Expectations by Nigerians that history would be made at this year’s general election with the country getting its first female governor ever has been effectively dashed.
The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Taraba, Aisha Al-Hassan, who put up a strong showing in the well-fought race, has now reached the end of the road.
At the end of collation of votes for Saturday’s supplementary election in the state, Ms. Al-Hasan got 13,599 votes to trail the Peoples Democratic Party’s Darius Ishiaku, who garnered 53,120 votes.
When the votes earned by both candidates in both the April 11 and April 25 elections are added, Mr. Ishiaku’s cumulative ballots came to 360,318 to the APC’s candidate 275,985.
The Independent National Electoral Commission has officially declared the PDP candidate winner of the election.
The INEC returning officer for the state, Muhammad Kyari, declared Mr. Darius governor-elect, having scored the highest number of votes and winning a quarter of the votes in almost all the local government areas in the state.
The 2015 governorship in Taraba state enjoyed huge following across the country with several activists and young people backing the APC candidate to make history as the first female governor in the country’s history.
In fact, as results of the election from local government areas trickled into INEC office in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital, on April 11, Ms. Al-Hasan, fondly known as Mama Taraba by supporters, at some point overtook her main challenger, Mr. Ishiaku.
This triggered nationwide celebration by people who thought Ms. Al-hasan was on her way to dislodging the PDP from the state in a historic win.
But as more votes arrived from remote local governments, it emerged that Ms. Al-Hasan was actually trailing her challenger.
At the end of INEC’s final collation that day, the election was declared inconclusive because the margin of Mr. Ishiaku’s victory was lower than the number of registered voters in areas where elections either did not hold or were cancelled due to irregularities.
Yesterday’s supplementary election held in those areas, with Mr. Ishiaku getting the most votes.
Read our pre-election analysis of the election, published on Friday, below.