Nigeria’s electoral commission starts announcing state-wide results

Abuja, Feb 26 (Reuters/GNA) – Nigeria’s electoral commission began announcing state-by-state results from national elections on Sunday, amid complaints of irregularities, though it is not expected to name a victor in the race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari for several days.

The presidential vote is expected to be the closest in Nigeria’s history, with candidates from two parties that have alternated power since the end of army rule in 1999 facing an unusually strong challenge from a minor party nominee popular among young voters.

Votes in presidential and parliamentary elections are collated in each of Nigeria’s 36 states before the count is transmitted to the electoral commission’s central tallying centre in the capital Abuja.

The first results, from Ekiki state, showed a majority of votes for president cast in favour of Bola Tinubu of the governing All Progressives Congress.

Tinubu pulled in more than 200,000 votes in the state, against less than half that total for Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition PDP and just over 11,000 for Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman Mahmood Yakubu adjourned the session following the first results and said the release of tallies would resume at 11 a.m. (1000 GMT) on Monday.

However all three parties complained of irregularities. Obi’s Labour party lambasted the electoral commission for failing to upload results directly from each polling unit to its website, as it had promised to do to guarantee transparency.

More than 24 hours after polls were meant to close, many polling stations have yet to upload their results. Nigerian Civil society organisations decried the error and the failure of several polling stations to open on time in a news conference.

INEC apologised for these glitches in a statement.

“The Commission is aware of challenges with the INEC Results Viewing Portal … (which) has been relatively slow and unsteady,” it said, blaming “technical hitches.”

Both the PDP and APC complained of local INEC officials being pressured to alter results before submitting them.

GNA/ Credit: Reuters