A two-term former Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Simon Lalong of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been declared winner of the April 11 gubernatorial election in Plateau.
Prof. Emmanuel Kucha, INEC’s Returning Officer and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, who declared the results on Monday, said Lalong, a lawyer, defeated the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) serving Senator, Gyang Pwajok, his closest rival, to emerge winner.
According to Kucha, Lalong scored a total of 564, 913 votes, to defeat Pwajok who scored 520, 627, and four others. Lalong won with a margin of 44, 386 votes.
He said: “Rt Hon. Simon Lalong, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes in the election held on April 11, 2015, is hereby declared the winner.’’
Kucha also declared that the APC won in 11 out of Plateau State’s 17 local governments areas, while PDP won in six.
Lalong, a law graduate from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, who is said to be an erudite, shrewd, experienced and unassuming politician, hails from Shendam Local Government Area in the Southern Senatorial District of the state.
Pwajok, from Plateau North Senatorial Zone, same as incumbent Governor Jonah Jang, is said to be a protégé of the governor, who was propped up against all odds and the principle of zoning of the governorship post in the state, to succeed his political mentor.
He was a university lecturer before Jang made him his Director of Research and Documentation and later elevated to the position of Chief of Staff, and succeeded his kinsman, the Late Senator Gyang Dantong, who died during a stampede few years ago.