Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Buhari Wins Nigerian Presidential Elections
Nigerian National Mirror
Apr 1, 2015

Nigeria entered the record books yesterday when for the first time in its history, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP presidential candidate and incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan was defeated by the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, in a keenly contested election, held across the nation on Saturday.

Buhari polled a total 15,426,921 votes and scored the constitutionally mandated 25 per cent in 29 states to Jonathan’s 2,853,162 votes as announced by the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Attahiru Jega.

Declaring Buhari winner of the election, Jega said:

This would be the record fourth time the retired General would be contesting for the nation’s Presidency and the second time he would be running against President Jonathan.

It is the first time he would be running on the platform of APC, a coalition of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN; Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and a faction of All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.

Buhari won outright in North-East states of Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi, and Gombe; North-Western states of Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa; North-Central states of Niger, Benue, Kogi and Kwara and South-Western states of Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ondo and Lagos.

He polled more than the constitutionally mandatory 25 per cent in Ekiti, Nasarawa, Plateau, Edo and Taraba states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Jonathan won outright in South-South states of Edo, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states; South-East states of Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi; North-Central state of Plateau and North-East state of Taraba.

Jonathan also scored the mandatory 25 per cent and above in Lagos, Ondo, Benue, Adamawa, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Kwara and Kogi states.

Buhari would be sworn in on May 29 this year for a four-year first term in office.

The President Jonathan has conceded victory to the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, confirmed that President Jonathan called Buhari about 5.05 p.m yesterday as the collation was still in progress to congratulate him, thus putting paid to all anxieties and concerns over a possible debacle.

Following the historic victory, APC has roll- out the drums to celebrate its victory with a reception for the President-elect at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja.

As soon as it became obvious that Buhari was coasting to victory with the majority of the results from states already announced, the leadership of the party started making arrangements to formally receive Buhari and the Vice President-elect, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

Among the leaders of the party who came early to congratulate the President-elect were Governors Tanko Al’Makura (Nassarawa), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Rochas Okorocha (Imo).

The party secretariat was decorated with newly procured Nigerian flags and APC flags with a red carpet laid out in wait for the triumphant entry of Buhari.

The atmosphere in the place was charged as the secretariat staff and supporters who besieged the place kept singing and drumming.

At the residence of the former military leader at Aso Drive in Asokoro, a crowd of reporters kept tumultuous vigil in celebration of the victory.

Former Head of State, Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar described the president as a great man for quickly accepting defeat.

As the results of the Presidential election were being announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday, the president was meeting behind closed-door with members of the National Peace Committee on 2015 General Elections, led by Abubakar.

Also at the meeting were former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe; former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Pricilla Kuye; Primate of Anglican Communion, Nicholas Okoh; Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan; the President of Dangote Group, Aliko and former Director General of the National Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, NIALS,  Amaze Goubadia.

The committee had last Wednesday met with Jonathan at the Presidential Villa on the need to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

Jonathan and Buhari later signed a fresh peace accord and commitment to violence-free polls.

The fresh accord which took place at the Sheraton Hotels and Towers in Abuja was facilitated by the committee.

The two, as well as other presidential candidates in the elections, had earlier signed a peace accord on January 14.

Before the closed door meeting, journalists were invited to cover the opening ceremony.

The president looked calm and unruffled while receiving the team before they went into the closed door session.

After the meeting, Abubakar confirmed to State House correspondents that Jonathan had conceded defeat and congratulated Buhari.

He said: “We were spell bound and the reason we have come here is to thank President Jonathan for this statesmanship.

“In the history of Nigeria, I think this is the first time where a contestant has called his rival to congratulate him and through this point, President Jonathan maintained a point that the blood of Nigerians is not worth his presidency and by his action he has proved that.

“He has proved that he is a man of his word‎ because during our interaction on this peace committee he has always maintained that he is going to accept the result of the elections whichever way it is done and he has proved this.

“I think we need Nigerians, all of us to join hands in making sure we assist him in the peaceful handing over.

“And I will appeal to all politicians, ‎those who are celebrating and those who are sorrowing to please give peace a chance to be moderate.

“In any contest, there is always going to be a winner and President Jonathan has accepted that he lost and we want to thank him.

“On behalf of Nigerians, I want to thank President Jonathan for being the statesman that he is, he has approved that he is a statesman and he has the love of this country in his heart. So Nigerians should please help him to ensure this is real.

“For any Nigerian who is aggrieved, the electoral laws have procedures for those seeking re-address, so if anybody has ‎any grievance he should apply through the law.

“I appeal again to our youth, to everybody to please give peace a chance and accept that the chief contestant himself has accepted. So nobody please go and raise any eyebrow and cause any destabilization of this country.”

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