President Mohammadu Buhari and Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, received their Certificates of Return a few hours ago, from the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
The centre was also venue, all through the night and into the little hours of this morning, of the collation and announcement of results, of last Saturday’s presidential election.
Despite an appeal by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesperson, Osita Chidoka, that INEC should not announce the results held by the commission, in the face of controversies surrounding last Saturday’s ballots, INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, went ahead and announced the results, in which President Mohammadu Buhari emerged winner, with a margin of some 3.9 million votes, to beat his closest rival, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, of the PDP, to the second place.
There had been widespread reports from several parts of the country, of wanton malpractices that ranged from snatching of ballot boxes, disregard of card readers by INEC officials, to outright attacks on INEC staff, with intimidation and violence, occasioning deaths, in some instances.
Ironically, President Mohammadu Buhari had, before the commencement of the election, issued stern directives to law enforcement agents, to deal summarily with anybody caught interfering with the electoral process, but nothing seemed to come out of his directives, as law enforcement agents were reported, in several cases, to have looked away, while hoodlums molested both voters and INEC officials.