Sokoto State Governor, Aliyu Wamakko, has been declared winner of the Peoples Democratic Party’s primary election for the March 2012 govornoship election in the state.
Mr Wamako easily strolled past his two opponents, pocketing 956 of the 961 votes cast at the election, and rubbishing the prediction of political pundits, who had projected a keen contest.
The governor’s two opponents, Abubakar Gada, a former senator, and Yusuf Suleiman, former sports minister, had only five votes to share between them.
The result of the election, some analysts say, is a bit surprising, given the massive opposition against the governor in the runnup to the primary.
An influential group within the party in the state, the PDP Integrity Group, had accused the governor of anti-party conducts and pushed vigorously for his disqualification from the election. Mr Wamakko was also accused of fraud, non-performance and administrative ineptitude.
As the opposition mounted, the governor sought and got the endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan and the influential Northern Governors’ Forum. Analysts believe that greatly boosted his chances.
Up till 2006, the governor was an influential member of the opposition All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) but was elected governor on the PDP platform in April 2007.
In April 2008, the tribunal annulled his election after the candidate of the Democratic Peoples Party in the election constested his eligibility for the 2007 poll. The DPP candidate had argued that Mr. Wamakko did not properly resign from the ANPP before emerging a candidate of the PDP.
Mr. Wamakko however won a subsequent court-ordered rerun election later that year.