By Patience Ogbodo-Iwuagwu Correspondent, Bauchi
The outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly elections shocked political observers as many incubent candidates termed as big wigs in Nigerian politics lost their bid to be elected in office.In the history of Nigerian democracy, an incumbent President had never lost an election but President Goodluck Jonathan lost to the opposition All Progressives candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari.
This situation appears the same in Bauchi state as all the elective offices were swept away by APC, including Bauchi South Senatorial seat, contested by the incumbent Governor, Isa Yuguda.
The election was conducted amidst tight security with deployment of 20, 000 police men to the North-East which was unconnected to the insecurity in the region.
The poll recorded a large turn-out of voters from all the 20 Local Government Areas of the state but was disrupted in some areas where suspected insurgents attacked polling units and destroyed electoral materials.
The election was disrupted in Darazo, Alkaleri, Kirfi and Tafawa Balewa where insurgents launched attacks to scare people away but the attack did not deter them from voting for the candidate of their choice.
In Darazo LG, electoral materials was razed down by the insurgents while in Alkaeri and Kirfi police station and polling units were attacked leaving one person dead, while in Tafawa Balewa four insurgents and three Vigilate members were killed and several vehicles destroyed.
The situation prompted imposition of a 24hour curfew in Kirfi, Alkaleri and Bauchi Local Govermnet by the state government, following the tension that mounted among Bauchi residents that the insurgents planned to attack Bauchi town.
Despite the attacks, the electorate was not discouraged as they trooped out in large numbers, including women, to exercise their franchise for change.
Though there were hiccups with the card readers which rejected some finger prints including that of the Governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda, but this was later sorted out.
Unfortunately, the ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) suffered setbacks as all the electoral offices in the state, including the presidential seat, were all won by the opposition, APC.
Also the bigwigs in PDP like the National Chairman, Adamu Muazu, FCT minister, Bala Mohammed, could not deliver their wards in Bauchi state to the President Jonathan.
The Governor of Bauchi state, Isa Yuguda, lost his senatorial seat and Senator Abdul Ningi who has been at the National Assembly since 2003 lost his bid to return to the senate.
Political analysts attributed the internal crisis within the PDP and insecurity challenges in the North-East as well as Buhari’s tsunami to the factors that contributed to the defeat of the ruling party.
Analyst says PDP leaders went from pillar to post to ensure that people voted for PDP candidates but that their efforts failed to change the voting pattern in the state as the people responded more to General Buhari’s call to vote for APC. “Sak” which means vote for all APC candidates from top to bottom. The slogan contributed to the victory recorded by APC in all the National Assembly seats and for the party to be leading in the presidential election in the state.
The internal crisis in PDP and the division between Bauchi and Abuja politicians where everyone carried his personal interest above the collective interest of the party also contributed to the performance of the party and its candidates in the state.
In Adamu Muazu’s ward in Kardam B Boto in Tafawa Balewa, PDP Presidential Candidate, President Jonathan got only 98 votes while the Presidential candidate of the opposition party, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, poled 2,993 while in FCT minister’s ward, PDP got 96 while APC got 326.
Senator Abdul Ningi who was elected as House of Representatives member in 2003 and 2007 before he graduated to the red Chamber in 2011 where he became deputy senate leader, was defeated by Isah Hamma Misau of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Collation Officer for Bauchi Central, Dr. Mohammed Salisu Yakubu, while declaring the results Monday, announced that Misau scored 208, 741 votes while Senator Ningi scored 57, 172 votes.
Governor Isa Yuguda who has served 8 years as Governor of Bauchi state was defeated by Mallam Ali Wakili, a retired Comptroller of Nigerian Custom.
Declaring the results, the Collating Officer and Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, Dr. Shuibu Musa, announced that Wakili of the All Progressives Congress scored a total of 341, 708 to defeat Governor Yuguda of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 115, 575 votes. Governor Yuguda who has conceded defeat and congratulated the senator-elect urged other aggrieved members in PDP to accept defeat.
Yuguda who also congratulated Nigeria’s president-elect, General Muhammadu Bahari, over his victory, appealed to all aggrieved PDP contestants in the state who lost in the election to accept defeat in good faith as another opportunity will present itself in the next three years.
The Governor described his defeat in the National Assembly Election as the will of God, saying that he has never been aggrieved about the outcome of the election, but rather his defeat availed other young politicians the opportunity to serve the people of the state. He said: “In every contest there must be a winner and loser.”
Yuguda said: “The just concluded electoral process in the country has proved to everyone that God gives power to whom he pleases, therefore nobody should be aggrieved about the outcome of the election in the state. All contestants who lost during the election should accept defeat in good fate and there is no need to go to court.
“There should not be any bitterness in politics especially if you lose. We should learn from the doggedness and resilience nature of General Buhari who have been contesting the seat of the presidency since 2003 and has never shown bitterness to his opponent until God finally granted him the victory in 2015.
“I have served the people of Bauchi State as Governor for eight years and during my tenure i did my best to protect lives and properties, which was the oath i took when i assumed office as Governor. If i have fallen short of my responsibilities in anyway, i plead with the people of the state to forgive my shortcomings.”
He commiserated with the families of the soldiers and civilians who lost their lives while battling insurgents in Alkaleri, Kirfi and Bauchi local government during the conduct of the election, adding the curfew imposed in those areas have been relaxed.
The Governor commended the people of the state over their peaceful conduct during the election and urged them to replicate the same during the forthcoming Governorship and State Assembly election.
While the Newly elected Senator who defeated Yuguda to Represent Bauchi South Senatorial District Mallam Ali Wakili promised to give quality representation to the people of his constituency attributed his victory to Yuguda’s failure in the state.
Ali Wakili who attributed his victory to the unfortunate failure of Governor Yuguda to provide the needed democratic dividends to the entire state throughout his eight years as governor of Bauchi state despite the quantum of money received from the federal allocation said: “I had said it all that I will defeat Yuguda in spite of being an incumbent governor for failing the people despite huge allocation from Federal government, his giant stride is not commiserate to what is on ground.”
The Senator said APC is build on justice, transparency saying Yuguda has the constitutional right to challenge his defeat in the court of law saying, “Expect Yuguda to start challenging his defeat from voting points not from the INEC because my victory is the collective decision of Bauchi south to effect the needed change yearned for,” said Wakili
Wakili lamented that Yuguda had ridiculed Buhari in political history being a beneficiary of his political popularity and influence, yet bite the finger that fed him.
He assured that he would not compromise the mandate given to him being an activist who believe in equity and justice and tolerance and assured adequate presentation of his constituency and good policy formulation for Nigerians
Wakili assured his people that while in the senate chamber, he will initiate laws that has direct bearing on the people of Nigeria in consonant with the agenda of Buhari administration adding that his victory also summaries his connection and link with the people of Bauchi state explaining that Yuguda has been disconnected totally from his people.
The Senator-elect assured that APC is doing everything possible to sweep the ruling PDP under the carpet ahead of the governorship and state assembly election.
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