The incumbent president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has been declared the winner of Nigeria’s 2019 Presidential election which took plce on February 23, 2019. This was made known in the early hours of Wednesday, February 27, 2019 by the chairman of Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu .
The election was contested by about 70 presidential candidates with the major contenders being president Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and former Vice president Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
According to INEC, president Buhari had 15,191,847 votes and Atiku had 11,262,978 votes. Having satisfied the requirement of the law and scored the highest number of votes he was declared the winner and returned elected. This means that the president is going to preside on the affairs of the economy until he is 80 years old. It is worthy to note that this result did not go down well with the opposition party as they have threatened to go court to challenge the result.
Just like every other elections, it was marred with several irregularities. The voters turnout for the election was also very low. Out of the 82,344,107 registered voters out of which 29,364,209 voters were accredited only 28,614,190 people voted. The low turnout of voters during Nigeria’s election has been attributed to either relocation or voters apathy. This was reinforced on Saturday when voters in some parts of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital were attacked by hoodlums while trying to cast their votes. Although, voting went on smoothly in several parts of the city state, there were also parts where hoodlums burnt ballot papers.
On another note, vote buying seems to be the order of the day during elections in Nigeria. People are paid as much as N10,000 ($28) in order to vote for a particular candidate. This was also seen during Saturday’s polls. It is worthy to note that the issue of vote buying will always be a problem in a country with the highest number of poor people in the world. According to a recent report, 86.9 million, representing nearly 50 percent of its estimated 180 million population, now live in extreme poverty. Also, about 152 million Nigerians live on less than $2 a day.
It is worthy to note that Buhari is from Katsina state in the North West region of the country while Atiku is from Adamawa State in the North East region of the country. However, Buhari was able to win the election by claiming the highest votes in the North west region which accounts for the highest number of voters in Nigeria. Surprisingly, Buhari also won four states out of the six states in Atiku’s region. In the South West which is the region of President Buhari’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo, he also won four states out of the six states. Atiku won all the five states in the South East which is the state of his running mate, Peter Obi. Unfortunately for Atiku the number of votes cast in the regions where Buhari won outweighed his.
Following his reelection, Nigerians who have been faced with poor economic growth since Buhari became president are keen to see the next level he intends to take the country to.