Annoyed Nigerians solid their ballots into night, hours after official deadline for becoming a member of voting line in Africa’s most populous nation after late begins and sporadic violence triggered delays at polling stations.
Nigeria is counting votes after a tightly contested election, with three frontrunners competing for the presidency of Africa’s most populous democracy in a poll marred by lengthy delays.
Practically 90 million folks had been eligible to vote on Saturday for President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor, with many Nigerians hoping their new chief would sort out a widening safety disaster, the sluggish financial system and rising poverty.
For the primary time because the finish of army rule in 1999, a 3rd severe candidate has emerged to problem the dominance of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the principle opposition Peoples Democratic Get together (PDP).
The three-way race sees former Lagos governor and APC candidate Bola Tinubu going through PDP’s Atiku Abubakar, a former vp, and shock third social gathering candidate, Labour’s Peter Obi, a one-time Anambra State governor.
In Lagos and different cities, keen crowds gathered to look at counting in polling centres, the place ballots had been tallied by hand earlier than they had been despatched on electronically.
“One! Two! Three!” folks counted out loud collectively because the Impartial Nationwide Electoral Fee (INEC) presiding officer held up the poll papers to crowds at one polling station in southern Port Harcourt.
“I wish to be certain that it is clear and that the election is free and honest,” mentioned Juliette Ogbonda, a 30-year-old lodge receptionist, watching the counting.
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‘I got here to vote and I’ll’
Nigeria’s previous elections have typically been tainted by fraud and vote-rigging claims. PDP’s candidate Abubakar claimed fraud when he was overwhelmed by Buhari within the 2019 vote earlier than the Supreme Court docket dismissed his lawsuit.
“Polling items in a lot of areas have closed and we began the counting of poll papers,” INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu mentioned.
Voting was meant to finish at 1330 GMT, however by dusk, indignant voters had been nonetheless ready to solid ballots after INEC began late or issues with identification expertise disrupted them in elements of Lagos, southern Port Harcourt and the northwest state of Kano.
INEC mentioned folks nonetheless in strains after may solid their ballots.
In southeast Anambra State, officers counted votes at Nnamdi Azikiwe College, the place crowds of voters danced.
However desperation was clear in one other close by centre.
“It isn’t regular. I’ll wait all night time, I got here to vote and I’ll,” mentioned pupil Blessing Mbanefo, 21, ready to vote. “I am able to sleep right here.”
INEC has not mentioned when official outcomes will probably be introduced although it’s anticipated over the following few days as tallies are uploaded on a web-based portal.