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How Shehu Shagari won the 1979 presidential election despite the lack of 25% in 2/3 controversies

The Second Republic in Nigeria was done differently from the First Republic (1963 - 1966). It was the presidential system of government. The election was conducted to pave way for multi-party system and was contested by five registered political parties.

Photo credit: HistoryVille

Although about fifty-two parties tried to registered but only five were registered. The registered political parties were; National party of Nigeria (NPN), (Unity party of Nigeria), the Nigeria people's party (NPP), Great Nigeria People's party (GNPP) and the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).

Some of the parties used their party leaders as the presidential candidate. For instance, Chief Obafemi Awolowo was the Chairman and presidential candidate of UPN. Ibrahim Waziri was the leader and candidate of GNPP a Aminu Kano was the head and presidential candidate of PRP. Chief Akinloye was the leader of NPN, while Shehu Shagari was the candidate. NPP was led by Chief Adeniran Ogunsanya and Nnamdi Azikiwe was the candidate.

The presidential election of 1979 was full of controversies because none of the candidates was able to win 25% in 2/3 of the states in the country. Shehu Shagari who was declared the winner got 25% of the votes cast in 12 states of the nation. The problem that came up was how to understand the 2/3 of 19 states. A lot of people came with different definitions, interpretations and meanings of the 25% in 2/3 of the election in each state.

About the case, the then minister of Justice, Chief Akinjide suggested the 2/3 in twelve states formula and it was accepted by the electoral commission, FEDECO led by Michael Ani. As a result, Shehu Shagari won the presidential election of 1979.

The Unity party of Nigeria took the case to the election Tribunal led by Justice Kazeem and later the case was transferred to the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice of the federation, in person of Justice Atanda Williams who ruled out the case of UPN and upheld the election result.

Content created and supplied by: Oeminently (via Opera News )

Ibrahim Waziri NPN NPP Nigeria Shehu Shagari

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