There was wild jubilation by residents of Bauchi on Monday night as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Bala Muhammed, the winner of the race in the North-East state.
The residents thronged major highways in the state capital, chanting ‘Sai Kaura’ (Bala Mohammed), eulogising the governor-elect.
Also on display were musical instruments such as drums, flutes, trumpets and saxophones, just as the celebrants danced to tunes of blaring music.
One of the celebrants, Miss Aisha Usman, said they were celebrating the outcome of the final result as declared by INEC, adding that “God has answered our prayers”.
“We are celebrating the outcome of the results of the election as INEC has finally declared the man of the people, Senator Bala Muhammed, the winner of the governorship race.
“This is what we have been praying for and God has anwered the prayers of the masses,” she said.
Another celebrant, Miss Abigail Haruna, said the governor-elect was a good man, with high spirit of patriotism, hence, their unwavering support for him.
She expressed optimism that the new governor would not disappoint the people of the state.
Also speaking, Mr Ismail Raji said the people of Bauchi had voted for the change they desired, adding that the effort had yielded dividend.
“I am very happy that I am witnessing today that the change we wanted has been actualised.
“I thank God that the final result favoured the Peoples Democratic Party and Senator Bala Muhammed in particular; Bala Muhammed is the change we wanted in Bauchi State,” Raji said.
Some motorcyclists also filled the streets of the metropolis, displaying various riding skills to celebrate the victory.
Bala Muhammed of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 515,113 votes to defeat the incumbent governor, Muhammed Abubakar of APC, who garnered 500,625 votes.
Announcing the results on Monday, the Returning Officer, Prof. Mohammed Kyari, said total votes cast was 1,339,66, out of which 1,111,406 votes were valid and 22,560 votes invalid.
He said that the PDP candidate, having scored the highest number of votes and satisfied all requirements, had, therefore, been returned elected.
Earlier, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, had appealed to politicians to accept defeat in good faith
“In any contest, there will be winner and loser,” he said, urging supporters to celebrate with decorum.