Elections in Nigeria: amid tension over the count, the pro-government candidate Bola Tinubu was proclaimed the winner

Tinubu Ball (REUTERS/James Oatway) (JAMES OATWAY/)

The candidate of the government party in Nigeria, Tinubu Ballwon the first round of the presidential elections of the most populous country in Africa with 8.8 million of votes against 6.9 million of its main rival, according to full results published on Wednesday.

The National Electoral Commission (INEC) has yet to confirm if it has also obtained 25% of the votes in at least 24 of the 36 Nigerian states and in Abuja, the federal capital, to declare its final victory in the elections.

The opposition demanded to repeat the elections

An official counts the ballots, after finishing voting at a polling station, in the Nigerian presidential elections, in Yola (REUTERS / Esa Alexander)
An official counts the ballots, after finishing voting at a polling station, in the Nigerian presidential elections, in Yola (REUTERS / Esa Alexander) (ESA ALEXANDER /)

The main opposition parties in Nigeria asked on Tuesday to cancel and repeat the presidential elections that the African country held last Saturday, accusing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of fraud while the counting of the votes continues.

In this context of tension, the international community called for calm and to avoid incitement to violence.

“This election is not free and is far from fair and transparent. We demand that this sham election be immediately cancelled,” he told reporters in the country’s capital, Abuja, on Tuesday. Julius AbureNational Chairman of the Labor Party (LP).

“We also call for new elections to be held in accordance with the procedure established by INEC,” added Abure, who also spoke on behalf of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

Peter Obi, candidate of the Labor Party (REUTERS / Temilade Adelaja)
Peter Obi, candidate of the Labor Party (REUTERS / Temilade Adelaja) (TEMILADE ADELAJA /)

The next president of the country must obtain, in addition to the majority of the votes, more than a quarter of the votes cast in at least two thirds of the Nigerian states.

The opposition already rejected the first figures published on Monday, after the electronic transmission of the results of the polling stations could not be fully carried out, something that the INEC attributed to “technical problems.”

This was the first time that Nigeria had used this technology in general elections, adopted to prevent possible attempts at electoral fraud.

Also yesterday, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007) asked the outgoing president, Muhammadu Buhariannul the elections and repeat them, emphasizing that “the electoral process has been corrupted.”

Obasanjo accused INEC officials of “supposedly” having prevented the operation of that system in order to manipulate the results.

Eighteen people are running in this presidential race, but polls have shown that only three have a chance of winning: Tinubu, Abubakar and Obi.

The international community asked to avoid acts of violence in Nigeria (REUTERS / James Oatway)
The international community asked to avoid acts of violence in Nigeria (REUTERS / James Oatway) (JAMES OATWAY /)

The winner of the election will inherit a nation plagued by growing insecurity in some parts of the country, with constant attacks by criminal gangs that kidnap civilians for lucrative ransom, jihadist groups and pro-independence rebels.

It will also have to cope with the devaluation of the local currency (naira), runaway inflation and high unemployment, despite Nigeria standing out as Africa’s top oil producer and the continent’s largest economy.

The leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU) expressed concern Tuesday by the tensions registered during the electoral recount in Nigeria.

“We wish to remind all interested parties that the electoral process is still ongoing. While we recognize that the recount at all levels is a critical part of the process, we urge the Independent National Electoral Commission to expedite the transparent publication of the results,” they said in a joint statement.

ECOWAS and the AU indicated that this process should be carried out as soon as possible “to relieve anxiety and tensions”. In this regard, they called on political parties to refrain from using “provocative language” and spreading misinformation, which “would only exacerbate division and violence at this critical time” when “dialogue” is needed.

“We urge the electorate to maintain the patience shown so far in the electoral process, and wait for the official publication of the results of the polls,” they stressed, adding that security organizations must also proceed “with the utmost respect for the rule of law.” ”.

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Policy
Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Policy (Valeria Mongelli/)

For its part, the European Union demanded this Tuesday that all political actors in Nigeria respect the electoral process and remain calm, while the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria carries out the official scrutiny.

“The EU looks forward to the announcement of the results and calls on all parties to respect the process and remain peaceful and calm while the CNEI carries out the scrutiny,” the EU High Representative for Politics said in a statement. Abroad, Josep Borrell.

The UN also ruled on the situation in Nigeria. The international body called for calm and asked to avoid “conduct such as hate speech, misinformation or incitement to violence” by the actors involved.

In a statement from the Secretary General’s spokesman, the UN said that at this time it is convenient to refrain “from conduct that can undermine the electoral process, and eventually peace and stability in Nigeria.”

(With information from EFE and Europa Press)

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