October 3, 2023

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News at Another Perspective

Nigerians vote for brand new president, braving lengthy delays in hope of bringing change

4 min read

Africa’s most populous nation is fighting Islamist insurgencies within the northeast, an epidemic of kidnappings for ransom, the battle between herders and farmers, shortages of money, gas and energy, in addition to deep-rooted corruption and poverty.

People seems to be for his or her names on voters record put up on a wall at a polling unit, throughout Nigeria’s Presidential election in Anambra state, Nigeria (Reuters)

By Reuters:

Nigeria’s presidential election was marked by lengthy delays at some polling stations on Saturday, which didn’t deter massive crowds of voters hoping for a reset after years of worsening violence and hardship beneath outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari.

Africa’s most populous nation is fighting Islamist insurgencies within the northeast, an epidemic of kidnappings for ransom, the battle between herders and farmers, shortages of money, gas and energy, in addition to deep-rooted corruption and poverty.

Reuters reporters at places throughout the nation noticed a blended election day image, with some polling stations closing on the deliberate time of two.30 pm (1330 GMT) whereas others had but to open.

“I will wait here to cast my vote. If I don’t vote how will things change?” stated 23-year-old Halima Sherif, whose polling station within the northern metropolis of Kano had not began working by closing time.

By night, some polling stations had been already counting ballots whereas voting was nonetheless occurring at others and had not taken place elsewhere. Some voting was now anticipated to happen on Sunday.

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Some states had been anticipated to announce outcomes on Sunday and the ultimate tally from all 36 states plus the federal capital Abuja was anticipated inside 5 days of voting. The election can also be for National Assembly seats.

There had been studies of scattered violent incidents on Saturday, although not on the size seen in earlier elections within the nation of over 200 million folks.

Buhari, a retired military common, is stepping down after serving the utmost eight years allowed by the structure however failing to ship on his pledge to carry again order and safety throughout Nigeria, Africa’s prime oil-producing nation.

The contest to succeed him is vast open, with candidates from two events which have alternated in energy because the finish of military rule in 1999 going through an unusually robust problem from a minor social gathering candidate standard amongst younger voters.

Officials from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cited technical issues with a brand new biometric anti-fraud voter accreditation system, the late arrival of autos to move them and the absence of voter registers as causes of delays.

“It is frustrating that INEC are not prepared for us. All we want is just to vote,” stated Sylvester Iwu, who was amongst a big crowd ready at a polling station in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State within the southern oil-producing Niger Delta.

In a televised information briefing, INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu stated six biometric machines had been stolen in northern Katsina State and two in southern Delta State. He additionally acknowledged the delays however stated voters would have the ability to forged their ballots.

“The election will hold and no one will be disenfranchised,” he stated.

Yakubu stated at a later briefing that voting would happen on Sunday in a number of wards in Yenagoa that had skilled extreme disruption on Saturday.

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In northeast Borno State, the epicentre of Islamist insurgency, suspected fighters from the Boko Haram group fired mortar shells within the rural Gwoza space, killing one little one, wounding 4 others and disrupting voting, military sources stated.

In Abuja, a group from the anti-corruption Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was attacked by thugs simply after arresting a person on suspicion of paying for a bunch of individuals’s votes utilizing a banking app, the EFCC stated.

In Lagos, a Reuters TV crew noticed police arrest 4 males on suspicion of intimidating voters, whereas an election observer from an area civil society group stated he had seen thugs armed with knives, chains and bottles smashing poll bins.

In most areas, nevertheless, the day appeared to have unfolded peacefully regardless of frustrations over the delays.

The important contenders to succeed Buhari are former Lagos governor Bola Tinubu, 70, of the ruling All Progressives Congress, former vp Atiku Abubakar, 76, of the primary opposition Peoples Democratic Party, and former Anambra State governor Peter Obi, 61, of the smaller Labour Party.

All three voted of their house states, surrounded by chaotic scrums of reporters and supporters.

“The electoral process cannot achieve 100 per cent perfection,” Tinubu informed reporters after voting. “People have to tolerate that. You’ve got to accept the results.”

Tinubu and Atiku, as he’s identified in Nigeria, are each political heavyweights with a long time of networking behind them. Both Muslims, Tinubu is an ethnic Yoruba from the southwest and Atiku is a Fulani from the northeast.

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Obi, a Christian from the Igbo ethnic group, has much less of a political machine however has used a slick social media marketing campaign to generate enormous enthusiasm amongst younger voters, with some even calling themselves the “Obidients”.

INEC says its new Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) that identifies voters utilizing biometric knowledge would assist avert fraud. Reuters reporters in some places stated officers had been struggling to get the BVAS gadgets to work, whereas in others the system was functioning easily.

Despite INEC’s precautions, analysts have warned there are nonetheless dangers that cash-strapped residents might be weak to vote-buying makes an attempt by candidates.

Published On:

Feb 26, 2023