Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, may be coasting home to victory if results of last Saturday’s presidential poll from eight more states follow the same pattern as the ones already announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Results of the 2023 presidential election so far announced across the country put Tinubu ahead of his closest rivals, Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), with Tinubu clinching stunning electoral victories in northern states that many would have readily given to the PDP flag bearer, Atiku, who is from the region.
In the results so far announced, Tinubu opened a significant lead over Atiku, beating the PDP candidate in North West states of Jigawa and Zamfara, while in states of the North East zone – like Atiku’s home state, Adamawa, as well as Gombe and Yobe, where Atiku won, Tinubu is coming a close second and picking up the 25 percent vote spread necessary for emerging winner of the election, including Kano where he was defeated by Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
In the North Central zone, Tinubu won the presidential poll in Kwara, Kogi and Benue States, with a brighter chance in Niger State where unofficial results have already tipped him as winner.
Results from the North indicate that the region as a political bloc may likely make Tinubu from the South West geopolitical zone the next president of Nigeria, as it did in 1999 when ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo enjoyed a similar privilege at the dawn of this democratic dispensation.
It will be recalled that in 1999 when the country returned to civil rule, General Obasanjo, who had just been released from prison after being accused of involvement in a coup plot by the Sani Abacha military junta, ran for presidential race on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) where he beat Dr Alex Ekwueme and other party bigwigs to clinch the party’s presidential ticket with majority votes from northern delegates in the party primary.
And having no political base in his South West region, Obasanjo, who even lost his polling unit, depended largely on votes from the North to beat Olu Falae of the All Peoples Party (APP) to win the two-horse presidential race.
The 2023 presidential poll also recorded a major upset, with the Labour Party candidate, Obi, redrawing the political map to reflect a new balance of power and political rebirth across the country with the Obedient Movement.
Obi polled 582,664 votes to defeat Tinubu in Lagos, a state the APC candidate served as governor for eight years, from 1999 to 2007. Tinubu came second with 572,606 votes, while Atiku got 75,750 votes.
Elections for the office of the president, 360 House of Representatives, and 109 Senatorial seats were held in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory on Saturday and Nigerians expect the declaration of results by the electoral umpire.
Though 18 candidates are in the race, analysts had described the contest as a four-horse race between Tinubu, Atiku, Obi and Kwankwaso.
While Obi and Tinubu are from the southern region of the country, Kwankwaso and Atiku are from the northern part of Nigeria.
The four heavyweights and strong contenders have large followings with the numerical potential of emerging as the successor of President Muhammadu Buhari whose two-term tenure ends on May 29, 2023.
Elections were held at most of the 176,606 polling units in Nigeria, with 87.2 million voters with Permanent Voter Cards voting for their preferred candidates.
So far, election results for 11 states have been announced by the commission as of yesterday.
For Kwara, Tinubu polled 263,572 votes, followed by Atiku who scored 136,909 votes. Obi polled 31,166 votes, while Kwankwaso got 3,141 votes.
In Osun, Atiku of PDP won with 354,366, while the APC candidate came second with 343,945. Obi of LP got 23,283, and Kwankwaso of NNPP came fourth with 713.
For Ondo, Tinubu won with a wide margin, polling 369, 924, to defeat Atiku who came second with 115,463, followed by Obi, 44,405, and Kwankwaso, 930.
Results for Gombe and Yobe states were also announced. Atiku won both states. Likewise, Obi won Enugu and Lagos states, while Tinubu won Ogun and Oyo states.
INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu said the collation of presidential election results will be done at four levels — first at the 8,889 wards, then at the 774 local government areas, the State Collation Officer for Presidential Election (SCOPE) at the 36 states, and the Federal Capital Territory will submit the votes per candidate in Abuja.
The electoral chief said the collation centre will be open all day and all night with short breaks.
He also cautioned political parties to only draw their figures from INEC.
“I appeal to all political parties and media organisations to draw their figures only from the official results released by the commission as the only body constitutionally responsible for releasing official election figures,” Yakubu emphasised.
For results announced at the state level, Tinubu is taking the lead with 94,977 votes from the ten local government areas that INEC had already collated results in Kogi State, while Atiku is following the APC with 57,889 votes.
The ten local government areas so far collated include Idah, Bassa, Omala, Ogori-Magongo, Yagba West, Mopamuro, Ofu, Igalamela-Odolu, Ankpa and Olamaboro.
Other LGAs are expected to be released as they arrive at the collation centre, though elections were delayed in some LGAs in Kogi state as a result of the malfunctioning of the BVAS machine and other reasons that resulted in the postponement of the election.
In Jigawa State, Tinubu polled 421,390 votes to defeat Atiku who scored 386,587, followed by Kwankwaso with 98,234 votes.
In Adamawa, Atiku polled 417,611 votes to defeat Tinubu who scored 182,881 votes.
In Akwa Ibom State, Atiku has been declared winner of the presidential poll, having won in 22, out of the 31 local government areas of the state.
Tinubu won in six LGAs, with Obi winning in three councils.
In Rivers, Tinubu is so far leading in nine, out of the 13 local government areas already declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Rivers State.
Also, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party is trailing behind Tinubu, having won two local government areas in the state.
The local government areas so far won by the APC presidential candidate include Gokana, Tai, Opobo/Nkoro, Emohua, Eleme, Omuma, Abua-Odual, Oyigbo and Asari-Toru.
On his part, the Labour Party presidential candidate won in Ahoada-West and Bunny local government areas of the state.
Obi won the presidential election in Enugu State, defeating candidates of other political parties in the 17 local government areas of the state.
The LP candidate scored 428,640, while the PDP’s Atiku came second with 15,747. Tinubu scored 4,772 while APGA scored 1548 and NNPP scored 1808.
Obi also won the presidential election held in Nasarawa State.
In the result announcement by INEC’s returning officer, Prof Ishaya Tanko, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Obi scored 191,361 against Tinubu’s 172, 922 and Atiku’S 147,093 to win the poll. Kwankwaso got a total of 12,715 votes.
In Plateau, Obi won 10 local government areas from results of 15 LGAs released by INEC
The LGAs won by Obi are Shendam where Governor Lalong comes from, Bassa, Pankshin, Jos South, Mangu, Jos East, Bokkos and Làngtang North, Riyom, Barkin-Ladi and Mikang.
Tinubu won in Kanam, Wase and Kanke LGAs, while Atiku won in Làngtang South and Mikang.
Meanwhile, results from Jos North and Quan’an Pan LGAS were expected to be announced later yesterday.
In Benue State, the collation officer for the presidential election, Prof. Farouk Kuta, declared the results of the election collated across the local government areas.
According to the results announced, Tinubu won with a total number of 310,468 votes, followed Obi who got 308,372, and Atiku who came third with a total votes of 130,081.
In Edo State, Obi was declared winner, polling a total of 331,163, Tinubu scored 144,471 to finish second. Atiku scored 89,585 votes, while Kwankwanso scored 2,743.
APC Campaign Asks Security Forces To Track Melaye, Momodu, Pastor.
Enenche For Inciting Violence
The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council has called on security agencies to restrain spokespersons of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dino Melaye and Dele Momodu as well as Senior Pastor of Dunamis Church, Paul Enenche for allegedly inciting violence with their utterances in the aftermath of Saturday’s presidential poll.
It specifically accused Pastor Enenche of desecrating the sanctity of the pulpit with politics and utterances that are capable of inciting violence.
Speaking at a press conference at the APC presidential campaign head office in Abuja, special adviser on Media and Communication of the campaign council, Dele Alake, results from presidential polls so far have clearly shown the direction Nigerians have chosen to go, indicating that the deceit and propaganda of the opposition did turn out for them at the polls.
This, Alake said, has undoubtedly created unease in the opposition, and because failure was already dogging them in the face, they have resorted to cutting corners with a view to scuttling the electoral process, rather than accepting the results honourably true democrats would do.
The APC campaign team alleged that there had been many doctored results giving false victory to the Labour Party even in places where its presidential candidate performed poorly.
Asking security forces to go after Melaye, Momodu and Pastor Enenche, the APC said, “The results trickling in since the close of voting on Saturday have clearly shown the direction Nigerians have chosen to go.
“Right from the polling unit results received from across the country, the signs were clear that the deceit and propaganda of the opposition did not fetch them the expected votes. This has expectedly generated anxiety in their camps with many of their leaders making irresponsible incendiary comments.
“We note with utmost concern those inciting comments and call to violence by some spokespersons of the opposition, especially those from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“We are particularly concerned and call on the State Security Services and the Nigeria Police Force to immediately restrain persons such as Dino Melaye, Dele Momodu and a certain Pastor Paul Enenche of Dunamis Church from their clear call to violence.
“Melaye’s tweet threatening violence, Momodu going on the TV to announce a purported winner and Enenche’s hate speech from the pulpit violate every law of the land. They should not go scot-free.
“When failure stared them in the face, rather than accept the outcome with dignity like good democrats would, some sore losers began shopping for ways to cut corners or scuttle the process. We have seen many doctored results giving false victory to the Labour Party in places where it performed abysmally poor. The idea was to give its followers hope and prepare them for a planned street insurrection.
“The PDP has employed almost similar tactics despite secretly admitting defeat. They went about with mouthwatering offers looking for willing partners that would help them subvert the will of the people.”
Alake further noted that after failing to get their officials to doctor results, the PDP chose to make “very dangerous statements on the election,” even as he wondered why PDP agents “at the Abuja collation centre are pushing insistently for the uploading of the results on INEC portal, when section 60 of the Electoral Act is clear about who has the power to do so at the polling unit”.
He continued: “The state collation officer has no such power. The INEC chairman, who collates what has been collated from the states also has no such power. Is the PDP calling for the upload to enable it hack the system to give it a false victory?
“Unlike what the PDP spokesmen have done, we will not announce ourselves as winners despite having the figures which affirm our anticipated victory. We will abide by the laws by allowing the electoral umpire to do its job.
“A cursory look at the figures from across the states show that our candidate is well placed for victory. The results have shown that the Labour Party, as we kept saying, is no threat to our victory.
“The PDP, on the other hand, has also failed in its own permutation making its dream of victory go up in smoke. The PDP’s projection of a landslide win in the North has collapsed.”
The APC campaign council mocked PDP over what it described as “its dismal performance in Kano where the APC is emerging with over 600,000 difference ahead of the PDP.”
Noting that the monumental figure in Kano has offset the PDP in the entire North, Alake said the trend “is the same in the South where PDP’s very poor show in Lagos, Oyo, Rivers and other key states spell doom for the party.”
In South South and South East, Alake said the little gains made by the PDP in the two zones are very microscopic to compensate for the party’s huge shortfall in the South West.
APC added: “In the North Central, the APC has decimated all parties to a comfortable majority of votes in Kwara, Kogi and Niger. Our impressive show in Benue, FCT and Plateau is also pushing PDP into third position in these places.
“Taken together, we are very upbeat as the numbers do not lie. We call on the opposition to stop the macabre dance of a dying horse and embrace defeat honourably. There can still be honour in defeat.”