By Our Correspondents
Barring any attempt to scuttle the will of the people, the stage seems set for a change of leadership in the nation’s polity with results of the weekend’s presidential polls indicating that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd), is in comfortable lead in three of the country’s six geo-political zones.
The zones include the two largest ones – North West and South West. Buhari also polled more votes than his arch-rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), President Goodluck Jonathan, in North East zone.
The incumbent president clinched the South South and the South East. Both candidates have shared the spoils in in North Central zone with Buhari winning in Kogi, Kwara and Niger states while Jonathan cornered Nasarawa, Plateau and Benue.
Our correspondents reported that from results trickling in from the collation centres, the former military head of state has emerged the preferred choice of the people in the presidential poll.
“There is no doubt the race has been won and lost and that Gen Buhari has won,” a source at the INEC office confided in LEADERSHIP.
“Clearly, it is three zones to two; and after winning North West which has Kano and South West with Lagos, the two most populated states and zones, nothing can stop him.”
Jonathan lost vital polling units, including the one at the seat of power where he resides, Aso Villa, Abuja.
Many of his cabinet members, including the minister of education, Ibrahim Shekarau; his Federal Capital Territory (FCT) counterpart, Bala Mohammed, and the minister of state (II) for foreign affairs,
Musliu Obanikoro posted dismal results in their home units. Many other high-profile politicians lost their polling units to opposition parties.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is yet to announce the result of the presidential election, but the director of media, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation (PDPPCO), Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, claimed, in a press statement yesterday, that Jonathan had won in 23 states and APC in 14. Nigeria has 36 states.
APC spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, however, raise the alarm that President Jonathan and his cronies were working round the clock to manipulate the people’s mandate by unlawfully coveting majority votes or rendering the elections inconclusive.
When asked, INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, faulted Fani-Kayode’s claim that the PDP was leading in 23 states, or 64 percent, in the presidential poll.
He said that the only results received were from two states, Ekiti and Ogun.
He also declared that the commission was not under any pressure to declare the outcome of the presidential election inconclusive, while expressing worry at the crisis in River State, stating that the commission was investigating it and would take a position soon.
APC wins 7 LGs in Kano
According reports from Kano State, Buhari was leading with a wide margin in seven local government areas (LGAs) of the state. Also, all the APC candidates for seats in the House of Representatives and Senate were leading in the said LGAs.
The local councils so far announced were Bunkure, Makoda, Tsanyawa, Bagwai, Albasu, Kibiya and Kura LGAs respectively.
Spokesman of INEC, Kano office, announced the following:”Kibiya- APC 23,000 votes, PDP 4,999 votes; Gabasawa – APC 31,000 votes, PDP 8, 840 votes. Bagwai – APC 38 , 750 votes, PDP 8,159 votes; Kunchi – APC 24,542 votes, PDP 2,921 votes; Tsanyawa – APC 32,662 votes, PDP 4,819 votes, and Gaya -APC 38,085 votes, PDP 1, 888 votes.”
LEADERSHIP discovered that returning officers were retiring back to INEC office in the state with the results by press time.
Buhari sweeps Kaduna votes as Sambo loses own ward to APC
Reports from Kaduna State yesterday also indicated that Buhari was leading in most of the results collated from the various polling units across the 23 LGAs of the state.
Vice President Namadi Sambo, who had won in his new polling unit, however, lost again to the APC by a wide margin in his Kabala ward 05 in Kaduna North LGA.
Dr Husseini Momo Lawal of the Ahmadu Belo University, Zaria, who served as collation and returning officer in the vice president’s ward, announced that APC won the presidential election with 10,760 votes to PDP’s 1,760 votes.
Results collated from Shiba Ward 1 in Kaduna North LGA also indicated that the APC led with 3,871 votes while the PDP followed with 1,827 votes.
The presidential result coming from Ikara LGA showed that APC led with 49,146 while the PDP got 7,170 votes, and in Kubau LGA, the APC led with 63,875 votes while PDP got 6,377 votes in the presidential election.
The vice-president had changed his polling unit PU-011 on Swimming Pool road, near Police College, to avoid a repeat of the 2011 embarrassment after he lost his then polling unit.
Our correspondent gathered while incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan got block votes from Southern Kaduna senatorial district, his arch-rival of the APC, Gen Buhari, was cruising home with block votes from Kaduna Central and Kaduna North senatorial districts.
Buhari, according checks by our correspondent, was likely to win with about 60 percent of the votes.
Buhari cruising towards a landslide victory in Borno – SSG
In Borno State, the secretary to the state government, Ambassador Baba Ahmed Jiddah, said that given the result of the presidential polls collated so far in 16 LGAs, the APC flag bearer, General Buhari, would emerge victorious with a landslide.
Ambassador Jidda, who is also Buhari’s agent, said his principal was leading with a margin of about 95 percent in the results announced for the 16 LGAs so far submitted at the INEC collation centre.
“The APC is cruising to landslide victory; as you can see, we have done better that we thought,” said the SSG. “It is obvious that our opponents are struggling to score 25 percent, but from the look of things, at the end of the day, they may not be able to get more than 10 percent.
“Today we have so far collated results from 16 local governments and
from what we have, the APC has approximately 95 percent, while the PDP has slightly over five percent. The turnout is not that very good, but it should be expected given the circumstance we found ourselves. When more results are brought in tomorrow, it may improve the figures we have. However, the good thing is that people are happy they have participated in this election.
“The INEC and the security agencies have really done very well, and we believe, by the time we conclude this exercise tomorrow, everybody will happier for it.”
According to the SSG, the collation of results for the presidential polls was suspended at about 6:30pm yesterday for all parties to reconvene again at 9am today (Monday) when more results from remote local government areas would be brought in.
Kabiru Turaki, Bello Haliru lose wards to APC in Kebbi
Results emanating from Kebbi State revealed that President Jonathan’s henchmen failed to deliver their wards for the president and the PDP.
Former defence minister, Dr Bello Haliru, a onetime PDP chairman, failed to deliver his ward as results obtained from his Magajin Rafi polling unit indicated a landslide victory for the opposition APC.
The current minister of special duties, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki (SAN), also failed to deliver his ward as the APC carpeted the PDP at Sarkin Zabarmawa polling unit.
Reports also said voters booed and threw pebbles at the minister before security operatives whisked him away.
The PDP national treasurer, Alhaji Buhari Bala, also failed to deliver his polling unit at Hassan Organiser polling unit.
Samaila Haliru Dankasa, who is the coordinator of TAN (Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, the top campaign team for President Jonatahn re-election bid) in Kebbi State, could not also win his ward for the PDP. He failed to deliver his Garkar Sarkin Zabarmawa polling unit
Reports gathered by LEADRSHIP indicated Jonathan might not secure 25 per cent of the votes in Kebbi.
Jonathan favoured in Benue
Reports from Benue State indicated that Jonathan was in the lead in five local governments areas so far collated.
The INEC resident electoral officer (REC) in the state, Mr Istafanus Dafwang, who received the results from collation officers at Makurdi, revealed that they were from the Benue South senatorial district.
The results in Benue North East and Benue North West senatorial districts were yet to be collated.
The already announced LGAs include Ado, Okpokwu, Ohimini, Agatu and Ogbadibo respectively. The results indicated that in Ado, Jonathan polled 7,382 to Buhari’s 2,328 votes.
In Okpokwu LGA, Jonathan scored 12,103 votes, while Buhari got 4,757, and in Ohimini, the president led with 5,909 against Buhari’s 4,734.
Jonathan also defeated Buhari in Agatu, home of the PDP deputy governorship candidate in Benue, John Ngbede, with a wide margin of 9,555 votes against 3,627. In Ogbadibo, it was a slim win for the president as he got 6,937 votes to main rival’s 6,257 votes.
Meanwhile, the APC in the state has accused the ruling PDP of trying to manipulate the results of presidential and National Assembly elections in the three senatorial districts of the state.
The media director of Ortom/Abounu governorship campaign organization, Mr Tahav Agerzua, who made this allegation in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP, said, “Especially in the Benue North senatorial District where APC has won obviously, the PDP is trying to manipulate it.”
David Umar set to beat Gov Aliyu for Niger East senatorial seat
In Niger State, PDP’s candidate, Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu, was yesterday losing the Niger East Senatorial District to Barrister David Umar of the APC, who was leading with a wide margin in six local governments of the nine in the senatorial district so far released.
Umaru, whose victory in Niger East by-election held in August last year was recently upheld by an appeal court in Abuja, led the outgoing state governor in the six local governments that their results had been so far been released.
The results released by INEC returning officers at the collation centre at the College of Education, Minna, yesterday night showed that in Chanchaga LGA, Umaru scored 49,219 votes to Governor Aliyu’s 17,209 votes, thereby beating Aliyu in his own local government area.
Also in Gurara LGA, Umaru scored 18,887 votes to Aliyu’s 6,520 votes. In Shiroro LGA, the APC candidate got 27,191 while the governor got 7,519 votes.
Similarly in Tafa LGA, APC garnered 17,598 to PDP’s 8,151 votes, while in Bosso LGA, Umaru scored 36,250 and Aliyu 7,060 votes.
The result from Munya LGA also indicated that Umaru had 13,666 while Aliyu got 6,635.
In total, in the six LGAs so far announced, David Umaru polled 163,111 votes to Governor Aliyu’s 53,094 votes.
The results from Rafi, Paikoro and Suleja LGAs were being awaited as polling continued in those places yesterday.
Buhari wins Ogun
LEADERSHIP can authoritatively report that Buhari has been declared winner of the presidential election in Ogun State with a wide margin.
Buhari garnered 308, 290 votes to beat President Jonathan who had 207,950 votes.
Announcing the results, the State Collation Officer (SCO) for the presidential election in Ogun, Professor Duro Oni, said the APC presidential candidate won in 13 local governments while the PDP won in seven.
The local government areas won by Buhari were Ewekoro, Obafemi-Owode, Ijebu-Ode, Odeda, Ijebu North East, Odogbolu, Abeokuta North, Abeokuta South, Ado-Odo/Ota, Egbado South, Ifo and Egbado.
PDP, however, won in the seven council areas of Remo North, Imeko- fon, Sagamu, Ogun Waterside, Ijebu East, Ijebu North and Ikene.
The total number of votes cast in Ogun State was 559, 613 out of which 26, 441 were voided, while a total valid votes cast was 533, 172.
Results from Osun State also put Buhari in the lead.
Buhari leads Jonathan In Sokoto
As collation of votes began in Sokoto State at about 8pm yesterday night at the Sultan Muhammadu Macccido Institute for Qu’ranic and General Studies, available results at the time of filing this report
put Buhari far ahead of President Jonathan.
Though, most of the results were still being expected, LEADERSHIP can authoritatively report that should the voting tempo continue, the APC candidate would floor his main opponent.
The results available at about 21:35pm from two out of the 23 local governments in the state showed a wide far margin between the two candidates.
Of the total 38, 589 valid votes cast in Denge Shuni LGA of the state, Buhari polled 31,036 while Jonathan got only 6, 918.
The same scenario played out in Kware LGA as the APC candidate polled 25, 286 out of the 33, 008 valid votes, to the PDP’s 5, 339 votes.
In Goronyo LGA, Buhari polled 28, 950 votes to Jonathan’s 7,664 votes.
More results were being awaited at the time of filing this report.
INEC not under pressure to declare elections inconclusive – Jega
INEC chairman yesterday said the commission was not under pressure to declare the elections inconclusive.
Jega, who gave a situation report on the presidential and National
Assembly elections at press conference in Abuja, said, “We are not under any pressure to declare inconclusive elections.”
He added that no politician would be interested in such a declaration, “rather they want to be declared winner,” he said.
Jega also revealed that the commission had commenced investigation into the incidence of electoral violence, especially the burning of its office in Rivers State and the killing of INEC ad hoc workers in Gombe State.
The INEC chairman noted that the commissioned had received allegations of election rigging by its employees, stating that the commission had also started an enquiry into the matter.
Jega who also revealed that he had received a petition from the APC in Rivers State calling for the rescheduling of the elections in the state, and pledged that the commission would also do its best to
investigate its merit.
He further noted that all cases of underage voting were being investigated, especially in Taraba State, just as he assured that the commission will investigate incidences of substitution of ad hoc staff in Lagos State.
He said: “There was one clip that has been in circulation since yesterday (Saturday) afternoon about an underage voter said to be from Taraba and we have mandated our Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) to investigate it thoroughly and identify where this happened, and to also identify the polling official who did it because it is clearly illegal to allow and underage person.
“There were a few other reported cases in which some observers said that they have seen underage voting; we are yet to see details which would have enabled us to investigate these malpractices.
“Underage registration and voting is illegal, with this record that is in circulation, it should be possible to identify the polling unit and the
official in that polling unit as well as the person. It is possible to trace the person; we are investigating this thoroughly and we will take appropriate measures when the case is established,” the chairman of INEC assured.
He also announced that the commission had received reports from Gombe which have been confirmed by the REC in Gombe that persons suspected to be Boko Haram insurgents attacked and, in the process, two ad-hoc staffers of INEC lost their lives during which a vehicle belonging to the National Union of Road Transport was also hijacked.
“This is very unfortunate and we have sent condolences to the families of the bereaved; any loss of life is regrettable and unfortunate. We condemn it in no uncertain terms. We will do everything possible to express our heartfelt condolences to the families of the bereaved.”
Jega further warned “strongly against premature publication or announcement of results by unauthorised persons and media channels, particularly online sites, saying only INEC was empowered by law to announce results.
“It is an offence for anyone to pre-empt the commission in that regard,” he insisted.
Jega revealed that Osun, Kebbi, Ekiti, Adamawa, Borno, Jigawa, Anambra, Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi states reverted to manual-only accreditation of voters in some polling units, after encountering card reader hitches, adding “that investigations into what accounted for the difficulties encountered with the card readers are ongoing.”
He however said election could not be concluded at Saturday in 90 polling units in Lagos State, 16 in Kebbi, 25 in Adamwa, 6 in Niger, 37 in Yobe 8 in Borno, 37 in Jigawa, 13 in Kano, 116 in Taraba and 2 in the FCT, Abuja.
He further clarified that only .025 percent of the card readers, out of 150, 000, malfunctioned during the accreditation process, which he described as statistically insignificant.
He denied insinuations that the card readers did not have sufficient battery back-up, noting that provisions were made.
He also announced that collation of results would commence by noon today.
He added that there would not be declaration of results from any states until the electoral officers provide hard copies of the results to the commission.