By Ado Hassan, Sokoto
A fresh count down to the March 23rd rerun elections in states where governorship contests were Monday declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has begun with raging fears, confusion and anxiety.
For the first time in Nigeria’s democratic and political journey, expectations of candidates affected were betrayed beyond imagination. Plus or minus, their conscience have been put to test for posterity.
The rerun is taking place in 10 days from now across polling units in Sokoto, Adamawa, Bauchi, Kano, Benue and Plateau states. Not a single stakeholder in the show is spared of the pulse and momentum fast building in the affected states.
The last lap of contest will be another test of popularity and support between the political heavy weights on the two major platforms whose governorship candidates remain the focus of voters anxiously waiting to replicate their choices in the most hottest but dicey political battle.
Parties and candidates of the two contending platforms have been forced to the drawing board with ideas and strategies to woo the confidence of electorates as meetings were kicked started simultaneously on how to deliver their parties.
However, no fewer than 75,403 voters in 136 polling units across 22 local governments in Sokoto state are expected to turn out for the most challenging and difficult to make exercise on the sides of the candidates.
The stake is high between PDP’s candidate, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who already is basking on the 3,413 votes advantage against his opponent of the APC, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto.
Tambuwal had 489,558 votes edge over 486,145 scored by Aliyu Sokoto which produced the narrow margin for the sitting governor ahead of his opponent.
The votes coming from the 23 LGs in the state, were collated in turns with Tambuwal having 12 LGs while Aliyu took scores from 11.
Although, the two contending candidates had at the cast of their ballots, demonstrated unprecedented spirit of democracy, maturity and civility as they both remarked that whatever the outcome may be, they were ready to take in good faith just as they preached with the believe that only God gives and takes away power to and from whom He wishes at the time He wishes.
Interestingly, since the announcement of the verdict Monday morning, the atmosphere in the caliphate was quite a strange one to politicians especially the ruling party in the state. From its stalwarts to supporters, were knocked in disbelieve even as activities were peacefully being carried out with businesses and other public places as well movements of persons and vehicles remained normal.
Quoting Aliyu Sokoto” I wish to to applaud the electorate and APC supporters in the state for coming out en masse, on March 9, 2019, and massively voted for APC Gubernatorial and State Assembly candidates .
” I therefore, appeal to you to replicate the invaluable gestures during the planned rerun elections in the state while expressing optimism that ” there is no cause for alarm, victory is ours, in Sha Allahu.
Tambuwal also while responding to questions from reporters if he would participate in the rerun if date was fixed while in court said” Our court action will not stop us from participating. We want to make sure the right thing is done based on constitutional provisions” both remarked after announcing the inconclusiveness of the exercise in readiness to participate in the rerun.