How the Battle was Lost and Won

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By Eddy Odivwri and Chuks Okocha

It was a duel. A historic political battle that featured two combatants with almost even strengths. Never before in Nigeria’s political history had an election generated a similar amount of interest and tension. Not even the famous June 12 1993 election. The 2015 presidential election was indeed like none other. It tore down the country along our historical fault lines of region and religion.

Prefixed with accusations and counter-accusations, scandals, odious narratives and acrimonious campaigns that dwelt more in inanities, the fear that the elections, if they ever held, would produce outcomes that could shatter the frail unity of the country, was strong.
Indeed, many had fled to their home states, far from where they had always lived and done businesses for fear of post-election consequences.

But all the fears were allayed yesterday when President Goodluck Jonathan, in a rare show of democratic statesmanship, congratulated his closest opponent in the March 28 polls, Maj-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) who was declared the winner of the election last night, by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof Attahiru Jega.

It was Buhari’s fourth attempt at the presidency having contested the presidential election in 2003, 2007, 2011 and now 2015. He lost the polls in the first three attempts. But yesterday, he made a historic statement by being the first to defeat an incumbent president in Nigeria.
After three days of collation of results, the INEC chairman declared Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner having polled a total of 15,424,921 votes with the requisite spread of the constitutionally-stipulated 25 per cent votes in 26 states plus the FCT.

His closest rival being the sitting president of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled a total of 12,853,162 votes, also with the requisite spread of 25 per cent of votes in 26 states plus the FCT.
Twelve other political parties participated in the historic election. But the contest was more or less a two-horse race between Jonathan and the Buhari.

The results (as shown in the table) indicate that while Jonathan won his traditional strongholds in the South-south and South-east geo-political regions, it also won the mandatory 25 per cent in all six Southwestern states.
Jonathan, however, maintained a poor grip in most of the northern states where he managed to garner 25 per cent of the votes in only seven out of the 19 states in northern Nigeria.

On the other hand, Buhari, in addition to securing 25 per cent in all 19 northern states including the FCT, made inroads in the South-west, where he won all but one state in the zone. It is the first time Buhari will be winning any state in the south. This was attributable to the merger of Buhari’s Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) with the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) with a strong base in the South-west.

Final results from INEC showed that the PDP won Abia State with 368,303 (96.50%), APC polled 13,394 (3.50%). Also, Adamawa had PDP polling 251,644 (40.2%), APC – 374,701 (59.8%); in Akwa Ibom, PDP polled 953,304 (94%) in contrast to APC which polled 58,411(6 %); while Anambra was won by PDP with 660,762 (97%) votes, relative to APC’s 17,926 (3%) votes.

Other results were as follows: Bauchi – PDP, 86,085 (8.5%), APC, 931,598(91.5%); Bayelsa—PDP 369,209(98.6%), APC 5,194 (1.4%); Benue—PDP303,737 (44.8%), APC 373,961 (55.2%); Borno –– PDP 25,640 (5.1%), APC ––473,543 (94.9); Cross River—414,863 (93.6%), APC 28,368 (6.4%); Delta—PDP 1,211,405 (96.1%) APC 48,910 (3.9%); while in Ebonyi State PDP polled 323,653 (94.3%) and APC got 19,518 (5.7%).

Others include: Edo—PDP 286,869 (58%), APC 208,469(42%); Ekiti—PDP 172,466 (58,90%), APC, 120,331 (41.10%); Enugu—PDP 553,003 (97.50%), APC 14,157 (2.50%); Gombe—PDP 96,873 (21.4%), APC 361,245 (78.9%); Imo—PDP 559,185 (81%), APC 133,253 (19%); and Jigawa—PDP 142,904 (13.90%), APC 885,988 (86.10%).

Other state results are: Kaduna—PDP 484,085 (30%), APC 1,127,760 (70%); Kano—PDP 215,779 (10.2%), APC 1,903,999 (89,80%), Katsina—PDP 98,937 (7%), APC 1,345,441 (93%); Kebbi—PDP 100,972 (15.1%), APC 567,883 (84.9%); Kogi—PDP 149,987 (36.20%), APC 264,851(63.80%); Kwara—PDP132,602 (30%), APC 302,146 (70%); Lagos—PDP 632,327 (44.4%), APC792,460 (55.6%); Nasarawa—PDP 273,460 (53.6%), APC 236,838 (46.40%); Niger—PDP 149,222 (18.5%), APC657,678 (81.5%); and Ogun—PDP 207,950 (40.3%), APC 308,290 (59.70%).

Others are Ondo –PDP251,368 (45.60%), APC 299,899 (54.40%); Osun—PDP 249,929 (39.50%), APC 383,603 (60,50%); Oyo—PDP 303,376 (36.50%), APC 528,620 (63.5%) Plateau –PDP 549,615 (56%), APC 429,140 (44%); Rivers—PDP 1,487,075 (95.6%), APC 69,238 (4.4%); Sokoto—PDP 152,199 (18.5%), APC 671,926 (81.5%); Taraba—PDP 310,800 (54.3%), APC 261,326 (45.7%); Yobe—PDP 25,526 (5.4%), APC 446,265 (94.6%); Zamfara—PDP 144,833 (19.1%), APC 612,202 (80.9%); and FCT—PDP 157,195 (51.80%), APC 146,399 (48.20%).

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