Nigeria’s presidential election results are out for 14 of the country’s 36 states, with Bola Tinubu from the ruling All Progressives Congress party (APC) leading the race.
Tinubu has won just over 44 per cent of the tallied votes, while his main rival, Atiku Abubakar from the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has almost 33 per cent of the vote.
Peter Obi from the smaller Labour Party has close to 18 per cent, after landing a surprise victory over Tinubu in the country’s commercial capital, Lagos.
A fourth contender, Rabiu Kwankwaso, of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), is expected to do well in parts of the north.
To win the presidential election, a candidate needs a simple majority, provided they have at least a quarter of the votes cast in at least 24 states. If no candidate achieves that, a runoff will be held within 21 days.
As results were announced, Abubakar’s and Obi’s parties walked out of the polling stations, claiming a lack of transparency in the new electronic voter system that was being used for the first time.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied the opposition parties’ complaints. Its chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said the announcement of results would continue.
The use of electronic voting in this election was intended to increase transparency and prevent fraud, but it has raised concerns about the security of the system and the ability of INEC to manage it effectively.
In the meantime, an independent team of Commonwealth observers has reported that the elections were “largely peaceful” despite facing administrative and logistical challenges at numerous polling stations.