By Correspondent Chinyere Ogbonna – Nigeria’s incumbent President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party last night emerged victorious in twenty-one out of the twenty-nine states whose results the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had announced.
Dr. Jonathan was closely trailed by the Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, who won in seven of the states where results have been announced.
As at eleven p.m. last night, Malam Nuhu Ribadu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) won in only one of the twenty-nine states.
A combined team of the army, mobile police and State Security Service (SSS) personnel provided security as the presidential election results were being announced.
Jonathan needs at least twenty-five per cent of the votes cast in twenty-four out of the thirty-six states of the federation to be declared overall winner of the presidential election conducted last Saturday.
The law stipulates that a candidate needs a simple majority and a quarter of the votes in two thirds of the thirty-six states to win in the first round.
The presidency last night described the votes the president got as a pan-Nigeria mandate. It said the victory ascribed the victory to God, the good people of Nigeria and humanity.
In a statement last night by CPC National Secretary, Buba Galadima, rejected some of the presidential results alleging that they were fabricated to favour the PDP.
According to the statement: “Where did the votes come from”, We drew attention to the low turnout of voters in the south-south, south-east and south-west geopolitical zones.”
In a swift reaction, the PDP described CPC’s claims as “outright falsehood and baseless.”
According to PDP’s agent at the collation centre, Uche Sekondus, “How did they know the percentage of people who voted? Are they resident electoral commissioners (RECs)” stressing that people should be cautious of their utterances.
Meanwhile, the presidency has described the votes the President got at the presidential election as “a pan-Nigeria mandate”, devoid of religious and ethnic character and coloration.
Speaking with some journalists in Abuja, the nation’s capital last night, the Special Adviser (strategy, research and documentations) to the president, Barrister Oronto Douglas, said that the votes given to President Jonathan showed a clear desire by Nigerians to rally round a common cause for the good of the nation.
He described President Goodluck Jonathan is a man loved by Nigerians; where he did not win overwhelmingly, he got over twenty-five per cent of the total votes cast.
The presidential aide said that the victory should not be mistaken for a victory for Jonathan but for the Almighty God, Nigerians and humanity, adding that God only used President Goodluck Jonathan to set a path of reforming our electoral system and guaranteeing a leadership recruitment process that will lead Nigeria to the path of greatness.
The Special Adviser urged Nigerians to be proud of the bold step taken to consolidate the nation’s nascent democracy.