GENERAL ELECTION OF 1979
The general election of 1979 took place under the newly introduced presidential system of government, which ushered in the Nigeria second republic after 13 years of military regime. The election was aimed at electing the first executive president, governors and other functionaries. In preparation for the election, the federal electoral commission FEDECO under the leadership of chief Micheal Ani had registered five 5 political parties, the National Party of Nigeria NPN, with Alhaji Shehu Shagari as the presidential candidate, The United Party of Nigeria UPN with Chief Obafemi Awolowo as the presidential candidate, The Nigeria Peoples Party with Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe as the presidential candidate, The People’s Redemption Party with Mallam Aminu Kano as the presidential candidate, The Great Nigeria Peoples Party GNPP with Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri as the presidential candidate. Five election took place from July 7 to August 18, 1979. In the election of the senate, out of 95 seat, NPN won 36, UPN won 29, NPP won 16, GNPP won 8, PRP won 7. In the house of representative election, out of 449 seat, NPN won 168, UPN won 111, NPP won 78, PRP won 49 and GNPP won 43. In the election of state assembly, out of 1347 seat, NPN won 487, UPN won 333, NPP won 227, GNPP won 156, PRP won 144. In the gubernatorial election, put of 19 state, NPN won 7, UPN won 5, NPP won 3, GNPP won 2, and PRP won 2. Finally in the presidential election, only Shehu Shagari of NPN was able to win 25% of the vote cast in 2/3 of the 19 state, which was a requirement by the federal electoral commission FEDECO in order for a candidate to be declared the winner in the presidential election. Alhaji Shehu Shagari was declared the winner buy Chief Obafemi Awolowo who came second took the matter to the presidential tribunal and the Supreme Court, both the houses dismissed the case and declared that the victory of Alhaji Shehu Shagari was in order.
The controversy in the election general election of 1979
- The controversy was in the presidential election which led to disagreement and violence as a result of the widespread rigging and electoral malpractice.
- People felt that Alhaji Shehu Shagari shouldn’t have been declared the winner because winning 12 state out of 19 states is not 2/3 of 19, they felt he should have won 13 state for him to be declared the winner of the election.