Nigeria’s ruling Tinubu candidate wins the most votes in contentious elections
LAGOS — Ruling party candidate Bola Tinubu won the most votes in the highly contentious elections over the weekend in Nigeria, almost certainly securing him the presidency of Africa’s most populous democracy, according to final results on Wednesday.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has yet to confirm whether Tinubu received 25 percent of the vote in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states and capital, a threshold he must meet to be confirmed as president.
Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) party candidate, won 8.8 million votes versus 6.9 million for opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Atiku Abubakar and 6.1 million for Peter Obi, according to INEC results from the Labor Party.
INEC was due to present a final result for the two-thirds rule later on Wednesday.
With President Muhammadu Buhari stepping down, many Nigerians hoped Saturday’s vote would pave the way for a leader capable of tackling insecurity, alleviating economic malaise and tackling poverty in their West African nation.
Voting was mostly peaceful but was disrupted by long delays at many polling stations, while technical glitches interrupted the uploading of results to a central website, raising concerns about vote-rigging.
The PDP and Labor parties have already called for the vote to be abolished and called for a snap election, claiming that ballot counting had been grossly rigged.
“Contrary to what is suggested by both parties, the results coming from the states indicate a free, fair and credible process,” INEC replied.
The parties should let the process go and then bring their claims to court.
– ‘It’s my turn’ –
Tinubu, 70, a longtime political kingmaker who used his experience as governor of Lagos from 1999 to 2007, lobbied for the government of Africa’s largest economy with the words “My turn”.
He vowed “Renewed Hope” but faced questions from rivals about his health, previous transplant allegations and links to Buhari, who many critics say has not made Nigeria safer.
The election was a close race for the first time since Nigeria’s military rule ended in 1999, after 61-year-old Obi’s message of change drew younger voters away from his old-guard political rivals.
Nearly 90 million Nigerians were eligible to vote, including nearly 10 million new voters, many under the age of 34, who wanted a chance to help bring about change for Nigeria.
A surprising result was Obi’s win in Lagos, the state with the most registered voters and the traditional bastion of APC’s Tinubu, known as the “Godfather of Lagos”.
The state’s eponymous megacity put Nigeria on the cultural map with its dazzling Nollywood film scene and global Afrobeats stars like Burna Boy, but nearly half of Nigerians live in poverty and the inflation is two digits.
Security challenges for Nigeria’s next leader are enormous. A grueling Islamist insurgency in the north-east has displaced more than two million, bandit militias are carrying out mass kidnappings in the north-west and separatists are attacking police in the south-east.
– cases of fraud –
For the election, INEC introduced for the first time nationally biometric voter identification technology and its central IReV database for uploading results to improve transparency.
But opposition parties said flaws in the system of uploading lists allowed for vote rigging and inequalities in results from manual counts at local polling stations.
“The election is irretrievably in jeopardy,” Labor Party leader Julius Abure told reporters on Tuesday. “We demand that this sham election be immediately reversed.”
Long voting delays and slow results frustrated and angered many voters.
The ruling APC party dismissed the opposition’s claims as an attempt to “cut” democracy because the PDP and Labor knew they were losing.
However, international observers, including those from the European Union, noted major logistical problems, disenfranchised voters and a lack of transparency on the part of INEC.
Local observer group Yiaga said it conducted parallel polling for the presidential election and will hold a press conference after the official results are released.
“If the official results are tampered with at any point in the process, we can expose that,” Yiaga said.
In 2019, INEC was forced to postpone the election by a week just hours before voting began. The PDP’s Abubakar called out fraud when Buhari hit him at the time, but the Supreme Court later dismissed his lawsuit.
Source: Crypto News Deutsch