It has just been declared that Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has been re-elected for a second term.The Returning Officer for the election, Professor Richard Kimbir, announced this on Sunday at the collation centre for the governorship election in Jos, the state capital.
According to him, the governor who is the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was returned elected after polling the highest number of votes in the keenly contested poll.
Governor Lalong got a total of 595,582 votes ahead of his closest rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Jerry Useni, who polled 546,813 votes. He was declared the winner two weeks after the governorship election held on March 9 in Plateau and 28 other states in the country.
The states where election did not hold are Edo, Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Bayelsa, Kogi, and Anambra. While winners emerged in some states, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the governorship election in Plateau and five other states as inconclusive.
Professor Kimbir had explained that the declaration, was as a result of the margin of a lead of 44,929 between the APC and the PDP candidates, which was less than the 49,377 cancelled votes. He added that this constrained him to return a winner but rather declare the poll inconclusive.
This led to the supplementary election which held in nine local government areas of the state on Saturday, March 23. Governor Lalong defeated Mr Useni with a difference of 48,769 votes in the rerun poll.
Recall that Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau opened up says he is confident of securing a second tenure ahead of the supplementary election to determine who governs the north-central state in the next four years. Lalong told newsmen on Thursday in Jos that the coast was very clear for him because he needed “just 2,000 votes, out of 49,000, to secure victory”.
“We have 49,000 registered voters in the places that the election will be conducted and I am already ahead with more than 44,000 votes. I don’t see anything stopping my victory,” he said