Nigeria election 2023 is the seventh general election since the restoration of democracy after several military coup in the country. Early results have started to arrive from the most rigid election of Nigeria since the end of military rule in 1999. Nigeria has declared some early results from national elections 2023 on Sunday, though a successor in the race to succeed Incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari is not expected for several days.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Sunday, 19th February, began the ultimate stage of the announcement of the results of the presidential election.
A total of 18 presidential candidates contested the Nigeria election 2023 which was held across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, on Saturday.
The election was put off till Sunday in some polling stations in different states due to violence, logistical problems, theft of BVAS (Bimodal Voter Accreditation System) and other issues, however the Nigeria election 2023 went ahead mostly peacefully despite some ransacked polling stations and late starts at many others.
INEC officials across the states are expected to present the outcomes of Nigeria election 2023 at the National Collation Centre in Abuja from 6 p.m. Sunday.
Official results from the south-western Ekiti state so far show a clear majority for ruling party candidate for the presidential election, Bola Tinubu in one of his strongholds.
Further results are decided to be announced formally by monday.
Who are the main candidates for the Presidential election?
Mr Obi, 62, enjoys strong support among some sections of Nigeria’s youth, especially in the largely Christian south, he is seen as a relatively fresh face, a wealthy businessman, served as governor of Anambra State. His supporters known as the “OBdient”, say he is the only candidate with caliber.
The PDP’s Abubakar, 75, only major candidate from the country’s Muslim dominated northeen area, guilty of corruption, which he staunchly denies.
Mr Tinubu, 70, appreciated for building Lagos during his term as governor, known as a political godfather in the south-western region, where he enjoys huge influence, alleged with corruption charges over the years and poor health, both of which he denies.
Peter Obi from the Labour Party, Mr Tinubu from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party are all seen as probable winners. There are 16 other presidential candidates for the Nigeria election 2023.
Challenges faced by the Electoral officers
Following prolonged delays and widespread attacks on some polling stations on Saturday, voting was put off until Sunday in many parts of the country.
Voting continued through the night in some areas.
Turnout appears to be the highest, especially among young people who make up about one-third of the 88 million eligible voters.
This makes it the largest democratic exercise in Africa. Nigeria election 2023 has seen an unrivaled challenge to the two-party system that has dominated Nigeria for more than two decades.
A candidate needs to acquire the most votes and 25% of ballots cast in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states to be declared victorious.
Otherwise, there will be a run-off within 21 days – a first in Nigeria’s history.
Saturday’s voting was marred by prolonged delays at polling stations, as well as reports of ballot-box snatching and attacks by armed men to try rigging Nigeria election 2023, especially in southern areas, where Mr Obi has eminent support.
Voters’ grievances and their accusations for rigging the polls
Dr Nkem Okoli, one of the voters of Nigeria election 2023, was just about to cast her vote in the Lekki district of the biggest city, Lagos when camouflaged men attacked and tried to rig the polling station.
“There was chaos. The culprits were using force. They threatened the voters with death. they were trying to snatch ballot boxes and making every effort to rig the elections.” she told the media. “They broke the ballot box. They took the cell phones of the officials purposely. She further said that when it got dark, election officials said they needed light to see what they were doing, so she along with other voters, used their car headlights to help carry on the proceedings. The use of latest technologies meant for conducting fair elections could have been used to ensure swift and fair Nigeria election 2023.
Harrison Rosaline said she had to for five hours to vote on Saturday in Yenagoa, without seeing any official responsible to conduct Nigeria election 2023. But she returned, with her three-week old infant, and is gladdened to have finally cast her vote.
“I am glad to take part in the polls as I want a prosperous Nigeria. I want this nation to be good for everyone, including my Jeremiah (her baby),” she told the media.
There is tension mounting in parts of Rivers and Lagos states, where some political parties have asked their members to go to the polling stations where votes are being casted, to prevent them being manipulated.
There has also been issues over the use of the newly introduced electronic voting mechanism with many voters accusing poll officials of refusing to upload the results at the polling stations as they are supposed to.
At the media conference on Saturday, electoral officer Mahmood apologized for the consistent delays in voting processes.
In Borno, Mr Yakubu said that militant Islamists had opened fire on electoral officers from a mountain top in the Gwoza area, injuring a number of officials.
Whoever wins will have to deal with a shattered economy, towering youth unemployment, and widespread insecurity which saw killings in thousands last year.
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