All Progressives Congress’s Muhammadu Buhari has been re-elected as Nigeria’s president for another four-year term after facing down stiff competition from his closest challenger Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party.
Buhari was declared the winner of the election in Wednesday morning, more than three days after voting closed in most of the polling centres.
Abubakar, a former ally of President Buhari, led a motley pack of challengers, most of whom posed no serious obstacle to Buhari’s re-election.
Observers said killings, malpractices and attacks on electoral officials marred the elections which held a week after it was earlier scheduled.
In the final tally announced by the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, Buhari polled 15, 191, 847 votes while Abubakar, a former Nigerian vice president between 1999 and 2007, got 11, 262, 978 votes.
The bulk of Buhari’s numbers came from the North where he has a cult following.
Both Buhari and Atiku are from the northern part of Nigeria. Analysts had predicted before the elections that being northern Muslims, the two front runners will share the votes from the region.
But Buhari’s popularity in Kano, his native Katsina, insurgency-ravaged Yobe and Borno states, and Zamfara was too much for PDP’s Atiku to contend with.
The president also won in four out of six states in Southwest, a traditional stronghold of the APC, and four states in the country’s north-central which many believed will swing towards the opposition.
APC’s victory in the region consumed Nigeria’s Senate president Bukola Saraki’s dream of returning to the Red Chamber for another term as he lost his seat to APC’s Ibrahim Oloriegbe.
But Atiku’s party rejected the results of the elections even before Buhari was declared the winner, accusing the electoral body of colluding with the ruling All Progressives Congress to rig the election.
PDP’s national chair Uche Secondus said on Sunday that Atiku was in the lead based on the results collated by its agents across the country.
The same case was made by the party’s agent at the national collation centre Osita Chidoka.
“All results currently being announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is incorrect, thus unacceptable to our party and people,” Secondus told a press conference hours after INEC started the official collation of the results.
“As results trickled in on Sunday, February 24th, 2019, clearly putting the PDP in the lead, the ruling party and President Buhari dispatched high-ranking officials to coercively influence outcomes in different geopolitical zones in the country.”
The PDP is contesting APC’s victory in four northern states and demanded that fresh elections be held in those states.
“We demand the immediate and outright cancellation of Presidential election results in Yobe, Zamfara, Nasarawa and Borno states as submitted by INEC presiding officers and ask for the conduct of fresh elections in these states,” PDP’s deputy director general of Presidential Campaign Organization Tanimu Turaki said in a statement.