The counting of votes in the Nigerian general election concluded on Sunday evening. The results were to be collected from all local offices and forwarded to the Electoral Commission in Abuja. However, the Commission fell behind schedule and the first national results were delayed until late Sunday afternoon.
The only state to have its results announced before the collection was suspended was Ekiti State, one of the smallest in Nigeria. The candidate of the ruling party, Tinubu Ball, won the election, followed by Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, Peter Obi of the Labor Party, and Rabiu Kwankwasso of the NNPP.
Atiku Abubakar, who is participating in his sixth presidential election, called on the Electoral Commission to publish the results quickly, believing that governors were attempting to compromise the process at the local level. Peter Obi of the Labor Party accused the Commission of refusing to report results from Lagos State and Delta, citing pressure from the ruling party.
Nnamdi Anekwe-Chive, a researcher at CHIVE GPS, suggested that if the election officials had uploaded the results on time, many states would have tabulated their results and would already be on their way to the federal capital of Abuja to drop them off at the national tabulation centre.
The collection of results from all local offices will resume this Monday at 11 a.m. and Nigerians will have to wait patiently for clear results to be announced. Despite the delays, it is hoped that the Electoral Commission will ensure a free and fair process and that the results will be announced as soon as possible.
Christina Okello, from the Africa editorial staff, believes that Peter Obi’s claims of pressure from the ruling party are genuine and not made to please his base or gain any political advantage.
The Nigerian election is a crucial one, and it is essential that the Electoral Commission is allowed to do its job without any interference. Once the collection of results is completed, the Commission must ensure that the results are published without any further delay.