Opposition Parties Demand Cancellation of Nigeria’s Presidential Election
Nigeria‘s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Bola Tinubu appears to be maintaining an unassailable lead, but opposition parties have called for the entire presidential election to be scrapped, citing dubious manipulations.
Representatives of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) accused the Independent Nigerian Election Commission (Inec) of failing to address multiple technical and logistical issues that hampered the process.
Meanwhile, the Inec dismissed the allegations, urging aggrieved parties to pursue their grievances through the courts, rather than attempting to disrupt the electoral system.
The election was the most competitive since the closure of military rule in 1999, pitting Tinubu and PDP candidate Atiku Abubakar against Labour Party’s Peter Obi, a reformist who sought to charm young voters with a modern social media campaign.
Laboured by consistent delays in the results announcement, a tally released by Reuters Tuesday showed Tinubu leading with almost 40% of the votes, while Abubakar and Obi came in second and third place, garnering 30 and 17% respectively.
However, Obi emerged victorious in Lagos and Abuja, raising doubts among the electorate.
Observers criticised the delayed voting process, while former president Olusegun Obasanjo warned of a “looming danger” due to a failure to transmit results electronically.
Many Nigerian citizens concurred, wrongfully accusing the electoral system of ‘rigging’ the votes.
On the other side of the divide, international observers expressed concerns about the lack of female representation in the election and the government urged for calmness in light of increasing frustration.
In spite of the security and credibility concerns, analysts remain cautiously optimistic about the future of Nigerian democracy as the last seven elections were held consecutively and the fact that none of the main candidates are former military officers is seen as a great achievement.