Nigerians wait anxiously as election results collation continues | Elections News


Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria – Two days after Nigerians voted in presidential and parliamentary elections, there may be rising nervousness over the sluggish collation of outcomes by the Unbiased Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC).

The method entered its second day on Monday with no potential winner in sight as Nigerians wait with bated breath to see who succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari, whose eight-year rule on the head of Africa’s greatest democracy is ending.

There are three most important contenders within the race for the presidency: veteran politician Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) occasion; former Vice President Atiku Abubakar from the principle opposition Individuals’s Democratic Get together (PDP); and Peter Obi, a third-party challenger from the Labour Get together. There’s additionally a wildcard candidate – Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Individuals’s Get together (NNPP).

Voting on Saturday was hampered by long delays, tools failure after the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), and experiences of voter suppression and violence in some elements of the nation together with Lagos, Borno and Anambra.

“I’m dissatisfied with the way in which INEC has carried out this election – it has been poorly carried out and poorly monitored, and there are loads of irregularities which have led to outcomes manipulation,” Oluwaseyi Elijah, a 26-year-old scholar, informed Al Jazeera within the central Nigerian metropolis of Ilorin.

“I don’t be ok with the scenario and I’m scared that some individuals are making an attempt to sabotage this election,” stated Elijah, who helps presidential candidate Abubakar.

Throughout social media networks, a whole lot of Nigerians at house and within the diaspora have expressed issues and grievances with widespread points.

Many have targeted on allegations of irregularities affecting the Labour Get together, which is favoured by lots of the youth in south and central Nigeria.

Roughly 93.4 million voters registered to vote, with a 3rd of that quantity being folks aged 18-34.

Damilare Kanyisola, a Lagos-based visible artist, had simply forged his vote in Lagos Island within the industrial capital when a bunch of males invaded the polling station to disrupt the method on Saturday.

“We had been informed that if we aren’t voting for his or her candidate we must always head house or we’d be searching for hassle,” Kanyinsola, who voted for Peter Obi, informed Al Jazeera. “Safety operatives had been round – they didn’t do something.”

There’s at the moment no clear frontrunner within the election, however just a few shock outcomes have been introduced as fringe events clinched some parliamentary seats. Obi won within the presidential rely for Lagos, which has lengthy been a significant stronghold of Tinubu, a former governor of the state.

The presidential race is seen as essentially the most aggressive in Nigeria’s political historical past, with Obi and Kwankwaso posing a reputable problem to the 2 conventional most important events.

Observers say the election may very well be a chance for a brand new set of leaders to emerge in Nigeria, displacing institution candidates, a few of whom have been across the political scene for the reason that days of navy rule within the Nineteen Nineties.

Nonetheless, there’s a belief deficit within the electoral system, particularly amongst younger folks. INEC has spent greater than 300 billion naira ($652m) to conduct this yr’s election, however there have been a string of logistical errors.

In some circumstances, voters reported having to volunteer to maintain watch in a single day at their polling items to make sure voters may forged ballots and to watch the rely, as a result of the method began late.

On the Awada Main College within the metropolis of Onitsha within the southeastern state of Anambra, greater than a thousand folks waited greater than six hours to be accredited and vote. Officers arrived late and couldn’t get the BVAS, which was getting used for the primary time on the nationwide stage, to work.

Lots of of individuals await hours at Awada Main College in Onitsha, Nigeria to vote within the presidential and parliamentary election on Saturday, February 25, 2023 [Sam-Eze Chidera/Al Jazeera]

The joint Nationwide Democratic Institute/Worldwide Republican Institute (NDI/IRI) observer mission stated “logistical failings triggered late openings throughout the nation, creating tensions, and the secrecy of the poll was compromised in some polling items given overcrowding”.

The mission, led by Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi, additionally identified that “foreseeable and avoidable” challenges within the digital switch of outcomes and well timed add to INEC’s public portal “continues to undermine citizen confidence at a vital second of the method”.

Residents have been much less diplomatic.

“This isn’t what folks anticipated,” Kanyisola stated. “INEC ready for this election for 4 years.”

For a lot of, the election is seen as a referendum on the eight years of Buhari’s presidency, which has been marked by financial decline and rising insecurity. Greater than 130 million Nigerians dwell in poverty, in line with authorities statistics.

With no presidential candidate having a transparent path to victory after early outcomes, specialists consider the election may be heading for a runoff.

With a view to win within the first spherical, a candidate has to safe the biggest share of votes general and at the very least 25 p.c of 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states, in addition to the Federal Capital Territory – Abuja.

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