By NBF News

The results of Saturday's area council elections in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were released yesterday with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) maintaining majority control of the area councils in the territory: it won five out of the six area councils.

The PDP won Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Bwari, Kuje, Abaji, and Kwali that was hitherto a stronghold of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), while the ANPP retained its streak in  Gwagwalada.

By this, the party recorded an improvement over the last election in 2010 where it won four area councils while the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) won two.

Incumbent chairman of AMAC Micah Jiba was re-elected for a second term. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returning officer for AMAC, Yusuf Zoaka, who announced the results, said Jiba, who was the PDP candidate in the election, polled 16,841 votes out of 30,840, followed by Congress for Progressive Change's (CPC) Adamu Abdulahi with 7,055 while Action Congress of Nigeria's (ACN) Alhaji Tanko Yamawo and ANPP's Chukwuemeka Peter got 2,527 and 1,208 votes respectively.

In Kuje area council, INEC returning officer Mr. Sunday Ejaro announced that Ishaku Shaban of the PDP was declared winner with 16,800 votes, having defeated Mr. Isaac Kaura of the ACN who garnered 58 votes, Abdulahi Sabo of the ANPP got 5,994, Eke Uche of APGA 38, Baba Usman of CPC 285,  Dantala Lanbata of PPA 37 and Mohammed Umar of SDNP 7.  The PDP also won nine councillorship seats while the result of one seat was still being awaited last night.

ANPP candidate Abubakar Jibrin won in Gwagwalada area council with 11,596. He defeated Mr Adamu Mustapha of the PDP who scored 11,502 votes. INEC returning officer Clement Chup who declared the results revealed that a total of 27,547 votes were cast, 1,615 rejected and 25,932 valid. The ANPP also won eight councillorship seats while the PDP won two in Gwagwalada.

The incumbent chairman of Bwari area council, Peter Yohanna Ushafa, the candidate of the PDP, was re-elected for a second term with 9,881 votes. The PDP also won seven councillorship seats while the CPC won one seat.

INEC returning officer Mr. Bulus Yaksat, who announced the result, said his close contender, Musa Dikko of the CPC, scored 8,051 votes.

In Abaji, Alhaji Yahaya Garba of the PDP was declared winner of the election with 9,833 votes. The PDP also won six councillorship seats, the ACN won three while the result of one of the wards was still pending.

The returning officer for Kwali, Dr Wesley Napanga, declared Ibrahim Daniel of the PDP as winner of the chairmanship election, having polled a total of 12, 809 votes, defeating the incumbent chairman of the area council, Joseph Shazin Kwali, who garnered a total of 7,538 votes.

Daniel defeated the incumbent chairman at his own polling unit, Kwali Central ward. The PDP also won the councillorship election in eight wards of the council while the ANPP won in only two wards.

The PDP also won nine councillorship seats in Kwali while the ANPP won one seat.

A breakdown of the election result as conducted on Saturday shows that the PDP won five area councils while the ANPP won one. Of the 62 electoral wards in the six area councils, PDP won 44 councillorship seats while the ANPP, CPC and ACN won nine, four and three councillorship seats respectively. The result of two council wards was still being expected.

NBA rates electorate participation 10 per cent
Though the conduct of the election was adjudged peaceful by independent observers who monitored it, the voter apathy which marred the election remains a source of concern.

Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) monitoring team for the election Dafe Akpedeye, while addressing journalists yesterday, decried the low turnout.

'The voters' turnout was generally poor. Rachel Eye Clinic, by Gimbiya Street polling unit, had 2,419 registered voters but only 29 voters were accredited and voted. Some of the voters attributed this to the late arrival of INEC officials and the materials.

Winners, losers react
The candidate of the CPC in AMAC, Hon. Abdullahi Adamu, also known as Candido, has attributed the emergence of the PDP candidate, Micah Jiba, as winner of the election to interference from the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed.

Adamu said the election was characterised by voter apathy and poor turnout of voters, as a result of intimidation on the part of the minister whom he accused of pressurising and threatening traditional rulers with sack if they failed to mobilise people to vote for the PDP and allowed their domains to be lost to the opposition.

He said: 'We have it on record the amount of money given by him to all the traditional rulers and the elections were perpetuated by inducement of voters with a lot of money by the incumbent. In the case of AMAC, every voter in the rural area, more than 90 per cent of them, got no less than N1,500 to vote for the PDP.

'On my part, I see election as a process. Life is a process, so we will keep moving. I am a dogged fighter and I will continue to stand for the oppressed and the poor ones. I am ready to continue fighting until the right thing is done. As a candidate, I do not intend to go to court because that is a waste of time. I do not know of the party because I am part of the party. But as a democrat, this election has been conducted; it has come and gone.

'But I am surprised at the residents and citizens of AMAC who allowed themselves to be lured by small peanuts to allow an incompetent leader return to office. It shows that Nigerians cannot learn fast.'

The newly elected chairman of Kwali area council, Mr. Ibrahim Daniel of the PDP, has dedicated his victory at the polls to God.

Daniel who spoke with newsmen shortly after he was declared winner at Kwali said his victory was proof of God's answer to the prayers of the people of the council who were yearning for change.

'The PDP even defeated the stronghold of the ANPP outgoing chairman, which is the Kwali Central ward, with a wide margin. That tells you that the  people of Kwali council area desire change,' he said.

He lamented that the number of security personnel deployed to monitor the election was inadequate and called for improvement in subsequent elections even as he promised that his administration will focus on water and electricity provision as well as girl-child education.

The elected chairman of AMAC, Micah Jiba, while thanking God and the people for finding him worthy for a second time, called on the losers to join hands with him to develop AMAC. He also commended INEC for the conduct of the election.

Political Parties that participated in the election include Action Alliance (AA), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Labour Party (LP), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), United Peoples Party (UPP), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA), National Conscience Party (NCP) and the Citizens Popular Party (CPP).

FCT Council Poll,  Testimony Of PDP's Popularity – Metuh

Meanwhile, the PDP has described the party's victory in Saturday's FCT area council election as a testimony that it remains the party to beat in spite of the much orchestrated merger by opposition parties.

The national publicity secretary of the party, Mr Olisa Metuh, stated this in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday.

Metuh said that the development was an indication that the people had rejected the opposition in spite of their alliance, and added that the victory showed that the opposition merely existed on the pages of newspapers and did not command true followership among the people.

He said the failure of the opposition in the FCT, which is populated by Nigerians from all the geopolitical zones in the country, was a demonstration of what will befall them in 2015, stressing that PDP's victory in the election, which was largely acknowledged to be free and fair, showed that the party was still very popular among Nigerians.

'This is in spite of the unnecessary harassment and attacks against its image by the opposition elements.''

Metuh further thanked the people of the FCT for the confidence reposed on the party and assured that it would continue to be committed to their welfare at all times.