INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega
The Independent National Electoral Commission has said that despite the extension of Saturday’s elections till Sunday in some parts of the country, the results of the presidential poll will be declared on Monday(today).
INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, gave the assurance as some of results from wards, local government areas and states continued to emerge on Sunday.
For instance, results from Osun and Ogun states showed the All Progressives Congress Presidential candidate, Maj.Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, defeating President Goodluck Jonathan.
But in Ekiti State, Jonathan had an easy ride as he beat the APC candidate.
Jega, who gave journalists an update on the conduct of the polls in Abuja, said that as of Sunday evening, results of the elections had only been completely collated in two states, one of which was Ekiti.
He said, “Some people assume that when I said 48 hours( for the release of the results), it starts from the morning the elections commenced. It is 48 hours after elections have ended, like yesterday(Saturday).
“You start counting 48 hours from yesterday (Saturday) when substantial majority of the polling units ended elections.”
The INEC chief expressed satisfaction over the conduct of the polls, which he said held in a substantial number of polling units across the country, including the troubled North-East zone where internally displaced persons voted in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states.
“We are pleased that the elections went on smoothly in a substantial number of polling units across the country, including the North-East where the commission was also able to conduct voting for Internally Displaced Persons in the three states of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno,” Jega said.
He said that out of more than 150,000 card readers used for the conduct of the polls , only 300 failed, representing about 0.25 per cent of the total number of machines.
“It is also gratifying to note that the card readers worked well in the majority of polling units, even though there were areas where difficulties experienced necessitated additional guidelines to allow for manual accreditation of voters, as announced yesterday (Saturday),” Jega said.
He stated that manual accreditation was done in some polling units in Osun, Kebbi, Ekiti, Adamawa, Borno, Jigawa, Anambra, Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi states.”
Jega said the elections were extended and concluded on Sunday in nine states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Taraba State has the highest number of 116 polling units where the polls were extended.
Other states where the number of polling units where the elections were extended are Lagos (90), Kebbi (16), Adamawa (25), Niger (six ), Yobe (37), Borno (eight), Jigawa (37), Kano (13) and FCT (two).
He also rejected the claim by the spokesman for the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, that his party had won in certain number of states.
Jega, who said Fani-Kayode should be asked the source of his figures, stated that as of the time he was addressing the journalists on Sunday evening, collation had only been concluded in two states. He said that the results from the two had yet to arrive Abuja in the manner that it could be announced.
The chairman said, “You said somebody in one of the parties said the PDP is winning in 23 states. I don’t know the sources of his information. I know result have not been collated in 23 states.
“May be you should direct the questions to him and let him explain.”
He advised journalists “to be careful about reporting this kind of information that is being put out there by people who are clearly partisan.”
He also debunked speculation that he was under pressure to declare results of the presidential election inconclusive.
“We are not under any pressure to declare inconclusive elections. In fact, I wonder who will be interested in declaring the election inconclusive. I think candidates will be interested in being declared winners and not to have the election declared inconclusive,” Jega said.
The INEC boss said his office had on Sunday morning received petitions from the APC in Rivers State calling for outright cancellation of the elections in the state.
He assured the petitioners that the commission would consider all the complaints, including the allegation of presence of some underage voters and substitution of some members of the commission’s ad hoc staff with untrained partisan persons in Rivers and Lagos states.
However, results from Osun State showed that Buhari recorded victory in 22 out of the 24 Local Government Areas so far announced by the state INEC. He had 264,734 votes.
Jonathan,who won the remaining LGAs – Ife Central and Ife East – scored 192,288 votes.
The results were announced in Osogbo by the returning officers for each of the LGAs on Sunday.
Also in Ogun State, the APC presidential candidate defeated Jonathan in 13 out of the 20 LGAs whose results were announced by INEC.
He polled 308, 290 votes while Jonathan scored 207,950 votes.
The APC candidate for the Ogun Central Senatorial District, Lanre Tejuoso, defeated PDP’s Abisola Sodipo-Clark, the wife of an Ijaw national leader, Edwin Clark.
Tejuoso scored 115, 197 votes while Sodipo-Clark had 30,036 votes. The sitting senator for Ogun Central and Social Democratic Party’s candidate, Olugbenga Obadara, got 15,124 votes.
Jonathan, however, had it easy in Ekiti State where he polled 176,466 votes from 16 councils in the state. Buhari garnered 120,331 votes.
The result was announced by the state Returning Officer, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola, to party officials on Sunday.
It was also a sweet victory for the PDP as it won all the three senatorial and six House of Representatives seats in the state.
Impliedly, by implication two of the APC senators – Anthony Adeniyi and Olubunmi Adetumbi – who contested the poll will not join their colleagues in the eight National Assembly.
Gbenga Olofin, the third APC candidate for Ekiti Central was defeated by Fatimat Raji-Rasaki, wife of a former Lagos State military administrator, Brig.-Gen. Raji Rasaki of the PDP.
Those elected for the House of Representatives seats are Kehinde Agboola, Ayotunde Oladimeji, Thaddeus Aina, Olamide Oni, Akin Awodumila and Segun Adekola.
In Kogi State, Buhari was leading by polling 108,817 votes from six LGAs as against Jonathan’s 84,555 in five LGAs.
The APC candidate also won in Dekina, the LGA of Governor Idris Wada with 18, 819 votes to Jonathan’s 13,885 votes. He also won in Amadu Alli’s LGA of Idah with 10,445 votes to Jonathan’s 6,113.
But there was a mild tension in parts of Imo State on Sunday as armed officials of the Department of State Services, the Police and the Army barred journalists from collation centres in the state.
At the collation centre in Owerri Municipal Council Secretariat, journalists were turned back from the gate by stern looking security operatives who asked them to go back and wait until the results were announced.
All efforts to reach the Resident Electoral Commissioner, George Ada, were abortive as his telephone was switched off.