Why Buhari, Jonathan Lost Presidential Elections At Aso Rock
It is no longer news that President Muhammadu Buhari lost polling units at Aso Rock at the just concluded presidential election to the candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
But from 2015 till date, sitting presidents have been losing the polling units in the vicinity of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja, to opposition parties candidate.
Results from these polling units, in most cases, do not translate to overall victory for the winners, but supporters of the leading presidential candidates receive this news with mixed feelings.
Supporters of winners usually see the outcomes as good signs ahead of the announcement of the final results of presidential elections.
Recall that Peter Obi emerged winner in the designated centres inside and around the Presidential Villa.
Obi polled 809 votes to defeat Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who was the candidate of President Buhari, who cast his vote same day with aides and family members in Daura, Katsina State.
Tinubu got 318 votes to come second, while Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) garnered 258 votes to emerge second runner-up in the polling units inside the Presidential Villa.
In all the polling units, including 121, Kofo Abayomi Street, beside Officers’ Mess, and 131, opposite Pilot Gate, State House, Obi defeated his opponents.
The story was not different in the 2019 presidential election as Atiku, the presidential candidate of the PDP, secured more votes than Buhari at the election inside the Presidential Villa.
The PDP presidential candidate secured 1,030 votes against the president’s 1,013, with a slight difference of 17 votes.
In 2015, the PDP presidential candidate, former President Goodluck Jonathan, lost one of the two polling units inside the Presidential Villa to his APC challenger, Buhari.
In the final result announced at the two polling units, Jonathan lost to Buhari, who ran for the fourth time at the time, as he polled a total of 595 votes to Buhari’s 613.
Jonathan had won the election at the two polling units in 2011. He defeated Buhari, who was then the presidential candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), with more than half of the votes cast.
In one of the polling stations, which is less than 100 meters from the Pilot Gate, Jonathan polled 630 votes against Buhari’s 318 votes.
According to Daily Trust, voters in the State House are usually believed to be aides, Presidential villa staff, and loyalists.
One of the villa staff members who preferred anonymity said majority of the people who registered to vote in that vicinity were truly staff, while some of the voters were equally residents who occupy residential buildings in the area.
The outcomes of presidential elections in the villa were usually determined by the perceived low or poor performance of the government at the centre.
One of the staff said, “They voted against the APC in 2023 because people were suffering. Majority of voters around the State House were from members of staff who felt the APC government performed below expectation, especially in the midst of cash crunch and scarcity of petrol.”
Another staff recalled that Jonathan lost at the Villa in 2015 because people were unhappy with the security situation in the country at the time.
“People believed he should not be allowed to continue in office,” the source said.
Another source stated that results also indicated that some of the people in the area were not happy with the government in power.