By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor, Clifford Ndujihe, Henry Umoru & Jude Opara
ABUJA — Erstwhile Head of State, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) was last night sustaining his lead over President Goodluck Jonathan in the declared results of the presidential elections released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, last night.
President Jonathan has, however, protested results declared from Kano, Jigawa, Kaduna, Gombe, Bauchi, Katsina and Kogi States, alleging malpractices.
Jonathan’s protest articulated by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was, however, followed by another statement late last night in which it claimed it was not perturbed by the results from the North-West, stronghold of Buhari.
Buhari’s All Progressives Congress, APC, has also protested the results submitted from Rivers State on the basis that there was no election in the state.
As at the time the commission suspended announcement of results late last night, Buhari had scored 10,101,497 votes from 21 states and the FCT, to President Jonathan, who has so far polled 6,798,254 votes, to second place.
The results were declared by the returning officers from the states.
Of the 21 states declared, Buhari won the polls in 13 states of Ogun, Kogi, Osun, Ondo, Oyo, Kwara, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Gombe, Sokoto, Jigawa and Kaduna.
Jonathan won the polls in eight states namely Ekiti, Enugu, Nasarawa, Anambra, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Imo and Plateau. Jonathan also won the polls in the FCT.
Buhari had so far marshalled more than 25 per cent in 16 states while the president grabbed 25 per cent in 15 of the states so far declared.
The results from Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Lagos, Niger, Rivers, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara were outstanding at press time and would likely be declared today.
The results earlier submitted from Rivers State, however, turned into a matter of investigation after the APC sent a strongly worded petition rejecting the results. The results returned had given Jonathan 1,487,075 votes, representing 95 per cent of the votes.
Addressing journalists, yesterday, in Abuja, Deputy National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, gave the seven states the party has petitioned INEC for the cancellation of the polls to include Kano, Jigawa, Kaduna, Gombe, Bauchi, Katsina and Kogi States.
Secondus alleged that in the seven states, under-aged children were allowed to vote in contravention of the Electoral Act and he also alleged that voting took place late in the night in the affected states, adding: “In Kano and some of these states in the North, majority of voters were under-aged. Voting also took place in the night, and you know that in the night rigging can take place. We have completed our reports from the Kano State chapter.”
We’ll resist rigging—Fani-Kayode
Also yesterday, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, PDPPCO, reiterated its claim that its candidate, President Jonathan, was winning the presidential election.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Director, Media and Publicity of PDPPCO, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode threatened that any attempt to manipulate figures or rig out the PDP from any quarter would be firmly resisted.
Fani- Kayode said: “We wish to take this opportunity to make it clear to the Nigerian public that according to the figures made available to us, we are ahead in the presidential elections by at least two to three million votes.
“We have our own Situation Room and we have collated all our figures from the various polling booths, wards, local government areas and states in the federation.
“Despite the propaganda of the opposition, we are confident of victory. They and all other stakeholders can be rest assured that we will accept nothing less than the announcement of an election result that is truthful and that reflects the true will of the Nigerian people.
“Any attempt to manipulate figures or to rig us out from any quarter will be firmly resisted.”
INEC probes Rivers result
Announcing the constitution of a high-powered investigation team to investigate the allegation that voting did not take place in Rivers State, the commission in a statement issued by Mr. Kayode Idowu, Chief Press Secretary to INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, said the fact-finding mission would ascertain the veracity of the claims and allegations and advise it and the Chief Electoral Commissioner/Returning Officer for the Presidential election appropriately.
Idowu said the committee of National Electoral Commissioners to handle the investigation included Mrs. Thelma Iremirem, Head and Supervisory National Commissioner for Rivers State, Col. M.K Hammanga and Professor Lai Olurode as members.
He said: “They have departed for Rivers State and it is expected that they will submit their report before the end of the collation of results of the other states and the FCT. Following the consideration of the report, the commission will make its decision known.”
The PDP also suffered significant losses in the Senate elections.
The APC swept the three seats in Kogi, Oyo, Lagos, Kwara, Kebbi and Sokoto. The PDP, however, won in Abia, Imo and Ebonyi.