Buhari leads in vote count, Jonathan ahead in 25% spread
INEC continues collation 10 a.m. today
THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday, released the March 28 presidential election results in 19 of the 36 states (including the Federal Capital Territory). The collation also produced senators-elect from 16 states.
General Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) leads in votes count but trails President Goodluck Jonathan of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 25-per cent spread, as required by the Constitution. Out of the 12, 325, 735 votes counted so far, APC got 7,899,632 ahead of PDP’s 4, 426,106 votes.
Whereas the main opposition party got more than 25 per cent votes in 14 states, the PDP, notwithstanding its two million plus deficit in numerical vote strength, appears to be keeping hope alive with its life-line score of more than the statutory 25 per cent of the total votes cast in 16 states. With show of strength in virtually all northern and Southwest (except Ekiti) states so far released by INEC, the APC beats the ruling party in Kano, Jigawa, Katsina, Kwara, Kaduna (the home state of Vice President Namadi Sambo), Kogi, Ondo, Ogun, Osun and Oyo.
The PDP, having had an impressive outing in Governor Ayodele Fayose’s Ekiti State, also took convincing lead in its Southeast and South South strongholds of Anambra, Enugu, Abia, and Akwa Ibom. The ruling party also won — though painstakingly — in Plateau and the FCT.
The PDP also won in APC’s stronghold of Imo State. Collation of presidential election results from the remaining 18 states, according to INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, will continue today (Tuesday) at 10 am in Abuja.
Some of the returning officers from the states were said to have missed their flights and could not arrive the Abuja collation venue on schedule. Jega had, two days ago, reiterated the Commission’s resolve to announce the winner of the country’s most keenly contested election within 48 hours. But election-day technical hitches, which necessitated resumption of voting the day after, and other challenges forced change of plan.
All eyes are now on Rivers and Delta, where the PDP, is hoping to spring surprises. The APC has already picked holes in the election in Rivers, where the party joined forces with Governor Rotimi Amaechi to accuse the PDP of corrupting the election process. Results from Lagos, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Kebbi, Sokoto and 11 others are also very significant in determining who emerges the President-elect today.