The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared governor Simon Lalong of the All Progressive Congress (APC) the winner of the 2019 governorship election in Plateau State.
Richard Kimbir, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, made the declaration on Sunday at the state INEC headquarters after concluding the supplementary election held on Saturday.
Mr Lalong defeated Jeremiah Useni of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who came second in the election.
The Plateau governorship election was, on March 11, declared inconclusive by the state returning officer, Mr Kimbir, a professor. He said the margin between the two leading candidates was less than the number of votes cancelled in the entire election.
According to INEC, on March 11, Governor Lalong had scored 583,255 votes while Mr Useni scored 548,336 votes, highlighting that none of the leading candidates met all the requirements of the law to win the election.
49,347 votes across 40 polling units were cancelled in nine Local Government Areas of the state.
The affected LGAs where the rerun held include; Barkin Ladi, Bassa, Bokkos, Jos North, Kanam, Langtang South, Mangu, Pankshin, and Shendam.
Announcing the final election results scored by each party, the returning officer said Mr Lalong of the APC scored 595,582 votes while Mr Useni of the PDP scored 546,813.
“Simon Lalong of the APC, having satisfied the requirement of the law and scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner and returned elected,” the returning said.
The margin between the winner and the runner-up is 48,769 votes.
The result of the election indicated that out of 17 LGAs of the state, Mr Lalong won in 11 while Mr Useni won in six.
Sunday’s final result marks the second time Mr Lalong is defeating the PDP in the state. In 2015, he defeated the late Gyang Pwajok of the PDP to become the first governor from opposition to win governorship election in the state.
PDP had governed the state for 16 years. Joshua Dariye, a senator who is currently in prison, had governed from 1999 to 2007 while Jonah Jang, governed from 2007 to 2015.
The result by LGAs is as follows:
APC: 18, 602
PDP: 7, 994
APC: 23, 360
PDP: 22, 831
APC: 18, 979
PDP: 40, 519
APC: 17, 080
PDP: 44, 529
APC: 27, 561
PDP: 26 ,700
APC: 15, 150
PDP: 11, 703
APC: 33, 475
PDP: 91, 846
APC: 37, 593
PDP: 27, 485
APC: 51, 895
APC: 12, 720
PDP: 24, 017
APC: 31, 962
PDP: 20, 939
APC: 61, 798
Total number of votes scored by each of the two leading parties
APC – 595,582
PDP – 546,813