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Nigeria poll hub: Buhari's reelection certified, African leaders felicitate


Nigeria’s electoral commission results from across all states in the country indicate that incumbent Muhammadu Buhari won a second and final term in charge of Africa’s most populous nation.

Elections chair Mahmood Yakubu declared on Sunday, February 24 that he was generally happy with the progress made in the conduct of the presidential and national assembly elections.

The February 23 polls were originally scheduled for the 16th bust was postponed due to delays in deployment of materials.

Nearly 73 million eligible voters were expected to cast their ballots from a pool of more than 70 presidential candidates.

It was widely expected to be a tight presidential race between President Muhammadu Buhari and ex vice president Atiku Abubakar.

Buhari defeats Atiku to secure final term Scroll down to read about the following:

  • Buhari officially certified as winner, fellow presidents send congrats
  • After all states declared, Buhari reelected by over 3.9 million votes
  • Atiku’s PDP rejects official results
  • Buhari wins first two states: INEC
  • INEC warns against unofficial results
  • Controversial Senator Dino Melaye tweets ‘victory’
  • #BuhariIsWinning vs #AtikuIsWinning
  • Voting largely over, counting and collation underway
  • Buhari wins in his, Atiku’s and Obasanjo’s wards
  • Lagos hit by voting violence
  • Anti-graft body deploys to fight vote buying
  • Voting extended in areas where the process started late
  • Election body happy over the functionality of card readers
  • A three-pronged voting
  • Nigeria’s presidential and legislative tenures
  • Who is passed fit to vote?
  • Election facts and figures
  • Buhari votes, says he’ll congratulate himself
  • Atiku votes, talks about ‘ successful transition
  • Suspected terrorist attack in northeast with hours to opening of polls

Feb 27: Buhari receives certification amid presidential congrats

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday received his Certificate of Return from the electoral commission chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at an event in the capital, Abuja.

Buhari and his vice-presidential candidate Yemi Osinbajo were accompanied by their spouses as they were handed the certificates for emerging victorious in the February 23 polls.

As has become the tradition especially on social platform – Twitter, victorious African leaders have often been congratulated by their colleagues after elections.

The case of Nigeria is no different as a number of presidents have since Wednesday morning shared well wishes with reelected Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari.

South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta and Ghana’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo are among those to have sent messages so far.

Congratulations H.E. MBuhari on your re-election for a second term as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Your victory is a clear demonstration of the trust and confidence the people of Nigeria have in your ability to lead the country to greater heights of progress

— Uhuru Kenyatta (UKenyatta) February 27, 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari after his successful re-election. The official results were announced earlier this morning. #sabcnews

— SAfm news (@SAfmnews) February 27, 2019

The Ghanaian people, their government and I extend warm congratulations to His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari (MBuhari) on his re-election, for a second successive term, as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in the elections of Saturday 23rd February, 2019. pic.twitter.com/azLV2nhatq

— Nana Akufo-Addo (NAkufoAddo) February 27, 2019

Feb 26: Buhari crosses finish line with 15 million plus votes

Incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari, was projected to have secured a second and final mandate after stretching his lead over his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP since results started trickling in.

Muhammadu Buhari, All Progressives Congress = 15,191,847 votes
Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party = 11,262,978 votes
Difference between the main contenders = 3,928,869

The candidate with the most votes is declared winner as long as they have at least one-quarter of the vote in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states and the capital. Otherwise there is a run-off.

Buhari won in 19 states including:

  • Osun
  • Ekiti
  • Kwara
  • Nasarawa
  • Kogi
  • Gombe
  • Yobe
  • Niger
  • Jigawa
  • Kaduna
  • Bauchi
  • Lagos
  • Ogun
  • Kano
  • Katsina
  • Borno
  • Zamfara
  • Kebbi
  • Sokoto

Atiku won 17 states plus the Federal Capital Territory (FCT):

  • Ondo
  • Abia
  • Enugu
  • Ebonyi
  • Adamawa (Atiku’s home state)
  • Oyo
  • Anambra
  • Edo
  • Plateau
  • Benue
  • Imo
  • Taraba
  • Akwa Ibom
  • Cross River
  • Rivers
  • Delta
  • Bayelsa

ANALYSIS: Panel discussion of main issues underlying the vote Feb 25: Main opposition PDP reject results, Buhari leads

The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has contested verified results being announced by the elections body, INEC, in the capital Abuja.

Two days after the vote, INEC started releasing final results of the February 23 presidential poll that pits incumbent Muhammadu Buhari against main opposition candidate and ex-veep Atiku Abubakar.

At a press conference in the capital Abuja on Monday, PDP Chairman Uche Secondus said: “All results currently been announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, is incorrect, this is unacceptable to our party and the people.

“Secondly, officials of both President Buhari’s government and All Progressive Congress, APC, working with INEC officers, have tried to alter the course of history and disenfranchise our people through the cancellation and manipulation of figures for results already announced at polling units.”

After results in eight diverse states were released Buhari had won six as against Atiku’s two. In real figures, Buhari has 2,490,369 votes with Atiku having garnered 1,806,029 votes.

Buhari wins first two states: INEC

President Buhari and his All Progressives Congress (APC) emerged winners in Ekiti and Osun states, as INEC started the announcement of official results of the presidential election on Monday.

APC won with 347,634 votes cast against PDP’s 337,377 votes in Osun state (1,674,729 registered voters).

In Etiki, APC obtained 219,231 of votes cast against PDP’s 154,032 votes (899,919 registered voters).

Live Update: Ekiti State#NigeriaDecides2019⁠ ⁠
Collation of Results

Total No: Reg Voters: 899,919
Total No: of Accredited: 395,741
Total Votes Cast: 393,709
Total Valid Votes: 381,132
Rejected Votes: 12,577

AAC: 400
ADC: 406
ADP: 126
APC: 219,231
PDP: 154,032
SDP: 48

— INEC Nigeria (@inecnigeria) February 25, 2019

Buhari’s APC also won in Kwara state while Atiku’s PDP won the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with 259,997 votes against APC’s 152,224.

Time for results

The electoral commission is expected to start declaring results of the presidential election on Monday, including confirmation of official results for the National Assembly.

INEC officially opened the collation center for presidential election results in Abuja on Sunday.

‘‘There will be a formal inauguration and it is from there, hopefully in the not too distant future, the commission will make a formal declaration of who the next President of the Federal republic of Nigeria is,’‘ INEC chair Yakubu told journalists on Sunday.

“At the moment no SCOPE (State Collation Officer for the Presidential Election) is around. Some of them are expected tonight. Accordingly, proceedings are hereby adjourned.
We will reconvene at 11am tomorrow 25th February, 2019 for the collation of results”#NigeriaDecides2019 pic.twitter.com/xkz6vjVyLO

— INEC Nigeria (@inecnigeria) February 24, 2019

Dino Melaye tweets ‘victory’

Nigeria’s often controversial senator, Dino Melaye, who was contesting to retain his Kogi West seat tweeted on Monday morning, saying he had been declared winner.

‘‘I have just been declared winner of the Kogi West Senatorial District Election. God only You would have done this,’‘ read part of the tweet.

To God alone be the glory forever and ever. Amen. I have just been declared winner of the Kogi West Senatorial District Election. God only You would have done this. Kogi West I thank you all. I love you all. What a mighty God we serve.

— Senator Dino Melaye (@dino_melaye) 25 février 2019

The senator, who uses his social media accounts to showcase a lavish lifestyle, had been posting different results from polling units across his constituency.

According to Sahara Reporters, Melaye, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), polled 85,395 votes, against his closest opponent, Smart Adeyemi, who secured 66,901 votes.

INEC warns against unofficial results

INEC chairperson Mahmood Yakubu told journalists the commission was ‘generally satisfied’ with the vote, despite delays that caused it to be extended to Saturday night and in some cases Sunday.

Yakubu also cautioned against premature declaration of results by candidates, political parties and their associates.

“Only the Independent National Electoral Commission can tally figures, announce results and declare winners,’‘ Yakubu said.

Both Buhari and Atiku’s camps have claimed ‘resounding victories’, citing results from different polling units across the country.

Enough is enough?

Other than the official presidential results from INEC, senatorial results for Kwara Central, where current Senate president Bukola Saraki was challenged by Ibrahim Oloriegbe of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), are likely to be the most anticipated.

Several people have reported on social media that Saraki, who occupies the third most powerful political office in Nigeria, lost the race to retain his seat, thanks to what is being called the ‘Otoge’ movement (Enough is Enough)

Saraki, who defected from the APC to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), played a critical role in Atiku’s campaign.

READ MORE: Nigeria Senate president explains return to main opposition PDPIf Saraki’s reported is loss is confirmed by INEC, it would be a major political upset for the senate president, who is also a former governor of Kwara State and whose father Olusola Saraki was a senator in Kwara from 1979 to 1983.

Amen o!!! I am not celebrating yet until inecnigeria makes it official. We've had so many false dawns in Kwara state. The Lawal fight-back was the closest we got to ousting mesujamba. I hope we've got it done this time #Otoge https://t.co/6wx9Ib4Sjp

— Omole Obafemi (dromole) 24 février 2019

Called Mama this morning and she shouted “Otoge”. I almost fell off my seat. ????? our mothers are Epic. My Kwara people, your movement has entered my household in Kaduna o. ???

— Fareedah Ibrahim (@fareedahibrahim) 24 février 2019

#BuhariIsWinning vs #AtikuIsWinning

On social media, supporters of the two main candidates are claiming victory, using results from their own polling units, posted under the hashtags #BuhariIsWinning and #AtikuIsWinning.

My polling unit which is an apc stronghold, atiku won, while apc won the Senate and reps. I don’t want to publish before inec. Omole polling units 028, 029, 030. I was there till night. Made sure the card readers were closed, unused ballot papers canceled #AtikuIsWinning

— Gatiri Dakwak Asaolu (@Gatiri) 24 février 2019

Good morning Nigerians, again, thank you for voting President MBuhari in yesterday’s election. Results have been coming since, they are so overwhelming. PMB has been voted by majority and #BuhariIsWinning! Check some results from BuhariCentre here #BNMCSituationRoom!

— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) 24 février 2019

Whether #BuhariIsWinning or #AtikuIsWinning do not let anyone make you fight their wars coz we went through that shit here in Kenya ?? and we shed blood enough to flow us a river… God bless Nigeria ?? https://t.co/8ik5LRQvWI

— ?? GABIRO MTU NECESSARY (@mtunecessary) 23 février 2019

Vote counting and collation underway across the country

Voting ended across the country at 2pm for areas where voting kicked off on time. INEC allowed extension for places where the process started late for a reason or the other.

Preliminary results are expected to come out by Sunday with the final result possibly being announced late on Monday, or early Tuesday morning, the BBC is reporting.

According to the laws, the candidate with the most votes is declared the winner in the first round, on condition that he gets at least 25% of the votes in two-thirds of the country’s 36 states.

With vote counting and collation underway
The photo by Bulamacartoons summarizes the mood
Early days yet, each party counting their losses and ticking their victories
Preliminary results expected on Sunday#NigeriaDecides2019 #NigeriaDecides
LIVE page: https://t.co/DD97GJq5IS pic.twitter.com/BKlwMCHF1X

— africanews (africanews) February 23, 2019

Early days yet, Buhari makes symbolic triple wins

As results are being counted and collated in parts of the country, voting is ongoing in places where the process started late for one reason or the other.

But with results trickling in especially at the ward level, Buhari has made three significant wins. The first is winning his polling unit, which was largely expected.

The incumbent has gone to win in the unit of his main opponent Atiku Abubakar in Yola, Adamawa State and also that of former president Olusegun Obasanjo – who was a big critic in the days to the vote.

JUST IN: President MBuhari wins his Sarkin Yara polling unit with a ‘wide margin’.

APC = 523
PDP = 03

Moving onto the #NextLevel!

— Bashir Ahmad (BashirAhmaad) February 23, 2019

GREATEST BREAKING NEWS: President MBuhari beats his major opponent, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in his own polling unit, 012 PU, Ajiya Ward, Yola.

APC MBuhari = 186
Atiku = 167

Glory to God Almighty\#BNMCSituationRoom #NigeriaDecides

— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) February 23, 2019

JUST IN: Buhari wins at Obasanjo’s polling unit

APC secured 87 votes in the Presidential election
PDP got just 18 votes.

ME: Baba OBJ is overrated

NEXT……Atiku#NigeriaDecides2019 #NigeriaDecides #NextLevel

— CBN Gov Akinsola Ak?? (@cbngov_akin1) February 23, 2019

Electoral violence in Lagos

Of all places, the commercial capital of Lagos has been hit by electoral violence according to reports by local portals and eye-witnesses.

The incident took place at Okota, Oshodi/Isolo Local Government Area, LGA, a video posted on Twitter showed people running away from a polling units as live rounds were being discharged.

Voting materials at a polling unit was also seen being burnt after a scattered center. Security has always been top of the agenda during the campaign and a serious concern during the polls.

Authorities assured that enough security had been deployed to quell any incidents of especially ballot snatching and other forms of infraction.

BREAKING! In Okota, Oshodi/Isolo LGA, Voters are running for their lives as shots are being fired.#PulseElections2019 #NigeriaDecides #ThisIsNigeria pic.twitter.com/0YkXV4n68t

— Pulse Nigeria #NigeriaDecides (@PulseNigeria247) February 23, 2019

President Buhari had earlier this week stressed that the security forces had been given full orders to shoot at any person or group of persons who attempted to snatch ballot boxes.

The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, called him out for the orders saying he had given “shoot to kill” orders only because he aimed to subvert the will of the people using intimidation.

Buhari’s caution was issued at a meeting of the national caucus of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the capital, Abuja.

EFCC deploys operatives to combat vote-trading

Nigeria’s anti-graft body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been busy with working to combat vote trading in the ongoing polls.

EFCC have deployed its operatives across the country to prevent vote selling and vote buying. The practice is rife in Africa’s most populous nation especially among the top parties.

The police, army and other security agencies have been deployed to undertake security tasks during the process.

Reports indicate disruption especially in the commercial capital Lagos whiles there are also places where police have succesfully arrested miscreants for electoral offences.

Officers of the EFCC on ground in Ekiti State to combat vote-buying “stomach infrastructure”. #NigeriaVoteWatch2019 #ElectionDay #ElectionDayLive pic.twitter.com/Tc3NkSYn9d

— EFCC Nigeria (@officialEFCC) February 23, 2019

#ElectionDay #NigeriaVoteWatch2019 In Ibadan, Oyo State, EFCC operatives on ground to check vote-buying. pic.twitter.com/9048KsWKXq

— EFCC Nigeria (@officialEFCC) February 23, 2019

Headaches identified by local news portal

Despite INEC’s position that card readers have largely been effective, a local news portal, the Cable, lists their malfunctioning as one of the key headaches of the ongoing process.

It adds the late arrival of officials and voting materials in some areas plus the hijack of election materials as the two other issues.

Except for pocket of issues identified in parts of the country, voting has largely been peaceful across the wide expanse of the country. INEC has also extended voting in places where voting started late for whatever reasons.

As stipulated by law, polling units are to open at 8:00am (local time), and close at 2:00 pm. It means some areas where there were no hitches will be done voting whiles other places sill still be voting due to the extension.


As voting is ongoing around the country, here are the three main hitches thus far:

Card reader malfunction

Late arrival of materials/officials

Hijack of electoral materials#NigeriaDecides2019

— TheCable (@thecableng) February 23, 2019

INEC happy about card reader success

#INEC is pleased to report that the Smart Card Reader proved its functionality and efficiency by successfully authenticating all Presidential Candidates among millions of other Voters within a short time at their respective polling units across the country.#NigeraDecides2019

— INEC Nigeria (@inecnigeria) February 23, 2019

Alongside the presidency, National Assembly polls also underway

The ongoing vote is not only for presidential aspirants but also for two sets of lawmakers – the National Assembly.

Three ballot papers are given each voter, aside the presidency, voting is also taking place for the Senate and House of Representatives nationwide.

On February 16, INEC chief said: “… the Commission has decided to reschedule the Presidential and National Assembly Elections to Saturday, 23rd February 2019.

“Furthermore, the Governorship, State House of Assembly and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Area Council Elections is rescheduled to Saturday 9th March 2019,” the elections body said.

Clinching the prize

The President of Nigeria is elected using a modified two round system, to serve a four year term of office.

To win in the first round, a candidate must receive a majority of the vote and over 25% of the vote in two-thirds of the states. If no candidate meets this threshold, a second round is held, pitting the top two candidates against each other.

Members of the House of Representatives are elected to 4-year terms, concurrent with the president, using first-past-the-post voting (simple majority) in single-member constituencies.

Members of the Senate are elected to 4-year terms, concurrent with the president, from 108 single-seat constituencies into which the States are divided (three each) and one single-seat constituency consisting the Federal Capital Territory, all by first-past-the-post voting.

Voting procedures

To vote in the forthcoming elections, one must be;

  • 18 years old
  • a Nigerian citizen
  • a registered voter
  • present a Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) at the polling station

Voting opens at at 8:00am (local time), and closes at 2:00pm

READ MORE: Nigeria’s election regulations and guidelinesElection facts

  • Presidential elections are held on the 3rd Saturday in February of any general election year.
  • Election of governors and members of the National Assembly are held two weeks thereafter.
  • In case of the need for a second round in the presidential election, it shall be held within 21 days following the announcement of first round results.
  • To contest the election outcome, a petition must be filed within 21 days after the official results were declared.
  • Election tribunals including the Court of Appeal for presidential and governorship elections, shall deliver its judgment in writing within 180 days from the date of the filing of the petition.
  • The courts may however adopt the practice of delivering its decision first, and defering the reasons for the verdict to a latter date.

At a glance

  • 72 presidential candidates
  • 360 members to be elected to House of Representatives
  • 109 Senate members
  • Population: 200,962,417 (2019 est.)
  • Registered Voters: 84,004,084

What Buhari said after voting

“It is my constituency here, I’m pleased people are already lined up so at the same time the vote can continue, thank you very much.

(REPORTER ASKING: How do you feel yourself sir?”) Well so far, so good. Nigerians understand that they are believing themselves.

(REPORTER ASKING: “Are you hopeful?”) Very hopeful indeed. (REPORTER ASKING: “If you lose will you accept defeat and congratulate the winner?) I will congratulate myself, I’m going to be the winner. Thank you very much.”

Photo credit: @BayoOmoboriowo

Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and wife cast their ballots in Daura, Katsina State #NigeriaDecides2019 #NigeriaDecides pic.twitter.com/2ey6KRxNbn

— africanews (@africanews) February 23, 2019

Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari votes in Daura.

Running for a second term, he will be neck and neck with Atiku Abubakar, a former vice-president and candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).#NigeriaDecides#NigeriaDecides2019 pic.twitter.com/ilz40w1qgO

— News Central (@NewsCentralTV) February 23, 2019

Atiku expects “successful transition”

Over in the northeast, in Yola, capital of Adamawa State, his main contender and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar said he was looking forward to a successful transition after casting his ballot.

Atiku a former ally of Buhari has called on voters to repeat the 2015 feat where an incumbent was voted out. The two opponents were in the the same camp when the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, defeated the Goodluck Jonathan led government.

Atiku abandoned the APC and rejoined the now main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, under which he had served as vice-president for two terms, i.e. 1999 – 2007.

I just cast my vote at Ajiya Ward in Yola, Adamawa State. Go out and cast your vote too if you have not done so yet. -AA #NigeriaDecides2019 pic.twitter.com/TXE9oi6XU3

— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) February 23, 2019

Main opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar cast his vote in Yola, Adamawa State
‘I Look Forward To Successful Transition’ he told reporters after voting.#NigeriaDecides2019 #NigeriaDecides pic.twitter.com/ygR5taTdle

— africanews (@africanews) February 23, 2019

Suspected Islamists attack Nigerian town hours before poll, residents say

Suspected Islamist militants on Saturday attacked a northeastern Nigerian town, forcing people to flee hours before presidential election polls were due to open, residents said.

“We have fled, along with our wives and children and hundreds of others,” Ibrahim Gobi, who lives in the town of Geidam in Yobe state, said by telephone.

“We are right now running and hiding in the bushes.” Around the same time a Reuters witness said blasts were heard in Maiduguri, the capital of the neighbouring state of Borno.

Northeast Nigeria has been hit by the decade-long Boko Haram insurgency with attacks in recent months carried out by offshoot Islamic State in West Africa Province.


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