By Ogechi Okorie
KADUNA – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the former speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Yusuf Liman as the winner of Saturday’s bye-election for the Makera state constituency.
Liman, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored a total of 18, 068 votes to defeat his closest rival, Solomon Katuka of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 17, 404 votes to come second. Usman Yakuti of the Labour Party got 3,709 votes to finish third.
According to INEC, the election was conducted in five polling units in the Makera constituency – Kakuri Hausa, Television, Kakuri Gwari, Barnwa 1 and Barnwa 2 to determine the winner.
Similarly, Nura Abubakar of the PDP has been declared the winner of the election for Kudan State constituency in Kaduna State after he scored a total of 24,178 votes to defeat the candidate of the APC, Abbas Faisal who polled 22,438 votes, while Suleiman Umar of labour party got 1,491 votes to come third.
Hussein Jallo of the PDP was also returned elected for the Igabi federal constituency bye-election after he scored a total of 47, 313 votes to defeat Zayyad Ibrahim of the APC who got 43,915 votes.
In the Chikun constituency, the returning officer, Professor Isah Bayero of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, declared David Jesse of APC as the winner with 18,566 votes while his closest rival, Maria Dogo of the PDP scored 10,903 votes.
The Labour Party candidate, Solomon Adamu scored 3,285 votes.
While the bye-elections were peaceful and witnessed impressive turnout of voters in some polling units and wards across the seven local governments, allegations of vote buying, electoral violence and failure of the BVAS machines to capture voters were also rife.
In the Makera constituency, both the PDP and APC traded words over alleged vote buying, with agents of the PDP accusing their APC counterparts of heavily inducing voters with money, an allegation that the ruling party described as baseless.
In Igabi, the exercise which started peacefully was later marred by violence as gunmen suspected to be political thugs shot a 40-year-old man to death. Eyewitnesses said the victim, Mansur Shafiu, was in front of his shop, close to the polling unit, when he was hit by a stray bullet.
Confirming the incident, the spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Mansir Hassan, said some political thugs who snatched election materials at the Tsohon Garin Rigachikun polling unit, were responsible for the shooting of the victim who is about 40 years old. He said the thugs shot the victim in the leg, after which he was rushed to the hospital where he died from gunshot injuries.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Ali Dabigi, has directed the deputy commissioner of police in charge of criminal investigation to leave no stone unturn towards ensuring that the political thugs are all arrested and brought to book.