News, Politics

Major Developments in Nigeria’s Election!

Michael Antonorsi


April 1, 2023

1. Results of 32 states have been officially announced by INEC. 

INEC has officially announced the results of 32 states. The four remaining states (Borno, Rivers, Imo and Taraba) are expected to be announced later tonight at 11 pm. Tinubu has been declared victor in 10 states: Jigawa, Zamfara, Niger, Kwara, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti, Kogi, and Benue. Abubakar has been declared victor in 12 states: Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Anambra, Osun, Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe, Adamawa. Obi has been declared victor in 10 states: Lagos, Edo, Delta, Enugu, Abia, Ebonyi, Cross River, Abuja, Nasarawa and Plateau. Kwankwaso was declared victor in Kano state. Tinubu currently has 36.75% of the vote, followed by Abubakar with 31.76% and Obi trailing with 21.88%. 

2. IReV uploads less than two thirds of results.

The new technology deployed in this general election has stirred up controversy due to its delays and glitches. It was promoted as a method of increasing transparency of the process. As it has been mired in difficulties it first raised Nigerians expectations and then fall short. So far, 103,492 polling units’ results have been uploaded, out of the 176,846 polling units across the country. This leaves 73,354 unpublished to the public.

3. Which Candidate is winning?

According to the official results Mr Tinubu is leading in overall votes with 8,120,211 however Abubakar is leading in states with 12 having been declared in his favor. The winner of this election will be decided not by state victories but by popular vote, so long as the candidate also wins 25% of votes in 24 states.

4. INEC Controversy

Opposition parties view the difficulties faced by INEC and its IReV system as too great to ignore and another way of tailoring election results thereby ignoring the will of the people. The PDP, LP and ADC have called for fresh elections due to the opaqueness of voter uploads to the IReV system saying the election has been “irretrievably compromised”. Some party members have gone so far as to call for the resignation of INEC chairman Yakubu. 

5. Security concerns for INEC officials

Violence against INEC officials has occurred during the election itself and the collation process. A collation officer, Charles Adias had his life threatened by unnamed party supporters. Rivers is one of the remaining states to declare a presidential victor. As a result Adias announced the the adjournment of the collation process Tuesday morning while addressing journalists. The commissioner of police in Rivers, Aderemi Adeoye, has asked for the names of those threatening his life. Adias responded saying he would not continue the process until some of their concerns have been addressed. The concerns are suspected to be related to the BVAS system and other structural discrepancies.

An INEC official was killed in Delta State on their way back to Asaba to deliver results.

6. Public Mud-slinging

Former president Obasanjo called for peace and calm as tensions run high in Nigeria. However, he did not hold back his criticism of INEC’s handling of the election writing an open letter, where along with many other grievances, he called for annulment of results where due process cannot be verifiably authenticated.

The current government of Nigeria almost immediately responded to Obasanjo’s criticisms. The Federal Government urged Obasanjo not to truncate the 2023 general elections with his “inciting, self-serving and provocative letter on the polls”. The Federal government said that the former president’s grievances were “cunningly” framed as an “appeal for caution and rectification” were nothing but a calculated attempt to further undermine the political process and stir up the polity. Going so far as to call it a willful incitement to violence.

7. Political Placation

Tensions will inevitably continue to rise until the final election results are announced. However, the situation is getting precarious in what is Nigeria’s most hotly contested election since military rule. Current law makers have called for peace and civility as the election process continues. Even party members of the front-running candidates have called for civility. The Speaker of the House wants the nation to defeat the cynicism of those waiting to see the worst predictions of the country come true: bedlam. “Nigeria will be at peace, we will work through the law and due process to resolve differences, settle disputes and ensure the peaceful transition of power,” Femi Gbajabiamila stated. 

The winning candidate is still very much unclear. And speculation is now at its all time high.

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