By Marcel Mbamalu
With 15,191,947 votes cast in his favour in the election of last Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari is set for his second term in office. With this figure, Buhari defeated his closest rival Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 11,262,978 votes. While Buhari won in 19 states, Atiku won in 17 and the Federal Capital territory (FCT).
Although the formal declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was still being expected at press time at 3:33 a.m today, Atiku was trailing Buhari with nearly four million (3,928,871) votes. The declaration will enable Buhari to have another four years’ term of the eight years of his administration that will end in 2023. Buhari and his team had captured these eight years in the campaign slogan of 4+4.
The Spokesman of the Buhari Campaign Organisation (BMO) Festus Keyamo had stirred the hornet’s nest when, shortly after the declaration of the Rivers State’s results, he queried the decision of the returning officer to cancel more than 17,000 votes reportedly scored by his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC.) His observation at the International Conference Centre (ICC), venue of the national collation, triggered concerns among party agents, who reminded INEC’s Chairman Mahmood Yakubu of thousands of votes canceled and the suspension of voting across the country due to insecurity and logistic issues. Their submission was that INEC should first take a holistic look at the figures and determine whether, or not, they were substantial enough to affect the outcome of the presidential election relative to the vote difference between the final winner and the runner-up.
They were of the view that the findings would determine whether INEC should proceed with the official declaration of the eventual winner of the 2019 presidential election.With respect to the local governments (especially in Rivers), where elections did not hold, Yakubu, in response, explained that the Electoral Act and other extant rules governing Nigerian elections are explicit on whether election must be conducted in all parts of the country before declarations are made. He announced a four-hour break during which a decision would be reached on the matter.
The PDP has, however, rejected the announced results, saying they do not reflect the votes that were cast across the country. The 19 states won by Buhari include Bauchi, Borno, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Osun and Yobe. Others are Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi
Buhari won in Bauchi polling 798,428 votes to beat Atiku who scored 209,313 votes. He also scored 836,496 to take Borno State ahead of Atiku who got 71,788 votes. In Ekiti State, Buhari scored 219, 231 votes, while Atiku polled 154, 032 votes. In Gombe State, he won with 403,961 votes to Atiku’s 138,484 votes.
The president also won Jigawa State with 794, 738 votes to defeat the PDP candidate who had 289,895 votes Buhari polled 993,445 votes in Kaduna while Atiku garnered 649,612 votes.The APC candidate won in all the 44 local government areas of Kano State to garner more than 1.4 million votes, while Atiku returned a distant second with 391,593 votes.
In Katsina, Buhari home state, he won with 1,232,133 votes to beat PDP candidate, who scored 308,056. In Kogi State, President Buhari scored 285,894 votes ahead of Atiku’s 218,207. Buhari also took Kwara State with 308,984 votes, while Atiku scored 138,984 votes.In Lagos State, Buhari won with a margin of 132,810 votes over Atiku, and winning in 15 of the 20 local government areas with an overall vote of 580,825. Atiku won the remaining five local government areas and returned second with 448,015.
Buhari also defeated Atiku in Nasarawa State with 289,903 votes to 283, 847 votes. In Yobe State, he polled 497,914 votes to beat Atiku who scored 50,763 votes.The president scored 612,371 votes in Niger, where his main opponent polled 218,052 votes. In Ogun, Buhari won with 281,762 votes as opposed to his closest rival’s 194,655.He also won in Osun State with 347, 634 votes.
Atiku won in 17 states and the FCT. The states are Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau, Taraba, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta and Rivers.He won in Adamawa State by polling 412, 266 votes to defeat President Buhari who scored 377,488. In Abia State, the PDP candidate polled 219,698 votes to return ahead of Buhari’s 85,068 votes.He defeated President Buhari in Akwa Ibom State, winning in 28 of the 31 local government areas of the state. Buhari won in only two. Elections did not take place in one local government area, Udung Uko, because of a militant attack on INEC officials.
The PDP candidate scored 397,831 votes while Buhari got 175,429 votes.In Anambra, Atiku recorded clear victory by polling 524,738 votes to defeat Buhari who had 33,298 votes. He won in Benue State with 355,355 votes against Buhari’s 347,668.The PDP candidate also won in Ebonyi State with 258, 575 votes. Buhari was far behind with 90, 726 votes. Atiku scored 275,691 votes to beat Buhari who scored 267,842 votes in Edo State.
In Enugu State, the PDP standard-bearer scored 355,553 votes to beat Buhari who got 54,423 votes. Atiku also won in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), polling 259,995 votes to Buhari’s 152,224 votes. Atiku scored 334, 923 votes in Oyo to defeat the president, who got 365,229 votes. He also won in Plateau State after scoring 548,665 votes to Buhari’s 468, 555. Atiku, in Taraba, got 374, 743 votes to defeat Buhari, who polled 324,906 votes. In Delta, Atiku won with 594,068 votes to Buhari’s 221,292 votes. He also won in Rivers State with 473,971 votes, against Buhari’s 150,710 votes. Atiku, in Bayelsa, polled 197,933 votes to beat Buhari, who got 118,820 votes. He also won in Cross River 295,737 against Buhari’s 117,302.