The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Monday, presented the Certificate of Return to the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed Mattawale, as governor-elect of Zamfara State.
A national commissioner at INEC, Amina Zakari, made the presentation at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on Monday.
The development came two days after INEC declared Mr Matawalle the governor-elect in line with a judgment of the Supreme Court on Friday. The apex court voided the participation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 elections in the state. According to the apex court, the APC did not conduct valid primaries ahead of the polls.
At the formal presentation, the deputy governor-elect, Mahdi Gusau, three senators-elect and six members-elect of the House of Representatives from the state also received their certificates of return. They are all members of the PDP.
PDP candidates have also been declared winners of the majority of the seats in the Zamfara assembly elections. The state legislators-elect will, however, get their certificates at the Zamfara INEC office.
Mr Matawalle came second in the March 2 governorship election in the state, behind the candidate of the APC.
He polled 189,452 to emerge second in the governorship election. He has now been declared the winner based on the Supreme Court ruling which invalidated all APC votes.
In his remarks, the Chairman of INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, urged political parties to adhere strictly to internal democracy, particularly the conduct of party primaries.
”It is therefore important to continue to emphasise to our political parties their obligation to conduct credible primaries for the nomination of candidates. Mr Yakubu said.
He reminded political parties of the coming November 16 governorship election to be held in Bayelsa and Kogi states.
”Let us make the two elections shining examples of internal democracy by the way the political parties conduct their primary elections. This will no doubt have a positive impact on the conduct of the proper elections,” he added.
In his remarks, the governor-elect thanked the commission for obeying the court order. He asked the people of Zamfara State to see the verdict as the will of God.
He also thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for not interfering in the judicial process “irrespective of the fact that his political party was more or less the loser of this election.”
Mr Mattawale promised to run an all-inclusive government in the state. He also asked the people for their cooperation in the interest of the state.