Garba Ajiya, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has won Saturday’s Takum 1 constituency by-election into Taraba house of assembly.
NAN reports that the election was to fill the vacant seat of the late Hosea Ibi, member of the assembly who was kidnapped on December 31, 2017 and murdered by his abductors in January 2018.
Ayuba Kwada, the returning officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), announced the results on Saturday in Takum.
Kwada said Ajiya won five of the six constituency’s ward with a total vote of 10,725 while candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Atem Ansho polled 3,268, winning one ward.
He said nine political parties participated, while results from nine polling units in Chanchanji ward were cancelled due to irregularities.
He said: “The total number of vote cast was 14,717; total number of valid votes was 14,337 while 380 votes were rejected.”
The candidate of the APC has rejected the outcome of the by-election.
He alleged that collation was still ongoing in some wards when hired thugs forced electoral officers to leave some polling units to other destinations and changed the results.
Reacting to the election result, Darius Ishaku, Taraba governor, described the process as a litmus test for the 2019 general election in the state.
He noted that the victory margin could have been wider if all those that turned out to exercise their franchise had their permanent voter cards.
Ishaku, who commended the peaceful conduct of the election, restated the need for state police to permanently tackle insecurity.
“The country will be more efficient with pronounced security if it adopts state policing just like the United States of America where our democracy took its roots,” he said.