Latest reports emanating from the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, western Nigeria, indicate that the former Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) is coasting home to victory in the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential primary.
As at the time of this report (4.51pm, December 11, Thursday) Buhari has garnered a total votes of 3,430 to lead four other aspirants of the APC.
No fewer than 7,214 delegates were accredited to vote at the convention. 8,000 delegates were initially expected at the convention.
At the moment, the official results are:
Gen. Buhari - 3,430
Kwankwaso - 974
Atiku - 954
Okorocha - 674
Nda-Isaiah - 10
Below, read how the sorting and counting developed:
Though Buhari has not been officially declared as the winner of the primaries yet, if he eventually wins the ticket, he will face President Goodluck Jonathan, who clinched the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s ticket, in next year’s presidential election.
It was gathered that signs of Buhari's commanding lead came as officials kept announcing his name as most of the votes were being sorted.
The result so far has thrown up surprises with the Kano State Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso being the one giving Buhari a close chase, while a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, is trailing behind with Rochas Okorocha and Sam Nda-Isaiah.
Baring no significant changes, Buhari will square up against the incumbent president in the voting scheduled for February 14, 2015.
Meanwhile, Atiku has congratulated Buhari for his victory.
Check out the LIVE updates below:
14:10 Counting is almost over. Minimal number of the ballot papers is left. Buhari's box is literally stuffed with them.
13:53 Sam Nda-Isaiah gains 7 votes. General Buhari may secure over 70%.
13:40 Counting of votes resumes after a short break.
12:48 It's getting hotter and hotter. Caterers serve some drinks (non-alcoholic) for the delegates, supporters and security agents. The LeadershipNG publisher got his forth vote.
12:32 About 6,000 ballot papers sorted. Buhari is set to collect about 65% of total votes casted. For every 10 votes for the General (rtd.), one shall hear: 3 for Kwankwaso, 2 for Rochas and 1 for Atiku. Sam's number of ballot papers is fixed.
11:57 Five of the votes declared invalid at the moment. Nda-Isiah's box reportedly contains three ballot papers now.
11:30 Second vote goes to Sam Nda-Isiah. Some people applauded. Maybe he should be appointed as the running mate, as compensation?
10:50 Over 1,000 votes have been processed. Buhari is in clear lead, gathering the same volume of the ballot papers, as four other candidates combined.
Atiku Abubakar is in clear third place at the moment. The main surprise of the day, as Governor Kwankwaso overtook him. Rochas Okorocha and Sam Nda-Isiah are far behind.
10:43 GMB's box is 'almost full'. Another one will be soon needed. The lead seems now much more comfortable.
10:25 According to multiple sources at the venue, General Muhammadu Buhari takes an early lead.
Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso seem to be ahead of the other candidates, Rochas Okorocha and Atiku Abubakar.
At the same time, Sam Nda-Isiah got his first ballot moments ago, at about 10:20.
It would be noted that during a separate convention in the capital city, Abuja, the Peoples Democratic Party formally endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan for his second term.