The 2019 presidential election of Saturday saw to the re-election bid of President Muhammadu Buhari under the All Progressive Congress (APC) with Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as his major contender. These two are not aliens in the political space of the country because Mr. Buhari had contested the Presidency three consecutive time before he defeated the former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 while Mr. Atiku, a former Vice- President had his third Presidential race on Saturday, since 2003.
In the 2015 general election, Mr Buhari won with 2,571,759 votes as he polled 15,424,921 while his opponent Mr. Jonathan, who was an incumbent President had 12,853,162 across the country. President Buhari had scored the highest votes in the 2019 presidential election polling 15,191,847 votes and his major challenger,Mr. Atiku, polled 11,262,978 votes. He led his opponent with a wide margin of ,3928,869 which is higher compared to what he polled in 2015.
This report compares the performance of Mr. Buhari at the 2015 poll with what was obtained in the 2019 election in major Nigerian states. Recall that the election, ought to hold on February 16 and was rescheduled on the election day for February 23 because of logistics challenge. This posed a threat to popular participation in the Saturday poll as analysts argued that electorate who had traveled far for the exercise may be discouraged by the postponement.
While the postponement is not the first in the history of the country as that of 2011 and 2015 were postponed because of logistic issues and security threats by the Boko haram insurgents respectively, this was the first to be announced on the election day. However, the Independent National Electoral Commission released the total number of Permanent Voters card collected in the 36 states last Thursday. The commission stated that 72.7 million PVCs were collected against the 2019 general election. This shows an improvement with over 16 million difference when compared with the rate of 56,431,255 collected in 2015.
The states with high rate of PVCs collected include Lagos, Kano, Kastina,Kaduna, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Delta, Niger, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers. These 13 states had over 2 million registered voters. While the APC flag bearer won more votes in his opposition's stronghold, South East, than he polled in 2015, he could not meet up with the number of votes recorded in his home state, Kastina, and most northern states he won in 2015. Only Borno was an exception to reduction of votes witnessed in the northern states.
The reasons for this are not far-fetched as the defection of some bigwigs from the APC contributed to the reduction in the votes garnered in the Northern parts coupled with the fact that Mr. Atiku is a Northerner too. Also, the rise in the votes polled by the President in the South East is not surprising because the religious sentiments of 2015 could not come to play. Unlike Jonathan, a Christian, Mr. Atiku, is a fellow Muslim
On the other hand, PREMIUM TIMES reported how the lateness in the arrival of the electoral officers and materials delayed the opening of poll in some states. This also had it effects on the electorate, who were tired of waiting.
The state has the highest number of collected PVCs with 5,531,389 cards collected and the home of the APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Although Mr. Buhari won in the state, he led Mr. Atiku with 132,798 vote margin. The margin was lesser than the 160,143 votes he polled against Mr. Jonathan in 2015.
Lagos, over the years, have been a ground for the major parties to slug it out at the Presidential election but a block voting for the APC in the Governorship polls. However, the lesser margin recorded can be attributed to rampant cases of violence in some places with reports of burnt ballot papers and intimidation of voters.
This is Mr. Buhari's home state where he polled the second highest votes after the 1.4 million votes recorded in Kano. However, his performance at home reduced when compared with what he polled in 2015. Mr. Buhari swept all the 34 LGAs with 1,232,133 votes in the Saturday poll, which is lower than the 1, 345, 441 votes recorded against Mr. Jonathan.
As one of the most populous states in the country, Mr. Buhari polled the highest of 1,464,768 votes in the country. Meanwhile, this is lesser in comparison to the 1.9 million votes garnered in 2015. The defection of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso from APC to the PDP is inseparable from the reduction in votes cast for Mr. Buhari. Mr. Kwankwaso, a former governor of the state, canvassed votes for the APC flag bearer in 2015. He dumped APC for PDP, where he later lost the Presidential primaries to Mr. Atiku.
The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai is a prominent member of the APC. This is also perceived as one of the major strongholds of the APC. Mr. Buhari won the with a margin of 643,675 votes in 2015 but could only get 343,833 margin against Mr. Atiku. This significant reduction can not be separated from the kajuru killings with over 100 lives lost to the mayhem in Kaduna State.
This is the most populous of the states in the South South region and a political strength of the PDP. The state Governor, Ezenwo Wike, is a notable critic of the Buhari led administration. Although Mr. Buhari lost to Mr. Atiku in Rivers like it happened in 2015, the President improved in his performance as he polled 150, 710 votes on Saturday as against the 69, 238 of 2015.
The elections in the state was however marred with violence and the poll did not hold in Bonny and Akuku Toru LGAs due to disruptions. It was reported that elections were not held in six local government areas of state, which have over 900,000 registered voters.
Like Rivers State, Anambra is another stronghold of the PDP. The state produced Mr. Atiku's running mate, Peter Obi. According to the results of Saturday poll, Mr. Buhari had 33, 298 votes, which is about 50% increase to the 17,926 votes he had in 2015. Apart from the religious factor which plays a key role in determining who the people in Anambra support, the ruling party in the state, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), adopted the APC flag bearer like it adopted Jonathan in 2015.
Despite the APC grip of the state as the Governor, Simon Lalong, is a member of the ruling party, Mr Buhari was defeated by the PDP flag bearer. Mr. Atiku polled 548,665 while the President had 468,555. This is a slight increase in the figure recorded in 2015. Mr. Buhari lost to Mr. Jonathan in Plateau but polled 429,140 votes in 2015.
Insecurity in Jos and herdsmen attacks of 2018 were major factors that contributed to the defeat recorded against Mr. Buhari. Moreover, INEC on Tuesday, said it canceled a total of 146,555 votes from Plateau in the Saturday Presidential election over failure to adhere to electoral guidelines.
The state governed by Muhammad Abdullahi of the APC is another major strength of Mr. Buhari. Although declared the winner in the Bauchi in 2015 and 2019, he had 931,598 votes against Jonathan but polled a lesser figure of 798,428 on Saturday. In 2015, Mr. Buhari won all the 20 local governments in Bauchi but lost one to the PDP candidate in 2019
Mr. Atiku won Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s local government area, Bogoro. The defection of Mr. Dogara from the APC to the opposition party affected the performance of the ruling party in the Saturday poll. Mr. Dogara was re-elected to the Green chamber under the opposition party.
The north central state was a battle ground for the two Presidential candidates but Mr. Buhari was defeated by his PDP opponent with a narrow margin of 9,149 votes. In 2015, the President won Benue after polling 373, 961 votes while Mr. Jonathan had 303,737.
The state Governor, Samuel Ortom, who was instrumental to the victory of Mr. Buhari in 2015 dumped the ruling party for the PDP due to an internal crisis in 2018. Asides the defeat of the President, all the three senatorial candidates in Benue fielded by APC lost to their PDP counterparts.
The state is one of the core parts of the North Eastern region with its capital, Maiduguri, the heart of Boko Haram attacks. In Borno, the APC flag bearer scored 836,496 to take the state ahead of his PDP opponent who got 71,788 votes. This is a great improvement when matched with the 473,543 votes he garned in 2015.
This success can not be disconnected from the support of the erstwhile Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ali Modu Sheriff, who is a former governor of the state and currently an APC chieftain. Mr. Ali led a campaign team for the President's reelection bid apart from the state campaign team of the APC.
In Delta State, which is a PDP stronghold, Mr Abubakar won with 594,068 votes to Mr Buhari’s 221,292 votes. In 2015, Mr. Buhari had 48,910 votes in the oil producing state while his opponent led with over 1 million votes. The return of Senator Ovie Omo-Agege to the Senate on Saturday under the platform of APC helped to boost the votes garnered by Mr. Buhari in the Niger Delta region. The senator defected from Labour party to the APC in 2017.
Oyo state has the second highest number of registered voters in the South West region. The state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi of the APC lost in the senatorial contest of Saturday. Likewise, Mr. Buhari lost to Mr. Atiku with a margin of 1,461 votes.
The rejection of Mr. Ajimobi by the people of Oyo South played a key role in the defeat of Mr. Buhari. In 2015 when the incumbent Governor ran for the second term, he won landslide while the President led Mr. Jonathan in the state with a votes margin of 225,244.
Oyo South senatorial district accounts for the larger population in the State. The district has nine local government areas. They are Ibarapa North, Ibarapa East, Ibarapa Central, Ido, Ibadan North, Ibadan South-East, Ibadan South-West, Ibadan North-East and Ibadan North-West.
Link To Article: https://youth-journal.org/analysis-how-buhari-fared-in-2019-election-compared-to-2015