Nigeria has just elected a President and 469 Lawmakers.
Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC polled 15,191,847 votes to beat Atiku Abubakar of the PDP who polled 11,262,978 votes.
Buhari defeated his closest challenger with a vote margin of 3,928,869.
Here are the biggest losers and winners from the February 23, 2019 elections.
Abubakar Bukola Saraki
A Governor of the north central state of Kwara from 2003 to 2011 and a Senator from 2011 to this day, Senate President Bukola Saraki won’t be returning to the hallowed senate chamber in 2019 after losing the Kwara Central senatorial seat to lesser known Ibrahim Oloriegbe of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Saraki was crowned Senate President on June 9, 2015 against the wishes of his then political party, APC, and spent a huge chunk of his reign battling the APC hierarchy and fending off accusations bordering on corruption, money laundering and false declaration of assets.
Tired of what he perceived as political persecution from the presidency and the governing APC, Saraki formally defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on August 1, 2018 to join ranks with the party’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.
A smart politician with bags of tricks to boot, Saraki successfully evaded several impeachment plots from the APC and was exonerated by the Supreme Court on corruption charges.
But his loss of the Kwara Central senatorial seat has to be the biggest upset from the Feb 23 polls, and a culmination of the APC’s carefully orchestrated plots to eventually unseat him.
The 72-year-old politician now has the unenviable record of losing every presidential election he’s contested, for the fifth time of asking.
Atiku first ran for President on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1992 alongside Chief MKO Abiola and served as Vice President to then President Olusegun Obasanjo from 1999 to 2007.
Since departing Aso Rock in 2007, Atiku has nursed a burning ambition to return as Nigeria’s President, while splurging wads of cash at every attempt.
He has promised to upturn his 2019 loss to Buhari at the courts, describing the vote as a sham and an emasculation of democracy.
A former Governor of Nigeria’s South-South Akwa Ibom State and Senate Minority leader of the current 8th Senate, Godswill Akpabio went into the senatorial election in his State with a fearsome reputation for brinkmanship and years of experience in the nation’s political scene to boot.
When he made the switch from the PDP to the APC on August 8, 2018, the governing APC made a big deal of it all and hired the nation’s biggest television networks to stream the event live from a capacity filled Ikot Ekpene stadium in Akwa Ibom.
However, Akpabio’s “uncommon defection” (as he and the APC termed it) couldn’t stop him from losing the Akwa-Ibom North-West senatorial seat to PDP candidate Chris Ekpenyong who was backed by Akpabio’s successor and incumbent Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Emmanuel, a former handpicked godson of Akpabio’s, is now sworn enemy of the “uncommon defector”.
Like Atiku, Akpabio has told everyone who cares to listen that his election loss is only a temporary setback which he will upturn through the legal process.
Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso
A grassroots politician with a cult following in Nigeria’s Northwest State of Kano, Senator Kwankwaso was supposed to be the man who delivered his State to Atiku.
He literally had one job before Feb 23.
However, Kwankwaso’s eponymous, feral and manic Kwankwasiyya movement which turned up--complete with those symbolic and ubiquitous red caps-- for Atiku during the PDP’s presidential campaign stop in the Northwest, couldn’t stop Buhari from railroading Kano and carting away 1.4million votes.
Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo denounced President Muhammadu Buhari in January of 2018 and warned the president against seeking a second term in office.
A prolific letter writer, Obasanjo’s invective laden public address to Buhari went viral, caught fire and was immediately weaponized against the sitting president.
Making Atiku president became Obasanjo's pet project.
However, unlike his previous letter to then sitting President Goodluck Jonathan, Obasanjo’s attack of Buhari left no dent in the final vote tally. Worse, Obasanjo lost his Abeokuta polling unit to Buhari’s APC on voting day.
Obasanjo’s so called third force also never materialized before the presidential election.
A very big loser if ever there was one.
Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi regards himself as the “constituted authority” of the Southwest State, a moniker he earned after a public spat with students who were protesting the shutdown of their institution, in January of 2017.
Ajimobi completes his second four-year term as governor in May of 2019 and was looking forward to a retirement plan in Nigeria’s parliament.
However, Ajimobi lost the Oyo South senatorial seat to a former Commissioner for Commerce and Cooperatives, Kola Balogun, of the PDP.
“If I lose the ticket and the party was able to gain, then it is nothing to feel sad about. APC has done well but we can always do better. If we won two out of the three Senatorial seats and we picked nine out of 14 federal constituency seats, then we should congratulate ourselves”, Ajimobi said afterwards, preferring to see his glass as half full.
R&B singer, Olubankole Wellington, better known by his stage name Banky W, vied for a federal House of Representatives seat with characteristic razzmatazz, vigour, polish, poise, eloquence, elegance, bars and wit.
He was a force of nature on the campaign trail and contributed to taking his Modern Democratic Party (MDP) to national prominence.
However, the 37-year-old singer lost his legislative bid to the establishment backed Babajide Obanikoro of the governing APC and only won two polling units for his efforts.
He posted the following on social media after the poll: "I hope we look back at what we accomplished in just three months, and it shows us what we can do with the next four years. I hope we realise that winning some areas in Eti-Osa… is proof that we can do this anywhere."
For most of his four years as a federal senator, Shehu Sani engaged Kaduna Governor Nasir El-Rufai in verbal and supremacy battles.
As the battle between both men raged, Sani dumped the APC for the lesser known People’s Redemption Party (PRP), while hoping to retain his senate seat from his new platform.
A human rights activist before his recent foray into politics, Sani lost his senate election to the El-Rufai backed Uba Sani of the APC.
While Uba Sani polled 355,242 votes, Shehu Sani polled 70,613 votes to come a distant third in the race.
Senator Dino Melaye who represents Kogi West in the upper legislative chamber, went into the general elections battered, bruised and traumatized after getting on the wrong side of the APC.
He was on trial for a slew of criminal charges and pulled up one stunt after another as law enforcement hounded and encircled him for alleged culpable homicide.
Melaye dropped singles and dance videos all year round, dumped the APC for the PDP, riled his opponents with dramatic performances and famously jumped off a moving police van for his troubles.
In spite of it all, Melaye defeated Smart Adeyemi of the APC to retain his senatorial seat. He has been thanking God in social media posts, since his victory.
And just as well.
The 66-year-old godfather of Lagos and APC politics has a knack for picking and choosing his battles and winning most of them.
President Buhari’s re-election bid looked somewhat unsteady and shaky until Tinubu made peace with the president and took the co-driver’s seat in the president's re-election campaign train.
Tinubu not only delivered a chunk of the Southwest States in his base to Buhari, he also made himself a foot soldier who campaigned alongside the president across the nation’s 36 states.
47-year-old Binani now holds the record of the only female from the north of Nigeria to be elected into the upper legislative chamber.
Binani’s victory is still seen as a shocker because even though she ran on the platform of the governing APC, she hails from Adamawa State, the birthplace of PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar.
The PDP won Adamawa in the presidential election but the young Binani defied all odds and dispatched all her male rivals in the contest to win the Adamawa central seat.
No small feat in a country with one of the lowest rates of female participation in parliament, according to the United Nations.
Oloriegbe went into the battle for the Kwara central senatorial seat with Senate President Bukola Saraki, as the clear underdog.
He wasn’t supposed to win the seat in a senatorial zone where the Saraki hegemony has become something of a stranglehold.
However, thanks to the Otoge! (Enough is enough) battle cry from the APC and its faithful in the state, Oloriegbe defeated Saraki in all four local governments in the senatorial zone, polling 123,808 votes to Saraki’s 68,994.
No one else claimed a bigger scalp in the parliamentary elections.
Mr. Nicholas wasn’t even in the conversation when folks went on and on about the ‘3rd force’ ahead of the presidential election.
But the presidential candidate of the Peoples Coalition Party (PCP) polled a distant third behind Buhari and Atiku, with a vote total of 110,196—more than the combined votes from the quartet of Kingsley Moghalu of the YPP, Omoyele Sowore of the AAC, Fela Durotoye of the ANN and Obiageli Ezekwesili of the ACPN.
Pundits say Nicholas and the PCP benefited from having a logo that resembles the PDP’s and sharing party initials that arrive before the PDP’s on the alphabetical rung of political parties on the ballot papers. Strategic positioning, did we hear you say?
Nicholas is a winner here, however you look at it.
The one reason why Governor Abiola Ajimobi won’t be going to the senate to swell the ranks of former governors who turn parliament into a retirement home, is because of this man.
Balogun essentially pulled an upset in an APC stronghold, defeated an incumbent governor and helped tilt the scales the PDP’s way in the presidential election.
All in a day’s job.
Winner every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives wasn’t any bookmaker's favorite to retain his Bauchi House of Representatives seat after defecting to the PDP.
Bauchi predominantly votes APC as well.
However, Dogara, from the Christian minority in a predominantly Muslim State, will return to represent the Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa constituency in the 9th senate—a constituency he has been representing since 2007.
He certainly won’t retain the Speakership position however, because the governing APC would form the majority in parliament and handpick a Speaker from within its ranks. But Dogara returning to the House in the first place, is no mean feat in the face of all the odds stacked against him before the vote.