By Our reporters

•I will win – President
•Ex-VP; I am set to take over
•Violence forces INEC to postpone polls in parts of Lagos, Rivers, Anambra, others

President Muhammadu Buhari was, yesterday, upbeat about his chances in the presidential election, saying he will win.

He was seeking re-election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Buhari, indeed, won the election in his polling unit (PU) by 523 votes as against his main challenger, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored three.

President Buhari, Aisha vote at the Presidential and National Assembly Elections at Kofar Baru Polling Unit 003 in Daura Katsina State on 23rd Feb 2019

But the President’s party lost the Senate segment of the National Assembly elections, also held yesterday across the country, to Accord at the polling unit.

Whereas the APC candidate for Katsina North Senatorial District where the PU is located, Kaita Baba Ahmed, scored 248 votes, the candidate of Accord, Lawal Nalado, scored 263.

On his part, Atiku said he was looking forward to a successful transition after the presidential election.

Meanwhile, the PDP presidential candidate was defeated by Buhari in his polling unit in Adamawa State by 186 votes to 167.

Atiku, however, defeated Buhari in Aso Rock Presidential Villa in the two polling units for those living in the Presidential Villa.

No fewer than 16 persons were reportedly killed in isolated cases of violence across the country during the presidential and National Assembly elections although the polls were largely peaceful.

Four persons were reportedly shot dead in Rivers State during the polls while two persons were killed in Ebonyi and three injured in a clash.

In Kogi, reports said a voter and a policeman were murdered.

Three persons, according to sources, died in Lagos, two of them in a ballot snatching incident.

Our correspondent in Zamfara State said gunmen killed an APC Ward Chairman.

Atiku’s campaign manager, Senate President Bukola Saraki, easily delivered his polling unit to his principal against the strong bid made for Buhari by his sister, Senator Gbemisola Saraki.

Other highlights of the polls showed that Atiku defeated Buhari at the polling unit of the APC governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, whereas the President floored Atiku at former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s polling unit in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

Obasanjo is a strong supporter of the Atiku candidacy in the presidential election.

In Bauchi State, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, had his fingerprint rejected by the smart card reader.

Reports from Anambra State where the vice presidential candidate of the APC, Mr. Peter Obi, cast his vote, said the running mate cried out that he was being harassed by security agents.

Boko Haram attack in Yobe State was said to have stopped Governor Ibrahim Gaidam from voting.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan admonished those who may lose in yesterday’s polls to accept defeat.

I will  win Buhari

Buhari, reaffirming his confidence in winning the presidential election, told reporters shortly after voting at Kofar Baru, Sarkin Yara A Ward in Daura, his home town, that he would win the election and congratulate himself.

Clad in a light blue ‘Babbanriga’, the President was accompanied by his wife, Aisha, and some security details.

Mrs Buhari was the first to vote before the President at 8.06 a.m., while Buhari voted at 8.10 a.m.

President Buhari, Aisha vote at the Presidential and National Assembly Elections at Kofar Baru Polling Unit 003 in Daura Katsina State on 23rd Feb 2019

“So far, so good. Nigerians understand and are behaving themselves,” Mr Buhari said when asked to give his assessment of the exercise, so far”, the President said.

When asked if he would congratulate the winner if he lost the election, he said, “I will congratulate myself; I am going to be the winner.”

Buhari won his polling unit, PU003.

The President scored 523 votes while Atiku got three votes.

I look forward to a successful transition –

Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his wife voting

Atiku said he was looking forward to a successful transition after the presidential election.

The PDP presidential candidate spoke after casting his vote at his polling unit located at Ajiya in Yola North Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

He was reacting to questions from journalists on his assessment of the elections.

He said: “I am excited there is a large turnout of voters and I am hoping that this election will end free and fair.”

Asked if he will concede defeat if he loses, Atiku responded: “I’m a democratic individual unlike others. I look forward to a successful transition.”

Atiku was apparently reacting to Buhari’s response when asked the same question earlier.

The PDP candidate cast his vote almost two hours after the commencement of the presidential and National Assembly elections nationwide.


Buhari defeated Atiku at the PDP presidential candidate’s polling unit.

Wild jubilation broke out following the announcement that the APC presidential candidate, scored 186 votes to defeat Atiku who scored 167 votes.

The APC also cleared the results for senatorial and House of Representatives seats at the polling unit.

The ruling party scored 187 votes to PDP’s 120 votes in the senatorial poll. For the House, the APC scored 145 votes against PDP’s 121 votes.

Buhari floors Atiku at Obasanjo’s polling unit

Buhari also defeated Atiku at the polling unit of former President Obasanjo in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

While APC secured 87 votes in the presidential election, the PDP got just 18 votes.

LAGOS: 3 killed, scores wounded as thugs burn ballot boxes, papers

In Lagos, heavily armed men  invaded Ago-Palace area and disrupted election. During and after the pandemonium, three persons died, scores of voters badly wounded while no fewer than 100 ballot boxes filled with voting materials were burnt.

A voter was shot dead at Canal Estate during the bloody shooting; an APC member was stonned to death; and a thug who was beaten to stupor at Avenue Bus Stop later died at about 5 pm.

After the attack, hundreds of voters protested and trooped to the streets calling for cancellation of the election in the area. The protesters tore posters of politicians displayed on the streets singing war songs and calling on the authorities to intervene and restore their votes. However, police succeeded in arresting one of the suspected attackers.

The prompt arrival of the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Lawal Shehu and the newly posted Commissioner of police in the state, Zubairu Muazu, including the heavy presence of soldiers attached to ‘ OP Messa’ to the scene, helped in dousing the tension that followed the violent attack.

The incident took place few hours after voting commenced in the area said to be heavily populated by non-indigenes. Voting commenced very late in the area as voting materials and officials arrived very late and sometimes voting was disrupted on account of faulty card readers.

Eyewitnesses said as soon as voting commenced with police vehicles strategically positioned around the polling booths, the owner of one of the popular filling stations in the area was seen whispering to the policemen on guard. And a few minutes later, the policemen disappeared from the area with their patrol vehicles. Just as the police on duty left, hell was let loose as heavily armed thugs stormed the area on motorcycles and started shooting indiscriminately. They went for the ballot boxes and destroyed all of them after setting ballot papers on fire.

The witnesses said that while the thugs were wreaking havoc in the polling booths around the area, they were chanting, ‘No Buhari, No vote.” They reportedly attacked most of the polling booths in the adjoining streets after which they rode their bikes triumphantly and disappeared from the scene. One of the voters, a popular barber at Canal Estate called Peter was shot dead by the thugs after they destroyed and burnt ballot boxes.

However, the enraged voters succeeded in burning one of the motorcycles while the rider narrowly escaped death after he was set ablaze. When Vanguard visited the scene, hundreds of voters who narrowly escaped death from the shooting at the scene lamented that the attack was successfully executed just few meters to Ago Palace police station.

A voter in one of the polling units at the Last Bus Stop area of Ago Palace Way where the incident happened lamented that they had been disfranchised.

Giving a vivid account of what happened in an interview with Vanguard he said: “Many of us had voted before this incident happened. It is unfortunate the police could not take precautionary measures because when these thugs came the first time in the morning, the Police drove them away but they failed to leave any officers behind.

“Later, the same thugs came back and destroyed the ballot boxes. Policemen and soldiers came after the attack. If you look over there, you will see a burnt motorcycle. They caught one of them and beat him and he almost died (he later died). The police officer in our polling unit was not even armed. He was sitting down and chatting with his phone. When they came, he ran away.”

While addressing the enraged crowd, the AIG Zone 2, Lawal Shehu who came in company of the Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu assured the aggrieved voters that their complaints would be investigated by INEC and possibly they will conduct another election in the area. CP Muazu also said that those arrested will be investigated and charged to court.

When interviewed, one of the arrested suspects identified as Yusuf Folawiyo confessed that the ward chairman of a prominent political party living in Ajao Estate sent the thugs.

“We were asked by the Chairman, (name withheld) to wait for him at the polling unit. We were just standing at the polling unit. I don’t even have PVC but a temporary one. I was at home when he said I should go there and wait for him,” he narrated.

Indeed, the presidential and National Assembly elections left a bad taste in the mouths of non-indigenes living at Ejigbo, Okota, Iba and Ajegunle. The angry voters who flashed their PVCs at Vanguard reporters at Ejigbo expressed dismay over perceived deliberate attempt to disenfranchise them through late arrival of electoral officers and materials.

A leader in Ejigbo community, Jelili Atiku told Vanguard that the problem was logistics because in the whole of Ejigbo, only two buses were contracted to move voting materials and INEC staff around. He said that efforts were on to contract commercial vehicles to join in distributing the materials. As at 1pm when Vanguard went back to some of the areas, INEC officials and voting materials were just arriving and in some, they were not in sight.

Mr. Toby Atumah who with his wife, Mrs. Margaret Toby-Atumah went about 5 kilometers from their base in Okota to Ire-Akari Estate lamented that there could have been a deliberate effort to frustrate the people from voting through the late arrival.

They want to start a tribal war in Lagos – Bode George

Former Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Bode George, regretted the violence that erupted in Okota and frowned at the attempts to disenfranchise what he described as the Igbo dominated area.

“I was informed of what happened in Oshodi Isolo. There was mayhem that they did not want the Igbo to vote because there are a lot of Igbo in Isolo. Why would people want to disenfranchise any Nigerian?

“Why will this be an issue in this country now? Do they want to start a tribal war in Lagos? I am a bona fide Lagosian, never in our history have we discriminated against anybody.

“In Surulere Constituency II, I was told that the ballot papers they brought did not have PDP logo on them. Would you think that was an error? Or somebody has gone to print a fake ballot paper? I am really very disappointed. This is just the information I gathered in the last few hours. We cannot afford this, this nation is at the threshold of history, the whole world is watching us, all eyes are on us.

INEC need to up its game—Sanwo-Olu

Also speaking after casting his vote, governorship candidate of the APC in Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will still need to up its game and to meet challenges in future elections.

He said: “Although, it took them a while to set up their facilities, but so far I think the performance has been good, above average. From what I have seen, I am impressed. But I’m sure they can do better some other time. The people have so far been patient and the process has so far been peaceful.”

Meanwhile, INEC has announced the postponement of the elections in some parts of Lagos, Rivers and Anambra States following the disruption of the exercise due to violence.

Specifically, INEC said elections in Akuku Toru and Bonny local government areas of Rivers state as well as some parts of Anambra and Lagos would be conducted on a later date, saying mostly affected is the contest for the federal legislative seats.

Briefing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, the INEC national commissioner for information and publicity, Mr. Festus Okoye said:

INEC Adhoc Staff arranging non sensitive material at Ward A’ Kofar Baru 003 Sakin Yara Polling Unit during the 2019 National Assembly and Presidential Elections in Daura, Katsina State on Saturday

“The commission has received reports of violence and ballot box snatching in some areas leading to the disruption of the process. We have asked the Resident Electoral Commissioners RECs and the Electoral Officials on ground to submit their firsthand reports in relation to some of these incidents.

“We are still receiving reports relating to incidences in some states of the federation but we have received reports relating to incidences in Akuku Toru and Bonny local government areas of Rivers state. So long as the commission could not deploy in these areas, the implication is that voting did not take place in those areas and the commission will hold consultations with the relevant authorities and the Resident Electoral Commissioners RECs in relation to these areas and will announce the date when polls will take place in some of these areas, especially in relation to the areas as they affect the House of Representatives and Senatorial elections.

“It is not only in Rivers that we had reports of burning of electoral materials. We have such reports from Anambra and Lagos states as well as some other places”, he added.

Erring staff

The commission also vowed to prosecute any of its staff who failed to use the Smart Card Readers for purposes of accreditation, saying where the card readers do not work up till 6pm on election day, the standard procedure is to shift the exercise to the next day.

According to Okoye, no staff of the commission has discretionary powers on the use or otherwise of the card readers as its usage is not a subject of negotiation.

According to him “it was made very clear that the use of the smart card readers is mandatory. Therefore, no staff of the Commission or any ad hoc staff of the Commission is permitted in whatever guise to deliberately refuse to use the smart card readers for the conduct of elections.

“According to the Guidelines and Regulations of the Commission, it is negligent conduct for any ad hoc staff to refuse to use the smart card readers for purposes of accreditation and any of them that refused to use the smart card readers or deliberately violated the use of the smart card readers will be subject to prosecution in accordance with the Guidelines and Regulations of the Commission and the Electoral Act”, he declared.

“My husband has voted but I have not voted because they said the smart card reader is bad and they have changed it three times, but I am determined to vote,” Mrs. Toby-Atumah told Sunday Vanguard at 14.25 p.m. after spending more than eight hours waiting to vote.

Those who lose must accept defeat, says Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan who set the tone for peaceful handover of power after losing an election yesterday urged whoever loses the poll to accept defeat.

He spoke after voting at Unit 39, Ward 13, Otazi Playground Otuoke, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

He was accompanied by Patience, his wife, and Ayi, his mother.

Noting that anyone who loses should come back another time if he thinks he is “good enough”.

“I can only encourage people that when they lose the elections, they should accept it,” he said.

“If you think you are good enough and you are trusted, you can come back. It has happened in other countries. That is the essence of democracy.

“If you are there as a governor and people misunderstood your policies and vote you out, you should realise that’s the people’s choice. We should be able to elect our leaders in a way that the world will accept them and believe we are doing what is right.”

Jonathan also harped on the need for a peaceful and credible election.

He said if elections are marred with violence, “the wrong people will be elected and there can never be any development in a society governed by the wrong people.”

“For Nigerians, if you want to move this country forward, you must start with decent and credible elections,” he added.

Card reader rejects Dogara’s fingerprint

Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, experienced some challenges while trying to vote at his polling unit in Bauchi State.

Dogara arrived at his polling unit at Gwaranga Primary School in Bogoro local government area at 9:45am.

The card reader, however, failed to authenticate his fingerprint, forcing him to use the authentication form to vote.

Gimbiya, his wife, however, voted smoothly with the aid of the card reader.

Speaking after casting his vote, the Speaker commended the orderly conduct of the elections at the polling unit.

He said although he was not aware of how the exercise was going on in other places, INEC had done a good job if the situation is the same in other units.

Dogara, who is seeking reelection into the lower legislative chamber, expressed optimism about his chances of winning

Yesterday’s presidential and National Assembly elections were marked with pocket of violence across the country that was climaxed with a Boko Haram attack that kept Governor Ibrahim Gaidam from voting.

The Situation Room, an umbrella group of civil society organisations claimed in a twitter post that 16 deaths were recorded across 8 states.”

The pattern of violence recorded included “disruption of voting, ballot boxes and papers being set ablaze by political thugs in Lagos”, the Situation Room deposed.

Boko Haram ‘stops Yobe governor from voting’

Boko Haram terrorists prevented Yobe Governor Gaidam from voting, according to , Channels TV.

The situation followed reports of attacks on two communities in the early hours of yesterday.

The first attack occurred in Gaidam town early in the day.

The report said the security agencies would seek to reinforce and increase security around the governor for him to travel to cast his vote.

In Rivers State, unknown gunmen shot dead a former local government leader and his brother in the Andoni area, police said.

Both were members of APC.

Police spokesman Nnamdi Omoni said “hoodlums” dressed in military uniforms also invaded some polling stations in the Okrika area of the state and snatched voting materials.

“Police have moved in to restore order in Okrika and INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) is making efforts to ensure voters are not disenfranchised in the area,” he said.

Gunmen kill APC ward Chairman, one other in Zamfara

APC Ward Chairman of Yandoton Daji in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara, Alhaji Yusuf Yahaya, was reportedly killed by unidentified gunmen.

The police said the deceased was killed at about 1:00am, yesterday, while on his way home from Tsafe.

Police spokesman, SP Mohammed Shehu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the state Commissioner of Police, Celestine Okoye, had visited the area.

He said that the incident had not affected the conduct of elections in the area.

Chairman of Tsafe Local Council, Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar, earlier told newsmen in Gusau that Abubakar and one other person were killed by the gunmen while four others sustained injuries.

“He was killed along with another supporter of the party and other four persons were injured.

“The deceased left Tsafe for his village on Friday night after collecting his tag as the APC agent in the area in preparation for today’s (Saturday) election,” he said.

The chairman said another set of unidentified gunmen also attacked Wanzamai village in the same area and kidnapped many villagers, including  wife of Alhaji Sanusi Wanzamai, a   Commissioner with state electoral commission.

Abubakar commiserated with the families of the deceased and prayed Allah to grant them Aljanatul Firdausi.

‘’Those who sustained injuries in the attack have already been admitted in the hospital for treatment.

‘’We are appealing to the security agents for more intervention in the area and the state at large; we are also appealing to people of the area to remain calm, as they come out to vote for candidates of their choice.

Voter, policeman shot dead in Kogi

Suspected thugs killed a voter at Ajetachi polling unit in Anyigba, Dekina local government area of Kogi state.

The victim was identified as Daniel Usman, aged 19 years.

A policeman was said to have been murdered during the polls in the state.

The suspects behind the Anyigbo murder was said to be working for one of the two leading political parties, saying they killed the victim during an argument on who he should vote for.

William Aya, spokesman for Kogi State Police Command, confirmed the incident saying the police had launched investigation.

Two killed as APC, PDP supporters clash in Ebonyi

Reports said two persons were killed while three others sustained injuries after a clash between the PDP and APC in Amagu Ward One, Ikwo local government area of Ebonyi State.

Confirming the incident, Awosola Awotunde, Ebonyi State Police Commissioner, said a fight broke between supporters of the two political parties on the eve of the elections.

“The injured are being treated in the hospital. We are treating them as suspects for now as they were involved in the clash,” he said.

Lazarus Ogbe, a PDP member representing Ikwo/Ezza south constituency, said the opposition party was behind the “tragic incident.”

He said a PDP agent who worked in the polling unit located close to the scene of the clash was among those killed.

Ogbe named Igwe Ukwa and Egbe Oruke as the two killed.

The lawmaker also alleged that polling materials for the ward have been hijacked, adding that INEC had been notified.

“Voters have come out and are waiting for election to commence but nothing is happening there”.

Andy Ezeani, INEC spokesman in the state, said  he would confirm if voting is going on in Amagu following the clash.

Peter Obi: Security operatives harassed me

Peter Obi, vice-presidential candidate of the PDP, said he was harassed by security operatives.

Obi said this shortly after voting in his ward in Agulu, Anambra State.

Asked to confirm the news that some PDP chieftains were harassed and “probably whisked away” on Friday evening, Obi replied in the affirmative.

“Most of them were harassed including myself,” he said, adding: “Yes, it happened. It spells trouble for the country.”

The former governor of Anambra also faulted the electoral process which he described as “clumsy”.

He said although it takes time to get accredited and vote, it is “too early” to comment on the general election.

“The system is still a bit clumsy. You were here and you saw the time it took me; some of the things were not proper including the ink,” he said.

DSS dismisses operative for taking bribe

Also yesterday, the Department of State Services (DSS) has dismissed of one of its staff member, for reportedly collecting bribes from motorists on election duties in Ekiti State.

The sack of the staff member according to a statement by DSS spokesman, Peter Afunanya, followed the emergence of video evidence of the infraction on social media while the presidential and National Assembly polls were ongoing.

Afunanya said: “Hours ago, a picture of the official had surfaced on the social media wherein he was presented as negotiating with a motorist for financial patronage.

“The fact is that when the news broke, the Service initiated a line of investigative actions.

“These include the search and identification of the said Officer; his withdrawal from the duty post and issuance of a Memo as applicable to his cadre and rank.

“In line with the Service’s disciplinary procedures, the official was tried in an Orderly Room and summarily dismissed.

“The Service’s staff are already aware how serious it abhors offences against discipline and that it is no respecter of persons and ranks.

“His instant dismissal is in accordance with the DGSS’ avowed commitment to, among others, promote discipline in the Service. It may be noted that the DGSS’ stance on issues concerning discipline has continued to prove his intolerance for misconduct and discreditable behaviour.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Service condemns, in its entirety, the infamous act of the official  and informs the public to note that he is no longer a member of this prestigious organization.

“The Service reaffirms its commitment to professionalism, excellence and the rule of law.”

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