Supporters of Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and those of his challenger, Ahmed Aliyu, as well as those of Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje have resorted to prayers for divine intervention in tomorrow’s judgment of the Supreme Court on their respective governorship contests, our correspondents have gathered.
The apex court had last Tuesday fixed judgment on the Sokoto and Kano governorship appeals for tomorrow. The supporters’ fears were heightened by the shocking sack of Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP as Imo State governor, and declaration of Hope Uzodinma of the APC as the duly elected governor.
In Sokoto, the APC’s Ahmed Aliyu is challenging the election of Governor Aminu Tambuwal. Aliyu is alleging over-voting and other irregularities in the election. He polled 511, 661 votes against Tambuwal’s 512,002 votes after conclusion of collation in the re-run.
Our correspondents gathered that supporters of the top politicians are now neck-deep in supplications to the Almighty to turn judgment in their favour as the apex court delivers the verdicts tomorrow. Since last Tuesday’s judgment on the Imo case the supporters have found no sleep.
“We are having special prayers over the governorship case. We usually seek divine intervention whenever there is a pressing issue in the state and that is what we are doing now,” a supporter of the Sokoto State governor said.
“We are praying for the governor to triumph and for peace to reign in the state,” he added.
APC supporters in the state are also not relenting in their prayers to achieve victory in the legal battle.
“We believe we have a very good case and we are praying that the judgment will be in our favour,” an APC official said.
Besides the fervent prayers, both the PDP and APC in Sokoto have expressed optimism on victory.
The PDP State Secretary, Kabiru Aliyu, said: “We are positive that it is going to be in our favour because all the circumstances of the case point to the fact that there is nothing that would change.”
He added: “The judges would confirm the decision of the people and the lower courts.”
He however said the special prayers were not officially organised. “The special prayers are a voluntary initiative of some people who are sympathetic to His Excellency,” Aliyu explained.
The APC Publicity Secretary, Sambo Bello Danchadi, on the other side, said: “On prayers, we have been doing that for God knows how long. We have been praying all along and we shall keep on praying, we pray for success. We expect victory but we know it’s in the hands of God. We are very positive, God willing, we shall be victorious.”
Elsewhere in Kano, Governor Umar Ganduje’s election is being challenged by Abba Kabiru Yusuf of the PDP who says he was winning the election in majority of the local government areas of the state before it was suddenly declared inconclusive and a re-run was ordered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). He also alleges widespread irregularities in the March 23 re-run election.
The battle between Ganduje of the APC and Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf of the PDP has almost been taken over by a local group popularly known as Sojojin Baka.
The Sojojin Baka, our correspondent observed, have dominated virtually all political programmes being aired by private and public radio stations in the state.
While supporters of the PDP candidate are confident that the judgment would be in their favour as a follow-up to the Imo State case, supporters of the incumbent governor are equally sure of victory as they view the two cases as entirely different scenarios. A
lhaji Aminu Yakubu, a supporter of Governor Ganduje, opined that PDP followers should allow the court to do its work, saying, “The propaganda they are cannot change the situation, they have been spreading false information on the social media that Kano and Imo case are same, hence the court will declare Abba Gida-Gida winner on January 20.
“This, to me, is like they are jumping into confusion in a matter that is not theirs, they should rather allow the court to do its job.”
Aliyu Isyaku says although the matter is before the court, the PDP has a better chance than the APC in the case.
“We have all witnessed what happened in the case of Imo State, the outcome is an indication that the PDP will win in the Kano case.
Kano State Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, said that it was rather deceptive and an unjustified attempt by the opposition party to compare the Imo case to that of Kano. He said what worsened the situation was the disruption of the collation of the said results by the PDP agent.
On his part, the spokesman of Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf, the PDP candidate, Malam Sanusi Bature Dawaki Tofa, said since the matter was already before the Supreme Court awaiting final verdict, they would rather reserve comment on the case.
“We are law abiding citizens and proceeded to the court to seek redress on the injustice meted against the people of Kano State by Ganduje, INEC and the police.
“We believe in all honesty that the Supreme Court will do justice to our petition, so, we don’t want to pre-empt the outcome. No amount of propaganda can change our fate, power belongs to Allah and He gives it to who He wishes at the very time He so wishes,” he said.
Supporters of opposition parties in the two states are also engrossed in prayers for victory.