- Results not announced by INEC invalid – Jega
- Election continues today
- Be patient with INEC – Jonathan
- APC will not accept polls cancellation – Buhari
- EU, ECOWAS others hail polls
A massive voter turnout yesterday characterised Nigeria’s rescheduled presidential and parliamentary elections nationwide. Unofficial results put Muhammadu Buhari, the opposition candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), ahead of the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP.
Results trickling in from polling booths in Kano, Lagos, Sokoto and several other places, showed that Buhari was leading with a considerable margin.
For instance, in Kano, results from Hotoro South ward 06, APC polled 249 votes while the PDP got 6; Hotoro South 09, APC got 479 votes while PDP scored 9; Tarauni Garden, APC got 87 votes and PDP polled 2, while in Kawaji APC got 514 votes against the PDP’s 15.
Likewise, results from polling units across Lagos State indicated that the APC presidential candidate is leading in the poll.
In collation centres visited by our correspondent in Alimosho, Oshodi Isolo, Apapa, Agege and Ifako Ijaye, APC was leading with a landslide margin. For instance, Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Olabode George, lost in his PU001 Evans Street, in Lagos Island by one vote. The result declared by the Electoral Officer, showed that PDP scored 108, while APC polled 109.
In the same vein, both Minister for Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga and the state PDP governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje lost their polling units to the APC.
Also, result flowing in from Lagos Polling Unit 008 Epetedo, Igbosere Street, in Lagos Island shows that Buhari polled 62 while Jonathan got 61, and at polling unit 047, Alausa, Ikeja, where Mr. Tinubu voted, Buhari got 180 while Jonathan got 55.
In Sokoto City Campus II, Buhari got 189 votes while Jonathan got 17.
In Abuja, at the AP plaza polling unit PU 37/06/04/18, Buhari got 235 while Jonathan got PDP-200.
Moreover, dramatic upsets were recorded in some polling units believed to be traditionally for the PDP. For instance, at the Presidential villa polling unit, the APC’s Muhammadu Buhari, trounced President Jonathan of the PDP, whereas the polling unit 021, Jonathan got 293 against Buhari’s 265, while at polling unit 022, Buhari won 348 votes against Jonathan’s 302; likewise, at the Benue Government house polling unit, Buhari won 364 votes against Jonathan’s 201.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), on Saturday ruled that only results announced by it were valid.
Chief Press Secretary to the commission’s chairman, Mr Kayode Idowu, stated this at INEC Head Office in Abuja while fielding questions from journalists on the authenticity of results being posted on the social media.
He said: “INEC is the only body authorised to announce results. The electoral officers collate results in an INEC sheet which they announce and paste on the wall.”
Also, the commission announced that voting in the presidential election continues today in some polling units where there were hiccups.
In a statement via its twitter handle: @inecnigeria Saturday evening, the electoral agency stated that, “in PUs where accreditation was suspended to the next day in accordance with the guidelines, arrangements will be made for voters to vote tomorrow (today), subject to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010.”
Commenting on the exercise after his accreditation faced hitches, President Goodluck Jonathan urged Nigerians to exercise patience and persevere in the face of the challenges posed by the novel device.
He said: “President Jonathan is just one person, so if we have problem with one person, as far as the election is going on well nationally, I’m not worried, there might be a delay, my interest is that we conduct a credible election.”
He asked the electorate to be calm pointing out that his case was just one out of million expressing the hope that the card reader may not be a total failure after all considering the reports that they actually worked in most other areas.
On his part, Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), General Mohammadu Buhari, applauded the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for allowing voting to continue in inconclusive areas today, saying the call for cancelation of the election was unnecessary.
“For INEC to put on notice that because of the failure of some of the machines, election will continue where it was inconclusive today, I think that is in order.
“I think I can count the trouble states, it’s only in Rivers, Enugu, Delta. I think it is a maximum of five states out of 36. Don’t forget there was election in Afghanistan and the killing in that country has been going on in the last 15 years, there was election in Syria and they are still fighting in Syria and there was election in Pakistan. So all these negative talks about Nigerian election shouldn’t hold because of management problems in five states was unnecessary.
On the reported failure of card reader machines in some parts of the country, Buhari admitted some discrepancies on the performance of these machines, but he however said it will not affect the result, as there were reports that machines later worked.
Meanwhile, leader of the ECOWAS Election Monitoring Team to Nigeria, John Kuffour, has commended the large turnout of voters for the 2015 general elections.
Kuffour, a former President of Ghana, who visited some polling units along the airport road in Abuja, said the turn-out of voters showed that Nigerians were ready to cast their votes.
“Nigeria is very strategic to West Africa and Africa in general, that is why the attention of the continent and the whole world is focused on this election.
“It is our hope that Nigeria will come out a winner. I commend the way and manner voters conducted themselves.’’
In a similar fashion, European Union’s Chief observer Santiago Fisias has described Nigeria’s electoral process as satisfactory, despite complications.
Speaking at the Model Secondary School, Maitama polling station in Abuja, the EU observer said: “I have been to some polling stations and of course the system is a little complicated, but its running very well.”