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Eight biggest shocks of presidential election

The much-awaited 2023 presidential election came to a close early Wednesday following the announcement of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC)…

The much-awaited 2023 presidential election came to a close early Wednesday following the announcement of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the president-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu.

Tinubu polled 8,794,726 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 6,984,520 votes. While Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) got 6,101,533 voted, Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) trailed with 1,496,687 votes.

Preparatory to the last Saturday’s elections, there were high expectations on how the four leading presidential candidates would fare at the polls across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

While some of these expectations were met, there were also upsets that betrayed the projected results in some polling units, local government areas and states. Here are eight of such biggest shockers.

INEC Declares Tinubu President-elect

Four salient paths to Tinubu’s victory

Obi cleared polling units in Aso Rock

Peter Obi won in the nine polling units inside and around the Presidential Villa in Abuja with a total of 499 votes. Tinubu came second with 184 votes while Atiku got 142 votes. Ordinarily, many would have thought that Aso Rock, being the seat of power, would rub off on Tinubu, the candidate of the ruling party.

Peter Obi

Obi won in Tinubu’s LG, state

Contrary to the expectation, Obi not only won in Ikeja LGA where Tinubu hails from, he also defeated the former Lagos State governor in his (Tinub’s) home state and stronghold. The development has put a slant in the political calculation in Lagos as Tinubu had been in firm control of the political structure of Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Obi secured 582,454 votes to defeat Tinubu, who scored 572, 606 votes. Atiku came third with 75,750 votes. Though Tinubu won in 11 out of 20 LGAs, Obi polled the highest votes and won in the remaining nine LGAs.

Obi’s win in Nasarawa

Before the polls, Obi’s chances in the North were very slim or even written off. However, he not only had a considerable number of votes in some Northern states like Kaduna, but also won in Plateau and especially Nasarawa State.

In Nasarawa, Obi secured 191,361 votes to defeat Tinubu, who scored 172,922 votes while Atiku got 147,093 votes, according to the results declared by INEC collation officer in the state, Prof. Ishaya Tanko.

LP’s victory in Okowa’s Delta

While it was predicted that Obi would have a good outing in the South South, some would have regarded Delta State as an exception, as the state governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, who was running mate to Atiku, wanted to win the state. That did not happen after all.

Obi won in Delta with 341,866 votes, beating Atiku who polled 161,600 votes, and Tinubu who got 90,183 votes.

Atiku’s Victory in Buhari’s Katsina

Atiku won the election in President Muhammadu Buhari’s state, Katsina, securing a total of 489,045 votes to edge out Tinubu who polled 482,283 votes. This was as a big blow to the ruling APC as Governor Bello Masari is known to be very influential in the state.

APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu
APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu

APC chairman’s loss at polling unit

The APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, lost his polling unit to the Labour Party, according to the results of the presidential election announced Saturday evening.

Labour Party’s Obi won in the polling unit with 132 votes while Tinubu of the APC came second with 85 votes.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai

El-Rufai lost LGA, state

In another shocker of the polls, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State failed to deliver his LGA to APC in the presidential election.

In Zaria Local Government where he and Uba Sani, the APC governorship candidate in the March election hail from, Atiku won with 62,260 votes to defeat Tinubu who garnered 41,432 votes. While Kwankwaso of the NNPP came third with 8,729 votes, Obi trailed with 3,634 votes.

Overall, Atiku also won in Kaduna with 554,360 votes to beat Tinubu, who got 399,293 votes. Obi polled 294,494 votes to come third. Atiku won in 14 LGAs, Obi won in seven LGAs while Tinubu claimed only two LGAs.

Obi, Atiku defeated by Tinubu in Rivers

Considering the fallout between Wike and the PDP leadership, many expected that Obi would carry the day in Rivers State like he did in most Southsouth and Southeast states. But Tinubu sprang a surprise by winning the state, though it was claimed that Wike secretly worked for him. Tinubu polled a total of 231,591 votes to edge out Obi’s 175,071 votes while Atiku scored 88,468 votes.

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