The first democratic president of Nigeria was elected in 1979 and over the last forty years, Nigeria has conducted eight presidential elections. As Nigeria prepares for her ninth Presidential election on Saturday, February 16, 2019, Legit.ng wants to take you on a memory trip back to all the presidential elections ever conducted in Nigeria since 1979 till date and the results of those polls.
1979 Presidential Election: The presidential candidate of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), Alhaji Shehu Shagari, became the first democratic president of Nigeria in 1979 after defeating the Presidential candidate of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), Obafemi Awolowo. Shagari got five million, six hundred and sixty-eight thousand, eight hundred and fifty-seven (5,668,857) votes while his opponent, Awolowo got four million, nine hundred and sixten thousand, six hundred and fifty-one (4,916,651) votes.
1983 Presidential Election: Again, Shehu Shagari defeated Awolowo when he got twelve million, 81 thousand, four hundred and seventy-one (12,081,471) votes in the 1983 poll. The UPN candidate, Chief Awolowo, got seven million, nine hundred and seven thousand, two hundred and nine (7, 907, 209) votes that year. In the same year, the Shagari government was overthrown by a military coup led by Major-General Muhammadu Buhari.
1993 Presidential Election: The June 12, 1993 presidential election is a memorable one in the history of Nigeria. The Social Democratic Party (SDP) presidential candidate, Moshood Kahimawo Abiola (MKO) defeated the candidate of the National Republican Convention (NRC), Bashir Tofa. Abiola got eight million, three hundred and forty-one thousand, three hundred and nine (8,341,309) votes while his opponent, Tofa, got five million, nine hundred and fifty-two thousand, eighty-seven (5, 942,087) votes. Sadly, the elections was annulled by military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida. The late General Sani Abacha would later stage a coup that year and become the military ruler of Nigeria till his death on 8 June 1998.
1999 Presidential Election: Olusegun Obasanjo came out of prison after Abacha’s death in 1998 to become Nigeria’s next president after defeating Olu Falae in the 1999 poll. Obasanjo ran on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party and got eighteen million, seven hundred and thirty-eight thousand, one hundred and fifty-four (18, 738,154) votes to defeat Falae, who ran on the joint platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and the All People’s Party (APP). Falae got seven million, nine hundred and seven thousand, two hundred and nine (7,907,209) votes in the 1999 poll.
2003 Presidential Election: Olusegun Obasanjo returned to power for a second term in 2003 after defeating the presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Muhammadu Buhari. Obasanjo got twenty-four million, four hundred and fifty-six thousand, one hundred and forty (24,456,140) votes while Buhari got twelve million, seven hundred and ten thousand, twenty-two (12,710,022) votes.
2007 Presidential Election: Obasanjo handed over the Presidential seat to another PDP’s candidate, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who got twenty-four million, six hundred and thrity-eight thousand, sixty-three (24,638,063) votes to defeat ANPP candidate, Muhammadu Buhari. Buhari got six million, six hundred and five thousand, two hundred and ninety-nine (6,605,299) votes in the 2007 poll.
2011 Presidential Poll: Muhammadu Buhari tried his luck for the third time, this time running on the platform of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). However, he lost to PDP’s presidential candidate, Goodluck Jonathan. Jonathan got twenty-two million, four hundred and ninety-five thousand, one hundred and eighty-seven (22,495,187) votes while Buhari had twelve million, two hundred and fourteen thousand, eighty hundred and fifty-three (12,214,853) votes.
2015 Presidential Poll: Buhari’s luck changed for the better in 2015 when Goodluck Jonathan was voted out of power. Jonathan lost to Buhari after getting twelve million, eight hundred and fifty-three thousand, one hundred and sixty-two (12,853,162) votes while his opponent, Buhari, had fifteen million, four hundred and twenty-four thouand, nine hundred and twenty-one (15,421,921) votes.