that the by-elections in the states would be the last off-season polls before the 2019 general election and would offer opportunity to both leading parties to prove their mettle and how prepared they are ahead of the 2019 general elections.
In Katsina, the APC candidate Abubakar Kusada polled 48,518 votes beat his closest rival, the PDP candidate, Abdussamad Abdullah, who polled 20, 193 votes.
Announcing the results, returning officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Rasheed Adebayo Hamzat, also said the PRP candidate polled 1,810 votes, while the Yes Electorate Solidarity (YES) got 221 votes.
LEADERSHIP Sunday reports that the by-election into the Kankiya/Kusada/Ingawa federal constituency was sequel to the election of the former member representing the area in the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ahmed Babba-Kaita, to represent Katsina North senatorial district in the Senate.
The APC had won all the three consecutive by-elections and a re-run election in the state after the 2015 general election.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP Sunday yesterday after casting his vote in Kankia, Senator Kaita hailed the high turn-out of voters, saying it showed that the electorate was still enthusiastic about APC and the elections.
“The process is free, fair and very, very credible. You can see what is happening; people are turning out in their numbers and they are voting peacefully,” said Kaita.
The Speaker of the Katsina State House of Assembly and the APC flag bearer in the by-election, Abubakar Yahaya Kusada, in an interview with journalists in his home, Kusada, also commended the poll as credible and hitch free, while expressing optimism that the exercise would be a success.
Similarly, a PDP enthusiast, Musa Badamasi, told LEADERSHIP Sunday that he remained hopeful that the opposition would spring a surprise in the by-election, while brushing aside insinuations that APC was home and dry in the constituency.
In Kwara, INEC declared the APC candidate, Raheem Tunji Olawuyi, winner of yesterday’s by-election into the House of Representatives seat of Irepodun/ Isin/ Ekiti/ Oke- Ero federal constituency in the state.
The returning officer for the election, Prof Bimbola Adesoji of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile- Ife, announced the results in Omu-Aran, the headquarters of Irepodun local government area.
He said the APC candidate scored 21,236 votes to beat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Saheed Alatise, who polled 18,095 votes.
But Kwara State governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, described the House of Representatives by-election into the Ekiti, Isin, Irepodun and Oke-Ero federal constituency as a contest between the PDP and security agents, rather than among political parties.
Ahmed, in a statement by his senior special assistant on media and communications, Dr Muhideen Akorede, said reports available to him from the four local government areas in which elections were held indicated wide-spread harassment, arrests and intimidation of PDP members and supporters by security personnel.
Ahmed, however, commended PDP members and supporters across the federal constituency for standing their ground and defying the threats posed by the security agents by coming out to exercise their franchise at the risk of harm and arrest.
He said the heightened fear and intimidation orchestrated against PDP members and supporters and abetted by security agents led to voter apathy and poor turn-out in the areas that were traditional strong-holds of the party.
In Cross River, a widow, Stella Egbung Nkoro, of the PDP was yesterday declared winner of the Ikom II state constituency by-election in the state.
Mrs Nkoro will replace her husband, the member representing the same constituency, who died recently.
The widow’s late husband, Simon, was the one representing the constituency at the Cross River State House of Assembly before his demise on August 26.
According to a statement by INEC national commissioner and chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, the PDP is the only party that will appear on the ballot paper in the by-election as parties agreed that Simon Okoro’s wife replace her husband since the term in office is almost due.