Nigeria’s Buhari takes lead as poll results trickle in

Published March 30th, 2015 - 04:44 GMT
Former military ruler and presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari is significantly in the lead with at least nine states in Nigeria counted. (AFP/Pius Utomi Ekpei)
Former military ruler and presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari is significantly in the lead with at least nine states in Nigeria counted. (AFP/Pius Utomi Ekpei)

Official results for Nigeria's presidential election emerged from at least nine states on Monday, with opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari winning six and incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan winning three.

Buhari, a former military ruler who is running on the ticket of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), won in Katsina, his home state, with 1,345,441 votes, while Jonathan clinched 98,937, according to official results announced by the state resident electoral commissioner.

He was also declared winner in the southwestern Oyo State, with 528,620 votes against 303,376 for the incumbent president.

In the southwestern Osun State, Buhari won 347,220 votes against Jonathan's 237,319; and in Kwara, he won 302,146 votes against 132,602 for the incumbent.

Buhari won 885,988 votes in northwestern Jigawa State against 143,904 votes for Jonathan.

And in north-central Nigeria's Kogi State, Buhari won 264,851 votes against only 149,987 for his rival.

President Jonathan, meanwhile, won 218,905 votes in the northeastern Taraba State to edge out Buhari, who got 168,646 votes.

In north-central Nasarawa State, the incumbent won 273,460 votes against 236,838 for Buhari, his main challenger.

In the southwestern Ekiti State, Jonathan won 176,350 votes, compared to 120,308 for Buhari.

Additional results are expected in the coming hours.

Nigerian law allows polling officials to count and announce vote results at the polling unit level.

But the official electoral commission is the only body recognized by Nigerian law to declare final results.

The trend in different areas so far shows people voting along ethno-religious lines – except in a few states of the southwest and north-central regions, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter.

Buhari is winning massively in the northwest and northeast, which have huge Muslim populations. Jonathan is pummeling his rival in the south-south, the southeast and some parts of north-central Nigeria, which are largely populated by Christians and Nigerian minority tribes.

The winner of the presidential race must win more than 50 percent of all valid votes, plus a mandatory 25 percent in two-thirds of the country's 36 states.

If no candidate is able to win outright, the two frontrunners will compete for a simple majority in a runoff vote.

Aggrieved parties have 30 days from the election to legally challenge final poll results.


© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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