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Nigeria’s presidential election drama goes to court

ABUJA — Third-party candidate Peter Obi announced Thursday he would question the outcome of Nigeria’s hotly contested presidential election after official results awarded victory to ruling party champion Bola Tinubu.

“We will examine all legal and peaceful options to reclaim our mandate. We won the election and we will prove it to the Nigerians,” the Labor Party candidate told reporters in the capital, Abuja.

Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos, is set to succeed two-year President Muhammadu Buhari, who is stepping down in May.

In Africa’s most populous country, he faces immense security and economic challenges.

Nearly 25 million people cast their ballots on Saturday in a largely peaceful vote, but one that was marred by long delays and the slow arrival of online results, angering voters and opposition parties who allege massive vote-rigging.

Obi, 61, received the third-largest vote with 6.1 million, according to results announced on Wednesday – a significant achievement for an underdog in a country where two mainstream parties dominate.

Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared the winner with a total of 8.8 million votes and the required number of votes in two-thirds of Nigeria’s states.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, 76, of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), received the second-biggest total vote with 6.9 million.

Abubakar, who lost his sixth presidential candidacy, has not yet officially commented on the outcome of the election.

Candidates wishing to file legal challenges have 21 days after the results are announced to take their case to court.

Tinubu on Wednesday urged his rivals and their supporters to “shake hands” with him and urged them to “come in so we can begin the task of rebuilding our national home together.”

– problems –

Allegations of fraud and violence have often marked Nigerian elections.

To address some of these concerns, this year the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) introduced biometric voter identification for the first time nationally, as well as IReV, a centralized online database for uploading results.

However, some voters and opposition parties said flaws in the system of uploading lists allowed for voter rigging and inequalities in results from manual counts at local polling stations.

International observers, including those from the European Union, also noted major logistical problems, disenfranchised voters and a lack of transparency on the part of INEC.

An umbrella organization of Nigerian civil society organizations and observers said the process “could not be considered credible”.

“Given the lack of transparency, particularly when comparing results, there can be no confidence in the results of this election,” the coalition told the Situation Room on Wednesday.

Glitches with the new technology caused huge delays and queues, and prevented some people from voting.

With 93.4 million registered voters, turnout was just over 27 percent, according to INEC – even lower than the previous 2019 election.

Obi, who represented the hope for change for many, particularly young Nigerians, said the election “will go down in history as one of the most contentious elections ever conducted in Nigeria.”

“The good and hardworking people of Nigeria have been robbed again by our supposed leaders they trusted.”

– ‘It’s my turn’ –

INEC has rejected claims that the trial was not free and fair.

A longtime political kingmaker, Tinubu used his experience as governor of Lagos from 1999 to 2007, rushing ahead with the slogan “My turn” to govern Africa’s largest economy.

However, critics have questioned his health, previous transplant allegations and links to Buhari, who has been criticized for not keeping his vow to make Nigeria safer.

The country faces serious security threats, from a grueling Islamist insurgency in the north-east, bandit militias in the north-west and separatist tensions in the south-east.

The government is also struggling to cope with a weak economy, inflation and address high unemployment.

Despite Nigeria being Africa’s largest oil producer, the country imports almost all of its fuel due to a lack of refining capacity and spends billions of dollars each year subsidizing gasoline — an unsustainable sum Tinubu has promised to scrap.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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