Jonathan Cruises to Victory, Reaches out to Opponents

2011-04-18
THISDAY Newspaper-Chuks Okocha and Ike Abonyi


Dr. Goodluck Jonathan is the president-elect only awaiting official confirmation from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Monday, going by the results that were announced Sunday by the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In total, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 22,496,157; Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) 12,214,529; All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) 917,365; and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) 2,088,791. The total valid votes are 37,716,842 out of 73 million registered voters, representing about 50 per cent voter turn-out.

Jonathan polled 59.64 per cent of the votes cast; Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (CPC) 32.38 per cent; Mallam Nuhu Ribadu (ACN) 5.54; and Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau (ANPP) 2.43 per cent. The law requires a simple majority or 51 per cent.

Jonathan won in 23 states, including 16 out of the 17 Southern states and seven Northern states — Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa, Benue, Plateau, Adamawa and Taraba – and FCT.

He also scored 25 per cent or more in 32 states and FCT, surpassing the constitutional requirement of at least a quarter of the votes cast in at least 24 states. The spread is national.

However, in Bauchi, Borno, Kano and Yobe, Jonathan did not meet the 25 per cent requirement.

The CPC candidate, Buhari, won in 12 states — all in the North.

The states are Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Niger and Jigawa, Kebbi and Sokoto. He met the 25 per cent requirement in 12 states, with Nasarawa and Taraba being the additional states even though he was not the winner there.

However, he scored less than 25 per cent in 24 states, including all Southern states and four Northern states – Kogi, Kwara, Benue and Plateau.

The candidate of the ACN, Ribadu, won in only one state, Osun, while that of the ANPP, Shekarau, did not win in any state. In fact, Shekarau did not meet the 25 per cent requirement in any state.

THISDAY learnt Sunday that the president would extend an olive branch to his opponents in order to calm the nerves of those who opposed his aspiration.

“The president is not looking at this as a victory for himself,” a Presidency official said. “He is not going to gloat. That is his character. Rather, he would like to build consensus and foster unity in the national interest. It is a case of no victor, no vanquished.”

At the Presidential Collation Centre, Electoral Institute, Central District area of Abuja, Sunday, the polling agents of CPC, Senator-elect Hardis Sirika and Gen. India Garba, queried the election results from FCT and Enugu.

They claimed that reports from their agents in the area showed that the figures were inflated as there was low voter turnout unlike what was being reflected in the figures.

But the National Organising Secretary of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, who was the agent of the ruling party, told journalists that Nigerians should not listen to anybody who was trying to discredit the election “already declared as the best in our history by all and sundry”.

The commission had hardly finished announcing the results for the two states when Sirika and Garba alleged that there was foul play.

Sirika pointed out to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, that his party agents in FCT did not sign the results because CPC agents in Kuje Kwa and Gudu Karia wards were denied entry into the collation centre.

According to him, the agents were arrested by the police when they protested their denial of entry into the collation centre.

“They were denied entry into the collation centre, so they protested. The police arrested them, detained them and were only released after the results had been announced,” Garba stated.

Secondus, in company with senator-elect Philip Aduda, said CPC was crying wolf where there was none.

“How did they know the number of percentage of people who voted? Are they REC? We have to be very cautious of what we say concerning this election,” he said.

According to Secondus, the CPC agents could not just sit in Abuja and be criticising results of elections from the states.

“I will urge them to be careful so that this election which has been adjudged free and fair and attested to by both international and domestic observers is not discredited by lack of capacity to accept defeat in good faith.

“We shouldn’t use our failure at election to cast aspersion on the integrity of the process. We are leading and it is very clear. Nigerians have spoken.

“The pattern of voting suggested that Nigerians have voted for unity and prosperity and not on basis of religion and ethnicity,” he said.

Jega said there were rooms for claims and objections and that should any of the agents disagree with the announced results, they should say it and that the results could be crosschecked again for clarity.

Earlier on Sunday, PDP officials had raised the alarm over a plot by CPC chieftains to discredit the results.

Two senior officials of the PDP briefed newsmen, alleging that officials of the CPC had concluded plans to discredit the presidential election citing electoral irregularities.

The PDP officials, who did not want to be quoted, said they had it on good authority that officials of CPC met yesterday in Abuja to discuss the results of the presidential election.

The PDP officials said the CPC officials were worried over the results from the South-east and South-south, citing the case of Enugu State, where accreditation of voters did not take place in some polling stations, yet elections were allowed to take place.

They said the CPC, at their meeting, claimed that the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Fidelia Njeze, voted in the Umuarlu Primary School Polling Unit at Abor Town in Udi Local Government at 10am without accreditation.

The PDP officials refuted the claim by Buhari that thumb-printed ballots were airlifted on Friday night to some states.

Though, the officials of PDP said there was nothing like voting without accreditation, "it is all part of CPC’s plot to discredit the election that has been adjudged to be free, fair and transparent by the international observers.

“We are not surprised at this plot of the CPC; after all, it is part of the plot to cause instability in the country. The National Secretary of CPC, Buba Galadima, has said that the party will not recognise any winner of the presidential election, if it is not their candidate, General Buhari.”

Another allegation, the PDP officials said, was that the CPC officials said some Northerners residing in the South-south were not allowed to vote, which they described as “outright lie”.

The officials queried the thumb-printed ballots’ claim, saying there was no way it could be airlifted, since all airports were closed from 10pm Friday, explaining that it was all part of the grand design to discredit the result of the presidential election.

They appealed to the CPC to emulate the presidential candidate of the ANPP, Shekarau, who had called on other candidates to accept the outcome of the election as the wishes of the electorate.

 

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