Nigerias Electoral Commission begins reporting nationwide results Portalcom

Nigeria’s Electoral Commission begins reporting nationwide results –

  • Nigeria votes in wide-open competition
  • Civil society organizations denounce irregularities
  • Three main candidates are vying for the presidency
  • Sporadic violence seen, but less than previous surveys

ABUJA, Feb 26 (Portal) – Nigeria’s electoral commission began announcing the results of national state-by-state elections on Sunday amid complaints of irregularities, though it is not expected to have a winner in the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari to call for several days.

The presidential election is expected to be the closest in Nigeria’s history, with candidates from two parties that have swapped power since the end of army rule in 1999, facing an unusually strong challenge from a small-party candidate, who was among young is popular with voters.

Votes in the presidential and parliamentary elections are collected in each of Nigeria’s 36 states before the count is sent to the Electoral Commission’s central counting center in the capital, Abuja.

The first results from Ekiki State showed that the majority of the votes for President in favor of Bola Tinubu were cast by the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Tinubu received more than 200,000 state votes, versus less than half for Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition party, the PDP, and just over 11,000 for Labor Party’s Peter Obi.

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Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Mahmood Yakubu adjourned the session after the initial results and said the release of the counts would resume at 11am (1000 GMT) on Monday.

However, all three parties complained about irregularities. Obi’s Labor party berated the Electoral Commission for not uploading the results directly from each polling station to its website, as it had promised to ensure transparency.

More than 24 hours after polling stations were supposed to close, many polling stations are yet to upload their results. In a press conference, Nigerian civil society organizations lamented the mistake and failure of several polling stations to open on time.

INEC apologized for the disruption in a statement.

“The Commission is aware of the challenges with the INEC Results Viewing Portal… (that) was relatively slow and unstable,” she said, blaming “technical issues”.

Both the PDP and APC complained that local INEC officials were pressured to change the results before submitting them.

There were also incidents of violence and intimidation, but apparently not on the scale seen in previous elections.

Soldiers were forced to intervene on Sunday after 15 men posing as INEC officials stormed a voting center in Lagos’ Alimosho district and attacked party agents with knives and sticks, footage captured by Portal TV showed.

“Hoodlum boys … just came in and started coming out with daggers and beating everyone who’s agents of the Labor Party,” said the party’s district secretary Jacob Sulemain, behind him a masked soldier. Footage showed some members of the gang kneeling after their arrest.


Voting had to be extended in some parts of the country after disruptions Saturday through Sunday, but the count has been ongoing since polls closed and the final tally is expected within five days.

At a polling station in Yenagoa on Sunday, voters stood on sandy, weed-strewn ground and looked for their names plastered on a half-finished concrete house. Voting continued on Sunday in some parts of northeastern Borno state after voting machines malfunctioned.

It was not clear how many of Nigeria’s 93 million registered voters were unable to cast a vote on Saturday.

Voting went smoothly in most parts of the country of 200 million people.

There were reports of violence in northern Kano state on Sunday, where an armed group attacked a gathering center in the town of Takai before security forces arrived, said Rakiya Muhammad, an election observer who witnessed the incident.

Outgoing President Buhari, a retired army general who was also a military ruler in the 1980s, is stepping down after winning two previous elections and serving the eight-year maximum constitutionally allowed.

His successor will face a litany of crises that will engulf Africa’s largest oil producer and the continent’s most populous nation.

Nigeria grapples with Islamist insurgencies in northeast; an epidemic of kidnapping for ransom; conflict between shepherds and farmers; shortages of cash, fuel and energy; and entrenched corruption and poverty.

“I have had the worst experience of my life under this government. I recently spent two days without eating,” said Ahmad Sulaiman, 49, who sells handbags at a market, as he stood in the scorching sun in a dusty alleyway in the town of Kano.

“I voted because I wanted change,” he added. He would not say who he chose.

Additional reporting by Hamza Ibrahim Macdonald and Dzirutwe in Lagos, Tife Owolabi in Abuja and Ahmed Kingimi in Maiduguri; writing by Tim Cocks; Edited by Alexander Smith, Jan Harvey and Chris Reese

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