By Olawale Olaleye in Lagos and Chuks Okocha in Abuja
As Nigerians and the rest of the world waited for the official results from the presidential and National Assembly elections held at the weekend to be released, the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) on Monday finally doused some of the tension that had built up with the announcement of results from 18 states and the Federation Capital Territory (FCT).
At two separate briefings held in Abuja, results released by the commission saw the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Major-General Muhammadu Buhari, pull ahead of his closest rival in the presidential contest, President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), by comfortably winning 10 of the 18 states and the FCT for which results were released.
Buhari won in Jigawa, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Ogun, Osun, Oyo and Ondo States.
Jonathan, on the other hand, won in nine states and the FCT, namely: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Nasarawa and Plateau States.
In Jigawa, Buhari beat Jonathan by polling 885,988 votes, representing 86.10 per cent of the total votes cast for the two parties, while Jonathan got 142,904 or 13.10 per cent.
A breakdown of the results for states Buhari won were as follows: Kano – 1,903,999 (89.80%) votes relative to 215,779 (10.20%) votes polled by his rival; in Kaduna – 1,127,760 (70.00%), 484,085 (30.00%); Katsina – 1,345,441 (93.00%), 98,937 (7.00%); Kogi – 264,851 (63.80%), 149,987 (36.20%); Kwara – 302,146 (70.00%), 132,602 (30.00%); Ogun – 308,290 (59.70%), 207,950 (40.30%); Ondo – 299,899 (54.40%), 251,368 (45.60%); Osun – 383,603 (60.50%), 249,929 (39.50%); and Oyo – 528,620 (63.50%), 303,376 (36.50%).
States won by Jonathan were: Abia – 368,303 (96.50%), 13,394 (3.50%); Akwa Ibom – 953,304 (94.00%), 58,411 (6.00%); Anambra – 660,762 (97.00%), 17,926 (3.00%); Ekiti – 172,466 (58.90%), 120,331 (41.10%); Enugu –553,003 (97.50%), 14,157 (2.50%); Imo – 559,185 (81.00%), 133,253 (19.00%); Nasarawa – 273,460 (53.60%), 236,838 (46.40%); Plateau – 549,615 (56%), 429,140 (44.00%); and FCT – 157,195 (51.80%), 146,399 (48.20%).
Based on the figures announced by the returning officers for the 18 states and FCT, Buhari got a total of 8,520,446 votes while Jonathan got a total of 6,484,210 votes.
However, a review of the official results released so far showed that while Jonathan, as stipulated by the constitution which requires a 25 per cent spread in 24 states of the federation, secured more than 25 per cent of the votes cast for PDP in 16 of the states and FCT, compared to Buhari which got 25 per cent in 14 of the states and the FCT.
A further assessment showed that compared to the 2003, 2007, 2011 general elections in which Buhari was a contestant, he maintained his dominance in his traditional stronghold in the North-west.
In this election, however, he finally made inroads into the South-west where he won four of the five states for which official results had been released, and in the North-central zone, where he won two of the states.
Conversely, Jonathan maintained his stronghold on states in the South-east and South-south zones, but save for Ekiti lost other South-west states to Buhari and also lost two North-central states that he won in 2011. His performance in the North-west was also considerably worse than in 2011.
The results were largely reflective of the pre-election bounce Buhari got by running on a much stronger platform with a national reach and voters’ disenchantment with the ruling PDP and the president.
Meanwhile, unofficial results released by INEC offices in other states showed that Buhari was leading in Sokoto, Bauchi, Borno, Adamawa and Lagos, while Jonathan had the edge in Rivers, Benue, Edo, Ebonyi and Bayelsa.
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