The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday issued certificate of return to the Niger-East senator-elect, Shem Zagbayi of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Niger State, Emmanuel Onuchenyo, made the presentation at an event attended by PDP lawmakers, officials and family members of the senator-elect at the INEC office in Minna.
Mr. Zagbayi defeated his closest rival, David Umaru of the All Progressives Congress, APC, with 92,056 votes to 87,405 in the September 6 election. The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, candidate Isa Bello and the Social Democratic Party, SDP, candidate, Abdulahi Diko scored 2,185 and 419 votes, respectively.
“It was a keenly contested election. We have learnt a lot as an organisation because it was like a dressing rehearsal for us and also the parties. With this INEC certificate of return and other documents, we are going to engage him (Zagbayi) so that he can start preparing for 2015,’’ Mr. Onuchenyo said.
Responding, Mr. Zagbayi said that the election was the show of solidarity by the people of the Niger-East zone for the PDP.
“I give glory to Almighty God today because I never thought that I will receive a letter of return from the REC today, after the demise of Sen. Awaisu Kuta. I want to commend INEC for conducting a free and fair election.
“I promise to represent the Niger-East Senatorial District, I will not disappoint you,’’ he said.
Speaking after receiving the certificate at the PDP secretariat, during a press briefing in Minna, Mr. Zagbayi said that the election was adjudged peaceful, free and fair by the INEC.
On the close gap between him and his closest opponent the APC, Mr. Zagbayi said “I won the gold medal whether it is a close margin or wide margin.”
“I will do everything possible at my disposal and in collaboration with other senators in ensuring we work assiduously so that Niger state gets the desire support from the Federal Government and to attract the dividends of democracy.’’ (NAN)