The National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Saturday, October 6 announced that President Muhammadu Buhari got 14.8 million votes during the direct presidential primary the party held on Friday, Sept. 29.
Chairman of the Convention Election Committee and Governor-elect of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said President Buhari polled 14,842,072 votes in 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Analysis by the Daily Trust revealed that the total number of votes given to President Buhari by APC members during the direct primaries is just 582,849 short of the 15, 424,921 he got during the 2015 general elections when he contested against then President Goodluck Jonathan.
The National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, had on Wednesday, September 12 while presenting membership card to President Buhari, said the party under his leadership had developed a database of 15.6 million members.
This means over ninety per cent of the registered members of the party voted for President Buhari during the direct primaries.
The figures given by the APC indicated that votes were cast and counted in all the states and the FCT as follows: Abia, 43,308; Adamawa, 263,945; Akwa Ibom, 140,822; Anambra, 248,268; Bauchi, 316,199; Bayelsa, 210,201; Benue, 259,130; Borno, 466,601; Cross River, 145,615; Ebonyi, 157,455; Edo, 505,827; Ekiti, 199,724; Enugu, 17,291; Gombe, 112,857; Imo, 115,830; Jigawa, 202,597; Kaduna, 597,209; Kano, 2,931,335; Katsina, 802,819; Kebbi, 210,687; Kogi, 387,003; Kwara, 159, 822; Lagos, 2,272,722; Nasarawa, 110,879; Niger, 387,097; Ogun, 586,453; Ondo, 436,968; Osun, 512,013; Oyo, 421, 200; Plateau, 123,073; Rivers, 388,653; Sokoto, 313,091; Taraba, 139,102; Yobe, 199,414; Zamfara, 247,847; and FCT, 54,128.
But reports from our correspondents on the APC presidential primary indicated that while elections did not hold in some states, the president was returned through a voice vote in others.
Similarly, the figures given by some governors soon after the primary were different from what the APC declared on Saturday.
For instance, while Ekiti and Ogun supported President Buhari's re-lection through a voice vote, the APC said the president got 199,724 and 586,453 respectively.
The party also said the president got 512,013 votes in Osun while reports from the state on the day of the election indicated that he was actually voted through affirmation by APC members.
Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai, who was the 'Returning Officer' for the exercise in Kaduna, had shortly after the presidential primary said Buhari got 1,956,500 votes but the results released by the Fayemi committee indicated that he got 597,209 in Kaduna.
Sources within the APC in Taraba State said the president was given 875,385 votes during the primary but the results released by the Fayemi committee showed that Buhari got 139, 102.
Another marked difference is the number of votes the president got in states as against what he got during the recent primaries.
In Kano for instance, Buhari got 1,903,999 during the 2015 general elections while he got 2,931,235 votes. He got 473,543 votes in Borno State during the 2015 general elections but received 1,226,181 during the just concluded primaries.
The APC acting National Publicity Secretary Mr Yekini Nabena, when contacted, said the aggressive sensitization and mobilisation of the people, especially party members was responsible for the increase in the numbers of voters for President Buhari at the presidential primary election in some States.
When asked to explain the reason for rise in the number of voters for President between 2015 presidential election and now, Nabena said "the sensitisation of the people and awareness created made the increment possible."
Daily Trust reports that the Peoples Democratic Party had, while reacting to the APC Presidential primary, alleged that the figure the party announced was to give the impression that President Buhari enjoys massive support ahead of the 2019 presidential election.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, said what the APC and the Presidency failed to note was that Nigerians were already aware that no ballot allegedly took place and that such figures could not be tallied through mere voice vote involving few members of a derelict and disorganised party.
Data from our reporters