Sunday, March 29, 2015

Nigerian Election Results Ready Today –INEC
Nigerian National Accord

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has expressed optimism that results of the presidential and National Assembly elections would be announced on a national level today.

Accordingly, final collation of the results would start by 12pm at the National Collation Centre in Abuja.

INEC said it will only declare results when they have been collated from the states.

According to the commission, in spite of the several glitches that marred the exercise in some parts of the country, most results had been collated and were being expected at the commission’s headquarters last night.

Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega stated this last night in Abuja when he gave a preliminary assessment of the polls.

Several challenges, including the late commencement of elections, accreditation issues and security breaches forced the postponement of the polls in 387 polling units spread across the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Lagos, Kebbi, Niger, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Jigawa and Taraba states.

While the elections in the affected polling units were concluded yesterday, collation was still being done at the local government level as at the time of filing this report.

This came even as the INEC boss vowed to identify and sanction one of its Presiding Officers in Taraba State, who allegedly allowed under-age voting in his polling unit during Saturday’s elections.

On the Taraba incident, Jega said under-age voting is against the law.

“We are investigating the reports and we will take measures once this is done.

“There was one clip that has been in circulation since yesterday (Saturday) afternoon about an underage voter said to be from Taraba and we have mandated our Resident Electoral Commissioner to investigate it thoroughly and identify where this happened and to also identify the polling official who did it because it is clearly illegal to allow and underaged person.

“There were a few other reported cases in which some observers said they have seen under aged voting, we are yet to see details which would have enable us to investigate these malpractices,” he said.

On the challenges encountered in Rivers State, the INEC boss said All Progressives Congress, APC, wrote the commission yesterday, calling for the cancellation of the polls.

The INEC boss also dismissed concerns that the commission was under intense pressure to declare inconclusive elections.

While he said the failure of the card readers was a big shock to him, he added that it was very probable that many of the electoral officials had not been trained in handling the device.

He also evaluated the situation in Delta State and said the commission has received reports that its ad hoc staff were substituted but that investigations were already ongoing to ascertain the veracity of the claims.

On claims by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, that it was leading in 23 states, Jega said he would not know where the party got its own results.

“I do not know where the PDP spokesman got his source, but we have not collated results in 23 states,” he said.

Jega called on Nigerians to disregard any result that does not emanate from the commission.

He urged Nigerians to avoid listening to such announcements from people that are clearly partisan.

“The Commission warns strongly against unofficial announcements and declaration of results by unauthorised persons and channels, particularly online sites. Only INEC is empowered by law to announce results and it is an offence for anyone to preempt the Commission”.

He said the Commission has taken notice of hitches that were experienced during the election ranging from difficulty in using the card readers to late arrival of INEC officials to the polling units and security challenges, adding that efforts would be made to avert such in future elections.

In another development, Nigerians and the international community were yesterday alerted by APC of alleged ongoing plans by the PDP and President Goodluck Jonathan to tamper with the results of Saturday’s elections and circumvent the people’s will.

Speaking through its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, APC said it has information to the effect that some clandestine meetings were being held with the sole aim of changing the result of the election.

“The information that we have received since we issued our last statement is to the effect that the Jonathan administration is holding clandestine meetings with security chiefs and others with the sole aim of altering or scuttling the results, which they consider to be highly embarrassing and unpalatable, using malleable Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs,” Mohammed said.

Warning that nothing but the authentic results held by the party’s agents and all other stakeholders will be acceptable, and that whoever is planning to do otherwise should weigh its implication on the survival of the nation’s democracy, APC said the moves to manipulate the results are also being replicated in some states, including Bauchi, where everything is being done to reverse the outcome, and Imo, where many aides of Governor Rochas Okorocha are being brutalised and arrested in hordes.

Mohammed said: “We know they are stunned dizzy by the crushing defeat which has been inflicted on them across the nation, going by the results in the hands of our agents.

“We know they have activated their paid media channels to seek to confuse Nigerians by making outlandish claims that their presidential candidate is leading in the elections.

“We know they are counting on malleable RECs to thwart the will of the people, and we know they have no qualms about plunging the nation into crisis just because of narrow interests.

“This is why we are putting on red alert all the good people of Nigeria who trooped out in large numbers, defying the sun and the rain and against all odds, to vote for change.

“We are also by this statement calling on the international community to urgently prevail on the Nigerian authorities not to tamper with the results of the elections as expressed by Nigerians.

“As we have said many times, we will accept the outcome of the elections if they are free and fair. What we will not accept is the manipulated outcome of the polls.”

In a related development, security forces have been deployed in readiness for any attempts to breach the peace across the country, after the announcement of the results of the presidential elections today.

Our correspondent learnt from top security sources that more operatives have been drafted by various agencies to reinforce operations in any eventual attempt by miscreants to break the law.

The source said that security chiefs were not taking chances over the result announcement and as such, were battle-ready.

It was learnt that the security chiefs have already advised that curfew must be imposed with immediate effect in any state where there is imminent breakdown of law and order.

The source said that State of Emergency across the country was not ruled out in view of the alleegd desperation and agitation that have characterised the electioneering processes.

Already in Abuja and environs, there has been massive deployment of security, both on the highways and within the city as well as the hinterlands.

Soldiers and police operatives were sighted intensifying road blocks on the highways into Abuja, delaying commuters to ascertain their movements.

Checks have been intensified along the Keffi-Abuja roads, Kaduna-Abuja, Lokoja- Abuja roads, as well as any known routes leading into the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Equally, military and police operatives are carrying out surveillance in notable black spots in the territory and environs as well as in the hinterlands where miscreants have been identified.

Our correspondents learnt that plain clothed security operatives, including operatives of Department of State Services, DSS and Directorate of Military Intelligence, DMI, have been deployed to fish out all categories of trouble makers for immediate arrest.

Defence Headquarters, DHQ, has said that citizens need not fear as security forces will ensure that lives and property are protected.

In a tweet on its twitter handle, the DHQ said that it was prepared to safeguard democracy, indicating that it would go after all trouble makers.

Meanwhile, results coming in showed Gen. Muhammadu Buhari still leading President Goodluck Jonathan in the presidential race.

In Osun, Ogun, Oyo and Kano states, results so far released showed Buhari leading, while President Jonathan cleared Ekiti State, where he polled 176,474 votes to beat the APC candidate, who garnered 120,332 votes.

Buhari is coasting to victory in Kano after results from 20 local governments were released.

The APC candidate secured the large chunk of the results from the 20 local governments announced at the state INEC headquarters, on Hajj Camp road.

The returning officers from the 20 local governments took turn to present the results to the state collation officer, Prof. Muhammadu Hamisu, with party agents and observers in attendance.

The local governments, which results were announced are, Kibiya, Gabasawa, Albasu, Bagwai, Kunchi, Tsanyawa, Gaya, Tofa, Rano, Wudil, Bunkure, Makoda, Gezawa, Garun Mallam, Kura, Kumbotso, Dawakin Tofa, Ajingi, Madobi and Kabo.

The results showed that 798, 821 people voted on Saturday, with Buhari, securing 686, 981 votes, while Jonathan scored 91, 687 votes.

About 16, 997 votes were declared invalid.

PDP won all the three senatorial and the six House of Representatives seats in Ekiti.

With the development, two APC senators seeking re-election, Senators Olu Adetumbi (Ekiti North) and Anthony Adeniyi (Ekiti South) lost their bids as well as their House of Representatives counterparts: Hons Bimbo Daramola, Oyetunde Ojo, Robinson Ajiboye, Bamidele Faparusi, and Ife Arowosoge.

In Ogun East, Prince Buruji Kashamu of the PDP was declared winner with 99, 540 votes to beat his APC challenger, who polled 84, 001, while the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP scored 12, 972 In Ogun Central, APC candidate, Prince Lanre Tejuoso is leading.

Senator Sola Adeyeye, APC, won the Osun Central Senatorial District with 137,379 to PDP’s candidate, who scored 82,529

In Lagos, INEC has declared the candidates of APC, winners of Lagos Island Federal Constituencies 1 and 2.

Mrs. Martha Amadi, the Returning Officer for the Lagos Island Federal Constituency 1, said that Mr. Enitan Badru of the APC polled 15,389 votes to beat Mr. Lukman Oladipo of the PDP who secured 5,732 votes.

The Returning Officer for Lagos Island Federal Constituency 2, Mr. Adekunle Salvador, said that Mr. Yakubu Balogun of the APC got 16,437 votes while Mr. Rahman Salawe of the PDP secured 7,305 votes.

The Returning Officer for Lagos Central senatorial election, Mr. Adebisi Adegbola, told journalists that the election was inconclusive on Saturday in one council area.

In Delta State, Deputy Leader, House of Representatives, Leo Okuweh Ogor was declared winner of Isoko Federal Constituency election.

Ogor who is being reelected for the fourth term on the platform of PDP defeated three other contenders.

While declaring the result, the Returning Officer for Isoko Federal Constituency, Dr Omosode Osafile said Ogor polled 79,052 to defeat his closest rival, Mr. Daniel Oyovwe of the APC, who polled 6,626 votes, while the candidate of SDP came third with 4,257 votes.

Meanwhile, reports from Ondo State indicated that Governor Olusegun Mimiko lost the state Central Senate seat to the opposition candidate.

The result which gave the APC candidate the advantage further confirms the inability of the governor to deliver the state to President Goodluck Jonathan even as the coordinator of his campaign in the South-West.

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