Contrary to predictions that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would clear the governorship election in Plateau state after the party’s victory in the March 28 presidential poll, the All Progressives Congress candidate has emerged the winner.
Premium Times reports that the APC gubernatorial candidate Simon Lalong won the governorship seat with 564, 913 votes.
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The returning officer for the governorship election, Emmanuel Kucha, who is the vice chancellor of the University of Agriculture Makurdi, declared the results in the early hours of Monday.
According to him, Lalong scored the highest number of votes cast in the Saturday, April 11 election, adding that the APC candidate defeated the PDP candidate, Gyang Pwajok, a serving senator representing Plateau north in the National Assembly, with 520,627 votes.
Lalong cleared 11 out of the 17 council areas of the state which included his home council area Shendam. Lalong defeated Pwajok in his home council area, Jos north, with 117,443 votes; while Pwajok’s kinsmen gave him 61,391 votes in Jos north.
The returning officer announced other council areas that gave the APC candidate victory to include Mikang local government, hometown of Pwajok’s campaign director general, Daniel Kumi, as well as Bokkos, Mangu, Kanam, Jos east, Langtang north, Quanpan and Wase local government area.
Pwajok, however, polled votes from Barkinladi, Riyom, Bassa, Kanke Langtang south and Jos south, which is the council area of the incumbent Governor Jonah Jang.
It was reported that security has been beefed up in most flashpoints within Jos metropolis following the announcement of the results.
Recall that a voter was shot dead by a security agent in Jos north council area for allegedly attempting to create commotion at a polling unit, but the elections were adjudged peaceful.
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The polls were almost marred by a low turnout of voters, with a few cases of irregularities recorded in some polling units. There were also cases of over voting in most polling units, which caused an APC agent to refuse signing results sheets from Riyom, Jos south and Bassa local government areas where the PDP won.
Plateau state had been a stronghold of the ruling PDP since 1999. The party won the state in the just concluded presidential election held on March 28.