Voting continues in Nigeria a day after the polls ended

Voting continues in Nigeria a day after the polls ended

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — People were still voting across Nigeria Sunday morning, the day after Africa’s most populous country was supposed to be completed. Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.

Voting is underway in Benue, Adamawa and Bayelsa states, where ballots are being counted in places where polling has been completed with preliminary results expected before Sunday evening, election observers said.

Logistical and security challenges caused widespread delays across the country on Saturday leading to frustration among voters, some of whom waited overnight and did not vote until the next morning.

“No sacrifice is too big to elect a credible leader of your choice,” said Glory Edward, who queued up all night to vote in Delta State.

Election officials blamed the delay on logistical issues, while other observers pointed to unrest caused by a redesigned currency that left many unable to obtain bank notes. Shortage of cash Transport was affected not only for voters, but also for election workers and police officers providing security.

Although Saturday’s election was largely peaceful, observers said there were at least 135 critical incidents, including eight reports of ballot rigging, rendering those votes illegal and undermining the legitimacy of the country’s democracy, the country’s largest election monitoring agency Yaga Africa said. The group said the challenges are likely to result in low voter turnout.

“It is not acceptable that Nigerians who have the constitutional right to participate in elections go out to cast their votes and you have thugs who make it difficult for them,” said Samson Etodo, head of the organization. “The nation really needs to wake up and condemn this act of voter suppression that we observed yesterday,” he said.

On Saturday, Associated Press reporters saw armed men pull up to a polling station in a minibus, shoot into the air and snatch the presidential ballot box. The shots sent voters screaming and scattering, and ballots scattered across the floor.

Some voters in the capital, Abuja, said they were prevented from voting altogether.

“They have resorted to various tactics to ensure that we do not go to vote,” Emmanuel Ogbu said. The 45-year-old businessman waited with more than 100 people to vote on Sunday but was told by election officials that they did not have enough materials, such as ink, and had to wait for the supervisor who had not yet arrived.

As Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, this vote is being watched carefully. By 2050, the United Nations estimates that Nigeria will join the United States as the third most populous country in the world, behind India and China.

The current President Muhammadu Buhari is resigning after two four-year term. His tenure was marked by concern over his ill health and repeated trips abroad for treatment. Among the field of 18 presidential candidates, three front-runners have emerged in recent weeks: candidates from Buhari’s ruling party, candidates from the main opposition and a Third-party challengers who received strong support from young voters.

Conflict analysts say several issues need to be considered as voting continues. Dr Akinola Olojo, project manager of the Lake Chad Basin team at the Institute for Security Studies, said officials need to ensure that polling stations are still operational with adequate security, monitor vote rigging and tampering and control misinformation.

“(These) points of attention are critical to the successful conclusion of what could be regarded as the most tense election in Nigeria’s recent history. The last election cycle in 2019 witnessed over 600 deaths and it is important that Nigeria avoids such a situation to ensure the voice of citizens through the current election. Time to confirm,” he said.


Associated Press reporters Taio Ajayi in Abuja, Nigeria, and Sam Mednick in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso contributed.

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