Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has told Nigerians that he has a joker up his sleeves ahead of a supplementary election that will decide if he gets another term in office or not.
The Kano state governorship election was declared “inconclusive” by Returning Officer Bello Shehu, because the number of cancelled votes superseded the margin of victory between Abba Yusuf of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Ganduje of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
At the end of the collation of the March 9 election in Kano, Yusuf polled 1,014,353 votes ahead of Ganduje who secured 953,522 votes, leaving a margin of 26,655 votes.
However, Yusuf's lead margin of 26,655 votes was less than the 128,572 cancelled votes, sending the vote into the inconclusive column, in line with a provision in Nigeria’s electoral laws.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced on Tuesday, March 12, that it will conduct supplementary elections in Kano and 5 other states where elections were declared inconclusive, on March 23, 2019; and Ganduje has boasted that even though he was losing before the election was declared inconclusive at the first time of asking, victory awaits him at the end of the day.
“APC as a party has also re-strategized and very confident of victory because the local government areas where the rerun will take place remain the APC stronghold and the electorate in these areas have made up their mind to vote massively for the Governor they trust,” Ganduje said in a statement issued by his Information Commissioner Muhammad Garba.
Ganduje alleged that the March 9 gubernatorial election in his state was marred by vote buying and voter intimidation.
However, he assured that all rigging loopholes have been blocked ahead of the rerun, while reiterating that he is committed to free and fair elections.
“The modest achievements recorded so far by the Ganduje administration have touched the lives of the people in all sectors of development and also remain determined to continue if returned”, the statement added.
PDP candidate also assures of victory
PDP governorship candidate in Kano, Yusuf, has also declared that he will win the rerun vote.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Sanusi Dawakin-Tofa, Yusuf said: “We call on all supporters to remain calm, we are known to be peace lovers and so we shall remain, as we are very sure of victory during the rerun.
“Our supporters should not forget that PDP is already leading in the last count of the election and interestingly, the by-election would take place in the strongest areas of our party.”
Kano prides itself as Nigeria’s swing state with a sophisticated, massive voter population that decides the outcome of the nation’s presidential vote.
President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC polled 1,464,768 votes in Kano to trounce his closest challenger, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP who secured 391,593 votes, to win the February 23, presidential election in Africa’s most populous country.
Ganduje is a member of Buhari's governing APC. He is also an ally of the president.
The Kano governor has been accused of receiving bribe from contractors and stashing the illicit money in his flowing gown.
The governor maintains that videos showing him grinning sheepishly while stashing bribe money in his clothing, were doctored and manipulated.