Provisional results from Nigeria’s disputed presidential election over the weekend are trickling in. Tallies of votes counted in 25 of the country’s 36 states, show the ruling party candidate is in the lead, but opposition parties have walked out of the counting process citing concerns of fraud.
By Linda Bordoni
Electoral commission results on Tuesday indicate that 70-year-old Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress Party is ahead with about 36% of valid votes counted. Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party trails close behind.
Eyes however are on the only real newcomer to the scene: Peter Obi of the Labour Party who has won the most votes in the key state of Lagos. Obi has garnered a large following mostly among young, educated Nigerians, who are disenchanted with governance in Africa’s largest democracy.
The man chosen to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari is asked to tackle insecurity, economic malaise, growing poverty and widespread corruption.
A flawed process
But the election has already been described as a flawed process, with initial glitches, multiple technical difficulties and poor planning.
The final tally is expected within five days from the Saturday vote that had to extend into Sunday due to disruptions that immediately created tension, protests and some violence.
And tension continues to build as the Independent National Electoral Commission, which had promised to upload results directly from each polling unit to its website, claims it has been unable to do so immediately, meaning that results are collated manually inside ward and local government counting centres, as in previous – allegedly flawed – polls.
Fears and frustrations
Fears are growing that frustrations over the process could boil over into serious unrest and many long-suffering Nigerians have chosen desert to the streets and keep shops and markets shut while the Labour Party is asking announcements be suspended or the election be cancelled and rerun.