Nigeria: Incumbent President Buhari re-elected, main opposition rejects result
Nigeria’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari winner of the country’s 2019 presidential election.
Buhari polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest challenger and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party who polled 11,262,978 votes to finish as runner-up.
Abubakar served as vice president between 1999 and 2007.
While the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) savour the win, main opposition party has rejected the result of the polls, saying it is concocted. The party leaked what it called real result of the polls.
Few hours after the election, on Sunday morning, Abubakar had issued a statement that he had collated all results of the Saturday poll which put him on the lead.
As the result declaration by INEC was underway, the PDP said that the results being announced were different from the results from the polling units.
Mahmood Yakubu, the chairman of INEC declared Mr Buhari the winner of the election and returned him as duly elected.
“I, Professor Mahmood Yakubu hereby certify that I was the returning officer for the election held on the 23rd of February, 2019.
“That Muhammadu Buhari having satisfied the requirements of the law, having scored the highest number of votes is hereby returned elected.”
Yakubu said the Certificate of Return would be issued to the winners later today, at 2 p.m.
It was a hard-fought victory for Mr Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), after a rigorous political campaign that saw the 76-year old retired army general traverse the 36 state capitals as he sought a much-needed re-election.
There were, indeed, election violence in several parts of the country with injuries and fatalities recorded in Lagos, Rivers, Kano, Kogi, Zamfara, Anambra, Ogun, among other states.
At least, 47 people died from election-related violence recorded across more than eight states in the country, according to the Situation Room, a coalition of more than 70 civil society groups.
But the violence notwithstanding, Mr Buhari was able to win in 19 states, securing the statutorily required 25 percent of votes cast in 24 or more of the 36 states. He won in Kaduna, Jigawa, Niger, Yobe, Gombe, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kwara, Osun, Ekiti, Bauchi, Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Katsina, Borno, Sokoto, Kebbi, and Zamfara states.
Abubakar prevailed 17 states and the FCT. The opposition candidate won in Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Abia, Ondo, Adamawa, Taraba, Oyo, Edo, Benue, Imo, Plateau, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, and the FCT.
There were 73 presidential candidates on the ballot in an election marred by low voter turnout (35.7 percent; less than the 44 percent recorded in 2015), but the contest was between Mr Buhari and Mr Abubakar. For the latter, and at 72, it will probably be his last shot at the presidency after previous unsuccessful attempts.