The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the Benue State governorship election is inconclusive.
Benue joins the exclusive club of Sokoto, Plateau, Bauchi, and Adamawa where elections were inconclusive due to reasons ranging from widespread violence to margin differences.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Sokoto, 75, 403 votes were cancelled which were higher than 3, 413 margin difference.
In Plateau, the total number of votes cancelled was more than the difference in the number of votes of the two major candidates.
Bauchi state’s election was declared inconclusive because the margin between the winner and opponent was less than the total number of votes cancelled in some polling units.
In Adamawa, the number of cancellations was higher than the margin of lead votes between the two contestants and a new date for the rerun election would be fixed.
However, in Rivers, the entire electoral process was suspended until further notice due to widespread violence and disruptions that characterised the state’s elections.
Premium Times reports that INEC said its decision on Benue was based on statistics it gave that 121,011 electorates were either not able to vote or election did not hold in their areas.
Making the declaration, the state returning officer, Sebastian Maimako, however, announced that Samuel Ortom of the PDP scored the highest number of votes of 410,576.
He was closely followed by Emmanuel Jime of the APC who polled a total number of 329,022 votes.
Prof. Richard Kimbir, the Returning Officer for the election in Plateau State announced this in the early hours of Monday in Jos, after collating results from the 17 local government areas.
Kimbir, who is the Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, said the total number of votes cancelled were more than the difference in the number of votes the the two major candidates got, “hence was constrained to declare the polls inclusive”.
The returning officer said Mr Simon Lalong of the All Progressive Congress (APC) scored 583, 255 votes, while his closest rival, Lt. Gen. Jeremiah Useni (rtd) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) garnered 538, 326 votes in the election.
Kimbir who put the total number of cancelled votes in the state at 49, 347, noted that it was above the total difference of 44, 929 in the votes scored by the two major candidates.
“In line with section 179, subsection two of the 1999 constitution as amended, I am constrained to declare this election inconclusive.
“This is because the total number of cancelled votes is above the difference that exist in the votes garnered by the two major candidates.
“So, in line with the electoral act, a supplementary elections will be conducted in the affected areas in 21 days,” he declared.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Shendam, Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Bokkos and Kanam were the LGAs affected by the cancellation.
Others affected include Jos North, Langtang South, Mangu and Pankshin.
Similarly, INEC says the Adamawa Governorship election is also inconclusive and a new date for the rerun election would be announced.
The Returning Officer .Prof. Andrew Haruna, confirmed the development at the governorship election collation centre in Yola on Monday.
Haruna said the number of cancellations was higher than the margin of lead votes between the two contestants and therefore, a new date for the rerun election would be fixed.
Haruna mentioned about 44 polling units affected across the state