No fewer than 18 persons died yesterday when a four-storey building collapsed on Lagos Island. Forty-one others were injured.
The incident occurred at No 14, Massey Street, Opposite Oja, Ita-Faaji.
The building, housing Ohen Private Nursery and Primary School on its third floor, caved in at about 10:20am, trapping scores of pupils.
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, who confirmed the casualty figure, said many of the rescued were taken to Lagos Island General Hospital, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), among others.
The Nation learnt that the large number of casualties sparked a shortage of blood with the general hospital calling for donors.
Idris said rescue efforts will continue today.
According to Lagos State Emergency management Agency (LASEMA) General Manager Adeshina Tiamiyu, over 41 people were rescued from the rubble of the building, which had been marked for demolition since 2014.
An eyewitness, Abayomi Olaniyan, said he was among those rescuing the victims before the official rescue team came.
Olaniyan, said: “Some were rescued alive, some dead. One of the teachers still called shortly that she was on the ground floor of the collapsed building, trapped with 20 pupils.
“Something similar happened around here last year. The issue of building collapse is common here and government must do something about it. Houses will be marked and due for demolition but they will not demolish it; they will renovate it. So many houses here are weak; they are meant to be demolished but they will tell you they are renovating it; they will only paint it.”
An eyewitness, Bola Ogunyemi, said: “The pupils were already lined up from their third floor classes when the school owner noticed that the building was cracking. Before the kids could be arranged from their classes, the building had collapsed”. The school owner and some kids have been taken to the hospital.”
Some youths who are resident in the area were complaining that the rescue efforts were slow.
Since they were told to leave the scene, nobody was removed for about 30 minutes, they said at about 5p.m.
The officers and LASEMA officials, the boys said, were not doing enough.
Some of the boys were recalled to the scene.
The school owner was among the first casualties.
She was taken to the General Hospital, where she died after efforts by the medicals to save her proved abortive.
A distraught mother of two victims urged the rescuers to help bring out her son, Luqman, from the rubble.
The woman’s daughter, Tobi, had earlier been rescued.
Among the victims is a woman, who called his brother that she was still trapped.
She told her brother that the caterpillar was on their floor, pleading that it should be moved back
“I am under the caterpillar. Help tell the driver to move back,” the victim under the rubble told her troubled brother.
An expectant woman was among those that were pulled out of the rubble alive. A man, who was trapped in the building, was said to have come home to eat. He was yet to be rescued as at press time.
A man, Bashiru Alagbala, who came to visit his wife, was brought out dead.
A family of four – father, mother, son and grandson – was also trapped. Father, mother and grandson were rescued but the son was said to be still under the rubble.
A source told The Nation that one of the dead was a pupil, who turned 10 yesterday.
The source said: “Today (yesterday) is his birthday and it is unfortunate that he died today. I learnt that he told his mother that he did not want to go to school today (yesterday). His mother must have seen him as a lazy boy. Sometimes, these little children see what we adults do not see. His mother should have talked about why he did not want to go to school, but I learnt his mother forced him to go and he died. She must be regretting that now.”
Another source said a pair of twin brothers was also trapped in the building. One was said to have died; the other was rescued alive with serious injuries.
A woman, who refused to be named, said her daughter, Azeezat, was still trapped in the rubble. She said she had been to all the hospitals but did not find her.
A former teacher in the school, Bukola Salami, said the building had been shaking since last year.
“I worked in the school for six months and I resigned last December because the building was shaking. When I was in the school, I used to hear sounds as if someone was throwing stones from the walls. The building cracks and the walls shake at times. I told the school owner about my observations, I told her to relocate the school elsewhere, but she said there was no money for the school to be relocated. I resigned last year because of the fear that someday the building might collapse.”
Where are the victims?
A nurse at Massey Street Children Hospital, Lagos Island, told The Nation that some of the victims brought to the hospital were given first aid and transferred to other hospitals for proper medical care.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Titi Gonclaves, told reporters at the Lagos Island General Hospital that five of the 20 early casualties were transferred to other hospitals after being attended to.
At the entrance of the hospital was pasted 41 names of the stable survivors: 22 females, 17 males. Two were unidentified.
Crowd hampered rescue, says Health Commissioner
Commissioner for Health Jide Idris confirmed the casualty figures of 18 deaths and 41 injured.
He lamented that the large number of spectators slowed down rescue efforts and he could not give a definite casualty figure until today.
Idris said: “Our doctors and nurses are working round the clock. A lot of them were mobilised from different hospitals down here. Doctors from federal institutions are also assisting because of the seriousness of this incident.
“We will not be able to give full information now until tomorrow (today) morning. Some have been taken to LASUTH, LUTH and we don’t know if more people will be rescued.
“The state of things now is getting calm than earlier because there were a lot of emotions.
The medical teams have done their best. It would have been done better and faster but for the crowd.
“So far all we care is to bring people out alive.”
General Hospital seeks blood donors
The Lagos Island General Hospital was last night calling for voluntary blood donors.
The hospital’s Blood Donor Clinic said it had received 50 pints of blood at press time, with more people responding to the call.
An official at the clinic, Akin, thanked the donors.
“Most of the victims brought here today (yesterday) are casualties and most of the blood donated here are majorly used for casualties.
“We screen for our donors, we check for TTI and PCV, then we check to know if the donor is fit.
The minimum requirement for a female donor is 38 percent at least, while male is 40 percent upwards. Then we also check if the female donor is not on her period, we check for malaria and other tests; if they are fit, we start the procedure.
“Blood is life, we thank the blood donors for coming out en masse to support the hospital and the government,” Olojo told The Nation.
Ambode orders probe, takes over victims’ medical expenses
Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode commiserated with families of the victims and promise to pay the victims’ medical bills.
Ambode, who visited the scene of the incident at about 2:42pm, described the incident as “unfortunate”.
He urged residents to allow rescuers space to carry out their operations.
Ambode said: “I want to commiserate with the families of those that lost their lives in this collapsed building. I want to quickly let Lagosians know that this is quite an unfortunate incident. All we are trying to do is to scale up this rescue operation.
“Our response units are already here; we are getting additional cranes to be able to go deeper than where we are now to rescue more lives.
“I just want to appeal to people that when we are doing this kind of rescue operation, yes, sympathisers will naturally come, but I want to appeal that they should give the rescue workers the chance to save more lives.”
The Governor said his Deputy, Dr. Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, was visiting hospitals where some of the victims rescued had been taken to.
“The Deputy Governor is in the hospital actually taking care of those that were rescued and taken to the hospital, most especially the children. We will immediately take care of whatever it is that we can do, including the hospital bills.
“All we are interested in now is to save more lives and also see how those that have been rescued are put in proper place and proper care,” Ambode said.
‘Several buildings marked for demolition’
Ambode said he had received information that the building was residential, with the school operating illegally within the premises.
He said most of the buildings in the area had been marked for demolition but that some property owners defied such notices. Structurally defective buildings would be demolished, he stressed, adding:
“The first observation is that this is an old building and it is only the penthouse and the other floors that we have been able to use to rescue people.
“So far, from what I have been briefed, we have rescued about 25 people and some already dead but we were earlier informed that it was a school; the building is not technically a school; it is a residential building that was actually accommodating an illegal school, so to speak, on the second floor.
“Like we have said, we have been carrying out a lot if integrity tests on the buildings in this neighborhood and, as you can see, some of them have been marked for demolition but we get resistance from landlords, but we must continue to save lives and we would intensify our efforts to see that those that have failed our integrity test, we would ensure that they are quickly evacuated and we’ll bring the structures down,” he said.
Ambode also said a probe would be carried out immediately rescue operations are concluded. Those found culpable, he promised, will be dealt with in accordance with the laws.
“This is unfortunate but we will investigate what has happened and also see the punishment for whoever are the culprits.
‘’That is the secondary level but the most important thing right now is to save lives and I just appeal to people that they should give us the chance to save more lives,” he said.
Responding to a concern raised by a resident on the increase in illegal schools in the area, Ambode said all schools that fall within that category would be closed down.
‘Why LASEMA couldn’t bring in heavy equipment’
LASEMA General Manager Adeshina Tiamiyu said the environment did not allow the agency to bring in bigger equipment.
He said: “So far, over 40 people have been rescued by joint efforts of the community. They had rescued many people and we came and joined them with the efforts of other agencies.
“The work we have done here today has been by the help of this community and those of us in the official rescue team. They had been rescuing people before we came. We are trying to decide where to rescue them from. But we are doing our best.
“We must get to the bottom of the building, and account for everybody that they claim is in the building.”
Private owners disown school
Two main private school associations – the Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED) and the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) – denied any link with the collapsed school.
The National President of AFED, the umbrella group of private schools for low-income earners, Mr Emmanuel Orji, said the group had no records of the school’s membership.
“We have tried searching for information about the school. I don’t think it is one of our members,” he told The Nation on phone.
In the past, the government had clamped down on AFED schools for not being registered or operating according to laid down rules and regulations.
Orji said the space constraints in the densely populated area where the collapsed school was located may have limited the choice of properties available to use for schools.
SOME OF THE SURVIVORS
•Britain, Singapore, Malaysia ban Boeing 737 Max–8
ETHIOPIAN Airlines, owners of the ill-fated Boeing 737 Max – 8 that crashed on Sunday, have opened condolence registers in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Enugu.
There were 157 passengers aboard the plane which was flying from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya.
The airline opened the registers at its offices in the four cities for the victims of ET Flight 302.
The development came in the wake of the global outrage triggered by the crash.
Two Nigerians – Ambassador Abiodun Bashau and Prof Pius Adesanmi – were among the victims.
The General Manager of Ethiopian Airlines in Nigeria, Mrs. Firihiewot Mekonnen, yesterday received the first set of visitors at the airline’s Lagos Office.
At the Abuja Airport, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunomah, was received by Ethiopian Airlines Sales Manager Tilahun Tadesse.
Mrs. Mekonnen thanked Nigerians for standing by her organisation “in this moment of grief”.
“We thank the Nigerian President and the good people of Nigeria for the condolence message from the Government of Nigeria.
“We have always counted on Nigeria as an African partner and brother and this sad occasion once again proves the bond. We commiserate with Nigeria over the loss to humanity of the two great Nigerians on that flight. We have since reached out to the families involved. Ethiopian Airlines will not abandon its responsibilities to them.”
Ethiopian Airlines has grounded all B737-8Max airplanes in its fleet. The airline was not flying the B737 Max-8 on its Nigerian routes. The B777, B787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A350 are the aircraft deployed daily to Nigeria.
The crash has raised questions about the safety of the aircraft type.
The two crashes involving Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air has further put a question mark on the safety integrity of Boeing 737 Max-8.
Investigations have been launched into the circumstances leading to the crash but there heightened anxiety among global passengers booked on airline flight for carriers that have Boeing 737- Max 8 on their fleet.
Britain yesterday led other nations, including Malaysia, Oman, Australia, China and Singapore to temporarily ban the aircraft model in their airspaces.
A local operator, Air Peace, which had ordered for 10 units of the aircraft type, said it was not suspending its order.
It, however, promised to watch ongoing investigations before taking a decisive step.
Industry regulator Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) gave assurance on the state of aircraft flying in Nigeria’s airspace.
The NCAA said there was no cause for worry, as no Boeing 737 Max-8 was being operateed in the country.
Its spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, assured the flying public of their safety, stating that there is no cause for alarm.
He said in a statement: “Presently, the accident aircraft type, Boeing 737 Max-8 is not in operation in the country. However, the authority, in line with its Safety Oversight mandate enshrined in the Civil Aviation Act 2006, is consciously monitoring the development (s) with a view to take the necessary steps that will enhance the safety of all aircraft in operation within the Nigerian airspace.”
“This is to assure the public that NCAA will continue to ensure that safety regulations are strictly adhered to for the safety of all in Nigeria. Our heart is with the Airline and families of the victims of the accident.”
Also yesterday, United States (U.S.) regulators ordered Boeing to make urgent improvements to the model and insisted that they would take action if safety issues are detected.
But the U.S. demand was not enough to reassure aviation authorities in Britain and four other countries — Singapore, Australia, Malaysia and Oman — who temporarily banned all 737 MAX planes from their airspace.
China, an important market for Boeing, had already ordered domestic airlines to suspend operations of the plane Monday, same step taken by Indonesia.
The UK Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement headlined “Boeing 737 MAX Aircraft” that “as a precautionary measure” it had decided “to stop any commercial passenger flights from any operator arriving, departing or overflying UK airspace”.
Aviation regulators in Singapore, a global air travel hub and popular transit point for long-haul travellers, said they would work with the country’s main airport and “the affected airlines to minimise any impact to travelling passengers”.
One Singaporean airline, SilkAir, uses 737 MAX aircraft while a handful of foreign airlines operate the planes in the city-state.
In its statement announcing the 737 MAX ban, Malaysia’s aviation regulator noted the two recent fatal accidents involving the model.
Britain joined four other countries in banning Boeing 737 MAX planes from their airspace as a growing number of airlines around the world grounded the jets following a second deadly accident in just five months.
Low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle said Tuesday it would suspend flights of its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft until further notice.
Norwegian, which operates 18 of the planes, will keep them grounded pending advice from aviation authorities, Operations Chief Tomas Hesthammer said.
•Adamawa, Plateau, Bauchi also affected
•INEC names Ayade, Idris, El-Rufai, Bello, Sule winners
•Ihedioha Okowa, Masari, Zullum, Buni also win
VOTERS in six states are to wait a little longer to know who will be their governor as from May 29 when the tenure of incumbent governors expires.
Reason: elections in the six states have been declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the cancellation of votes in some polling units (PUs).
The states are: Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa, Benue, Plateau and Bauchi.
The development came yesterday as the electoral umpire announced governorship election results in more states, including Yobe, Borno, Zamfara, Nasarawa, Cross River, Delta, Imo and Kaduna.
INEC’s decision to declare the polls inconclusive in the affected states was taken because the number of cancelled votes was more than the margin between the two leading candidates in the affected states.
The commission will organise supplementary polls in the affected PUs to determine the winners of Saturday’s governorship elections in 29 states. Seven states have their governorship elections staggered.
INEC will today review the suspension of the electoral process in Rivers State. It suspended the process on Sunday for 48 hours following widespread disruptions in the Southsouth state.
With 1.045,427 votes as against his PDP challenger Isa Mohammed Ashiru’s 814,168, Governor Nasir El-Rufai has retained his seat for the APC. He was declared winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Kaduna State.
The Returning Officer, Prof. Mohammed Yahuza Bello, said El-Rufai pollled 1.045,427 to beat Isa Mohammed Ashiru of the PDP, who got 814,168, and other candidates.
Bello said: “Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai of the All Progressives Congress, having scored the highest number of votes and met all the requirements of the law, is hereby returned elected.”
The results of the 23 local government areas show that El-Rufai won in 14 local government areas of Makarfi, Soba, Kudan, Ikara, Kauru, Kubau, Kaduna North, Giwa, Birnin Gwari, Sabongari, Lere, Kaduna South, Zaria and Igabi.
Ashiru won in nine local government areas of Jaba, Kachia, Kaura, Kajuru, Zango Kataf, Sanga, Chikun, Kagarko and Jema’a.
El-Rufai got 56 per cent of the total votes scored. Ashiru scored 44 per cent.
In Zamfara, APC’s candidate Mukhtar Shehu Idris was declared governor-elect after polling 534,541 votes to defeat the PDP candidate, Dr. Bello Muhammad who got 189, 452 votes.
The governor-elect told reporters in his Gusau country home that he will continue with the party’s policy and programmes.
Idris said the incumbent Governor Abdul Aziz Yari has sacrificed a lot for the development of the stare and the well-being of its citizens.
He said: “I assure you that my administration will work right from day one towards meeting your yearnings for a more developed prosperous Zamfara state.”
In Sokoto, where INEC declared the election inconclusive, Governor Aminu Tambuwal and candidate of the PDP urged the commission to declare him winner of the poll in the spirit of fairness and justice.
According to him, the decision by the Returning Officer of INEC, Professor Fatima Mukhtar, to declare the exercise inconclusive was unconstitutional.
Citing Section 179(2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic stated that the provision clearly explains how to conduct governorship polls.
He said: “Our party, the PDP has returned the highest number of votes and have won 2/3 of the local governments in the state and, therefore, the decision of INEC is not founded in law. We wonder why INEC is coming with this technical reason to declare the exercise inconclusive.”
Addressing a news conference in Government House, Sokoto, the governor said the decision would be put to test in the court, adding: “We have not been given substantial reasons for such decision.
“INEC should note that it has an image and integrity to protect as an agency and for its officials. It should not put its integrity to public questioning.
“Up till now, we have not been told why the cancellations of the exercise in 136 polling units across 22 local government areas. We know there are adverse factors that should be considered to warrant such decisions and not in all cases rerun should be conducted.”
Urging INEC to revisit its decision, Tambuwal added: “There is the need for INEC to revisit its decision. A little more has to be done by the umpire. Prof Mahmood Yakubu and his staff should know that they have the duty of holding to public trust given them by Nigerians.
“I believe we have won the elections in Sokoto State. We got the majority votes which confirm Sokoto people’s readiness and support for the party and its candidate.”
On whether he would participate in a rerun, the governor said: “Our court action will not stop us from participating. We want to make sure the right thing is done based on constitutional provisions.”
Thanking security agencies for their support to the election process and INEC for its ability to do and to be seen doing the right thing in defence of the democratic process, the governor insisted that “INEC and security agencies should do their best during the rerun.”
The PDP candidate, Umaru Fintiri, said the electoral commission has only postponed his victory by declaring the election inconclusive.
Fintiri said he was sure of winning the supplementary poll whenever it is conducted.
The PDP flagbearer was leading incumbent Governor Jibrila Bindow by end of the collation early yesterday.
INEC pronounced the election inconclusive because the margin of lead between the two leading candidates was smaller than the number of cancelled votes.
Fintiri polled 367,471 votes to take the lead. He was being trailed by the incumbent, who is the APC candidate. Bindow got 334,995 votes.
Explaining how he arrived at declaring the election inconclusive, the state returning officer, Prof Andrew Haruna, had said the 32,467 margin between Fintiri and Bindow was lower than the 40,948 votes cancelled in 44 polling units.
Prof Andrew said election would be held in the affected units to address the vote cancellation anomaly.
Fintiri, who chatted with reporters in Yola, asserted that he would eventually be announced as winner.
He said: “I’m very hopeful of victory. Adamawa is my constituency and I have been voted across the length and breadth of the state. If INEC, for reason of its own cancellation of results, has opted for supplementary election, we are ready for it.”
The local government areas where elections were cancelled in some units are: Madagali (three polling units), Michika (five polling units), Mubi North (three polling units), Hong (four polling units), Song (four polling units), Toungo (three), Demsa (four polling units), Numan (six polling units), Lamurde (three polling units) and Guyuk (three polling units).
Fintiri said despite the turn of events regarding the election, he regarded its conduct as having been generally credible.
“I am satisfied with the electoral process. It was credible and transparently so in most places,” he said.
Incumbent Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was yesterday declared winner of the governorship election in Delta State.
Returning Officer Prof Seth Accra-Jaja said Okowa, of the PDP, polled 925,271 to defeat his closest rival, Great Ogboru of the APC, who scored 215,938 votes.
According to Accra-Jaja, 1,188,784 of the 2,831,205 registered voters were accredited for the election.
He said that 24,147 votes were voided and 1,154,188 valid, bringing the total valid votes to 1,178,335.
The ruling PDP won in 23 local government areas spread across the three senatorial districts. The APC won in two local government areas of Ughelli North and Ethiope East.
But the APC rejected the results. It alleged that the election was marred by massive rigging and non- compliance with the electoral law.
The APC state agent, Prof Festus Arunaye said: “I reject the votes as announced because right from the ward level to the local government collation centre, there was gross mayhem and violence that resulted in deaths. The elections were conducted in gross violation of the electoral laws.”
He said his party will seek legal redress to claim the mandate given to it by the people.
PDP State Chairman Kingsley Esiso was happy over his party’s victory, describing it as a “victory for Deltans”.
The governorship candidate of the APC in Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule,was declared winner by the Returning Officer, Prof Bala Abdullahi
Sule polled 327,229 votes to defeat his closest rivals, Emmanuel Ombugadu of the PDP who scored 184,281 votes and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Labaran Maku, who came third with 132,281 votes.
According to the returning officer, the APC candidate won in 11 of the 13 local government areas. Maku and Doma Aliyu of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) won one local government each.
The 11 local government areas won by the APC candidate are: Awe, Keana, Obi, Lafia, Wamba, Akwanga, Kokona, Keffi, Karu, Toto and Nasarawa.
Maku won in Nasarawa Eggon and Doma won in Doma.
Incumbent Cross River State Governor Prof Ben Ayade retained his seat for the PDP.
Ayade, who won in all the 18 local government areas, polled 381,484 to beat the APC to the second position with 131,161 and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) to the third with 4, 818 votes.
Announcing the results early yesterday, the returning officer and Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, Warri, Delta State, Prof Akii Ibhadode, said the PDP candidate, having scored the highest number of votes and fulfilled the requirements of the law, was returned elected.
INEC suspended indefinitely the collation of results from the Nassarawa Local Government Area, following the destruction of electoral materials by thugs.
Results of 43 local council areas had already been declared with incumbent Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and APC candidate winning in 29. His challenger, Abba Kabiru Yusuf of the PDP, held sway in 14 local government areas.
The PDP candidate was leading with 6,608 votes.
The results of Nassarawa Local Government were delayed following the cancellation of some polling units in Gama ward.
Speaking to reporters at the INEC collation centre, about 4am, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof Riskuwa Shehu Arabu, said the suspension of the collation followed “disturbing” reports of electoral violence.
He said: “We have received disturbing reports of disruption of results collation of Nassarawa Local Government polls by some people which led to the destruction of some of the result sheets.”
Riskuwa noted that INEC could not continue with the collation and final declaration of the result due to the commotion that disrupted the compilation of the results.
He said INEC had resolved to refer to its primary and secondary data from the polling units and wards that will confirm those that will be acceptable within the Electoral Act.
Mai Mala Buni of the APC was declared governor-elected governor of Yobe State.
Buni, a former National Secretary of the APC, was dlared as winner of the March 9 governorship poll in the Northeast states after polling 444, 013 votes to beat Umar Iliya Damagum of the PDP, who polled 95, 703.
Returning Officer for the election, Prof. Abubakar Musa Kundiri, who announced the results, said the election was generally peaceful.
There was wild jubilation across the state as supporters of the APC took to the streets to celebrate the victory.
Prof Babagana Umara Zullum of the APC won the governorship in Borno.
Declaring him governor-elect, the INEC’s Returning Officer, Prof Alhassan Muhammad Gani, who is also the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Kashere, Gombe State, said Prof Zullum scored 1,175,440 votes across the 27 local government areas to trounce his closest rival Mohammed Alkali Imam of the PDP, who got 66,115 votes.
Prof Mani also announced that 32 political parties registered and participated in the governorship election, noting that the election was peaceful.
Former House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha was yesterday declared governor-elect in Imo State.
The PDP candidate polled 273, 404 to defeat the Action Congress (AA) candidate Uche Nwosu, who scored 190,364 and Ifeanyi Ararume of APGA, who got 114, 676 votes.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has been declared the winner of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
The Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state, Professor Damian Ozurumba, declared him as the winner of the poll after he secured 261,127 votes, more than double the 99, 574 votes his closest rival, Dr Uche Ogah of the All Progressives Congress (APC) got.
Dr Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) finished third with 64,366 votes.
Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of All Progressives Congress (APC) has won in 10 local government areas of Kebbi State in the governorship election, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Prof. Haruna Bichi, the Collation Officer for the election announced in Kebbi on Sunday that APC scored 30,720, while Isa Galaudu of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 4,526 votes in Gwandu LGA.
He said in Birinin Kebbi LGA, APC also scored 79,092 while PDP polled 6,019 votes.
In Argungu LGA, APC scored 30,101 while PDP pulled 23,397 votes, while in Shangal LGA, APC scored 27,012 and PDP polled 3,506 votes.
Also in Aliero LGA, APC scored 21,923 against PDP’s 3,479, while in Suru LGA, APC scored 39,359 and PDP scored 5,198 votes.
In Kargo LGA, APC got 21,899 while PDP scored 805 votes and in Augie LGA, APC scored 28,479 and PDP polled 11,875 votes.
In Bunza LGA, APC scored 23,980, while PDP scored 2,114 votes. And in Dandy LGA, APC scored 33,315 while PDP pulled 5,921votes.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there are 21 LGAs in Kebbi, as collation is still in progress as at the time of filling this report.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday declared winner of the 2019 Presidential election by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Returning Officer for the 2019 presidential elections, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the declaration at 4.37am.
He polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the presidential poll conducted on February 23 who had 11,262,978 votes.
Making the declaration, Yakubu said: “That Muhammadu Buhari, having scored the highest number of votes and satisfied the provision of the electoral act is hereby declared the winner of the presidential election.’’
He announced that certificate of return will be issued to the President-elect and Vice President-elect by 2 pm on Wednesday.
The parties and their number of votes as follows:
The Independent National Electoral Commission is set to announce President Muhammadu Buhari president-elect, following the collation of results of the 23 February election.
With Rivers yet to be added, President Muhammadu Buhari has already crossed the 15 million mark in votes scored in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
He polled 15,041,137 votes, winning in 19 of the states.
His main challenger Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party scored 10,782, 007 votes and won 17 states and Abuja.
In 2015, Buhari scored 15, 424,921 votes to beat the PDP incumbent Goodluck Jonathan who scored 12,853,162 votes.
It means Abubakar performed worse than Jonathan.
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won the presidential election in Enugu State by defeating President Muhammadu Buhari with more than 300, 000 votes.
See the result as released by INEC Monday night:
Presidential Election Results in Enugu State: APC – 54,432; PDP – 355,553
Senate President Bukola Saraki has lost his bid to return to the Upper Chamber.
He was defeated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Dr Yahaya Oloriegbe in the battle for Kwara Central senatorial seat.
The former governor of Kwara State polled 68,994 to Oloriegbe’s 123,828 votes.
INEC’s returning officer for the district, Prof Olawole Obiyemi, declared Oloriegbe winner of the seat.
Our correspondent reports that there were wild jubilations after the announcement with shouts ofOtoge renting the air.
President Muhammadu Buhari has won Ekiti state, the first officially declared presidential election result by Independent National Electoral Commission.
In the result announced by the returning officer, Professor Idowu Olayinka, vice chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Buhari of the All Progressives Congress polled 219,231 votes, while Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party got 154,032 votes.
Total valid votes were 381,132, rejected votes 12,577, while total total votes were 393 709.
The APC has already won two of the senate seats for the state and several House of Representatives seats.
The All Progressives Congress candidate in the presidential election, Muhammadu Buhari, won in Ajiya Unit 12, Yola, Adamawa State, where the PDP’s candidate, Atiku Abubkar voted.
APC scored 187, while PDP got 167 in the 2019 presidential poll.
The Presidential Candidate of PDP, Atiku Abubakar, has lost his polling unit, Ajiya unit 02 in Gwadabawa Ward of Yola North Local Government Area of Adamawa to President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC.
The Assistant Presiding Officer, Mr Abdulrasheed Mohammed, who announced the results, said a total of 365 votes were cast for the presidential election at the unit.
Similarly, the Senatorial candidate and House of Representatives candidates of the APC defeated their PDP counterparts at the unit.
Aishatu Dahiru the senatorial candidate of APC, got 185 votes to defeat Mohammed Chubado of PDP who got 120 votes, while APC House of Representative candidate scored 145 votes to defeat his PDP counterpart who got 121 votes.
• Vows To Prosecute Vote Buyers
• Says Under-Age Voters To Be Arrested
• We’ll Deal With Troublemakers, Warns IGP
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has appealed to voters to be peaceful and orderly before, during and after today’s elections, as the Police, working with other security agencies, have assured of adequate security for voters, electoral officials, observers and journalists.
Chairman of the Commission, Professor Mahmud Yakubu, who spoke at a media briefing in Abuja, yesterday, said voting would be by Continuous Accreditation and Voting System (CAVS) procedure and a voter would only be allowed to vote if his/her name is on the Register of Voters and after the verification of the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and authentication of his/her biometrics by the Smart Card Reader (SCR).
He said other stringent measures are in place to combat the menace of vote-buying and other sundry electoral malfeasance, saying the Commission, with the support of the security agencies, was determined to extirpate the scourge from the electoral process by prosecuting anyone arrested.
Yakubu also warned under-aged voters to stay away from the elections, warning that anyone less than 18 years old caught standing to be accredited or voting would be arrested.
He stressed: “Under-aged voting is illegality, because there is a statutory age for eligibility for registration as a voter. If on election day, you find anyone that is apparently under-aged, or conclusively so, kindly report this to any official of the commission or the security agencies.
“Working with the Inspector General of Police, any under-aged person caught trying to be accredited or voting on the election day will be arrested. Voting is only open to Nigerian citizens above the statutory age of 18 (years).
“Let me use this opportunity to warn those who may want to sponsor under-aged persons to vote on election day that they will be arrested.”
According to him: “The sorting and counting of ballots will take place at each polling unit, while the first stage of the collation process takes place at the Registration Areas.
“From there, collation and declaration will take place at designated Local Government Areas result collation and declaration centres for Federal Constituencies and Senatorial Districts, while the final collation and declaration of Presidential election results will be done at the National Collation centre in Abuja.”
He disclosed that the commission had engaged 825,543 ad hoc staff ranging from Presiding Officers to Collation and Returning Officers for today’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Also, about 80,000 commercial vehicles and about 996 boats were deployed with personnel and materials, including 707,892 ballot boxes and voting cubicles, to various land and riverine locations, adding that the commission also accredited 120 domestic and 36 international organisations, deploying a cumulative total of over 73,000 observers.
On his part, the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, reiterated that maximum security would be provided before, during and after the elections, as security personnel at the polling units would not be armed and there would be no need for apprehension while the election is going on.
He said: “We have some group of people who might want to disrupt the election; we have put in place strategy to stop that. We have tactical units of our personnel and other services that will be patrolling everywhere to ensure that the process is not disrupted.
“The patrolling personnel will be armed and will deal with anybody who wants to disrupt the process in the course of the election,
“If any electoral offence is committed, we will work with the INEC officials to apprehend the culprit and set up investigative team, headed by the Commissioner of Police in charge of Legal Unit, to investigate the cases and prosecute them.
“Be it vote-buying, ballot box snatching, be it thuggery, if you commit that, you will be arrested and prosecuted. After the voting, movement of electoral materials to the collation centre will be protected. Armed security personnel will be posted to the ward collation centres.”
“Even when the results are announced, those people who are planning to disrupt the process, we have put strategies in place to prevent that.”
Adamu stated that what was required from all Nigerians was to go out peacefully, cast their vote and wait for the announcement of the results, adding: “If you have no business on the election day, if you are not an accredited official, please don’t come out.
“All the accredited officials, whether domestic or foreign observers, must carry their tags. You can move freely and be protected. If you identify anybody that wants to infiltrate you and claim to be an observer for a group, we will appreciate you exposing such a person for us to remove him or her from your group.”
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu on Wednesday said his Commission was almost ready for the presidential and national assembly elections rescheduled for Saturday.
Addressing newsmen at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, Professor Yakubu revealed that his Commission has achieved 100 per cent configuration of the Smart Card Readers ahead of the polls while distribution of sensitive and non sensitive materials across the 774 local councils in the country have since commenced in ten states to be completed, tomorrow (Thursday).
He further assured the gathering of newsmen, local and international observers that his Commission has been making good progress on logistics.
He said: “At yesterday’s (Tuesday) briefing, we reported that we achieved 95 per cent configuration of the Smart Card Readers (SCR) nationwide. The Card Readers were introduced in the 2015 general elections to facilitate the accreditation of voters using the PVCs. They are configured to specific polling units and only open for use at 8 am on Election Day. They automatically shut down by 10 pm in order to forestall any illegal use before the appointed time of elections. I am pleased to report that we have now achieved 100 per cent completion of the configuration. We are good to go on this score.
“Similarly, I briefed you yesterday (Tuesday) that our state offices had commenced the process of inviting stakeholders to the Central Bank of Nigeria to examine the retrieved materials deployed last week and to witness the batching of materials according to Local Government Areas (LGAs). Reports from the States indicate full compliance.
“Similarly, I briefed you yesterday that having moved the sensitive materials to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the forward deployment to the 774 LGAs nationwide will commence today Wednesday 20th February 2019 and be concluded tomorrow, Thursday 21st February 2019. Already, Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, Ekiti, Jigawa, Katsina, Osun, Ogun, Oyo and Taraba States have commenced the movement of materials to LGAs today. Other states will do so and conclude tomorrow. We will give a full rendition of movement to LGAs across all States of the Federation tomorrow.
“We have been making good progress on logistics. Similarly, all other arrangements for the movement of personnel from the LGAs to the Wards are on course. We will fully brief you tomorrow at 3 pm.”
Asked for an update on the fate of the All Progressives Congress in Rivers State chapter of the party, the INEC chairman insisted that APC would not be eligible to field candidates as he noted that the judgment of the Supreme Court has nailed the political coffin of the party in the state.
“On the issues in Rivers, I think the Supreme Court has a number of pronouncement on that matter. And, for that reason, the commission has taken the position made by the judgement of the Supreme Court. Under our constitution, the Supreme Court is the last court of resort for any citizen.
“There must be an end to litigations as lawyers say. And, once a Supreme Court makes a pronouncement all essence of authority are bound to obey the judgement of the Supreme Court. And, the Commission as a law-abiding institution is bound by the judgement. That is my answer to the question and there is nowhere else to go. We will go by the judgements of all the courts but once it gets to the Apex court, that is the end to the litigations.”
Recall that the apex court had in a lead judgement delivered by Justice Sidi Barge upheld the order of a Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, nullifying the All Progressives Congress primaries in Rivers State.
The trial court had held that the primaries were held in disobedience to a court judgement barring the party from conducting congresses, pending the determination of a suit filed by 22 aggrieved members of the party. Further findings revealed that a judgement of the Court of Appeal had earlier struck out the APC Rivers State chapter appeal and upheld the judgment of Justice Chiwendu Nworgu of the Rivers State High Court, which earlier voided the APC Congresses in the state.
Nigeria’s Federal Government has declared Friday, 22 February as a public holiday, to enable citizens prepare for Saturday’s presidential and parliamentary elections.
Bankers and those offering essential services across the nation, are excluded, according to a statement by the Ministry of Interior.
“The work-free day is to enable citizens return to their polling units for the reschedule Presidential and National Assembly elections.
“Security agencies have been directed to ensure safety of lives and property before, during and after the general election,” the ministry said.