As the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) concludes the counting of votes from yesterday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, the presidential candidates of the major parties have expressed confidence in their chances of victory. The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the candidates of the Labour Party (LP) and the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso, respectively, have all voiced optimism about winning the election.
The election saw a high voter turnout, although there were reports of late arrival of materials and alleged disenfranchisement of voters by thugs in several polling units, especially in Lagos State. President Muhammadu Buhari cast his vote in his hometown of Daura, Katsina State, and displayed his ballot paper with a thumbprint for the APC presidential candidate, Tinubu. He reiterated his support for Tinubu, saying that he had campaigned for him in many parts of the country.
The Labour Party has raised concerns over reports of irregularities and widespread thuggery in some key states and threatened not to accept the outcome of the elections if the INEC fails to address these issues. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Yiaga Africa have also alleged that violence marred the polls in several polling units across the country.
Atiku, Tinubu, Obi, and Kwankwaso have all expressed confidence in their victory at the polls. Atiku commended the orderly conduct of the exercise, while Tinubu expressed optimism that he would win the poll. The LP presidential candidate, Obi, expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the INEC so far in the election and his confidence in victory. Meanwhile, Kwankwaso has also declared that he was confident of victory at yesterday’s poll.
The final results of the presidential and National Assembly elections are yet to be officially announced by the INEC. However, with the high voter turnout and the optimism of the major candidates, it is clear that Nigerians have shown a strong commitment to democracy and the democratic process.
INEC Postpones election in parts of Bayelsa, Edo
INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu says while the elections in Bayelsa will hold today, the Edo elections will come up on 11 March.
In Yenagoa, voting was disrupted and the commission mobilised security officials to escort the ad hoc staff to continue voting.
However, the NYSC ad hoc staff were scared to go back, prompting the commission to postpone voting in the areas, Mr. Yakubu said.
In Edo State, the constituency election in Esan North, Esan South and Igueben due to the omission of a political party’s logo on the ballot was deployed. He did not state the name of the political party.
The Edo elections have been postponed to 11 March to hold alongside the Governorship and States Houses of Assembly elections, he said.
INEC Opens Collation Centre In Abuja, Awaits State Results
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday formally opened the 2023 presidential election collation centre at the International Conference Centre in Abuja.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu opened the collation centre and set certain ground rules for the collation of election results.
“The collation centre is hereby declared open until the final announcement of the results of the 2023 presidential election,” he said.
Mahmood also said the collation of presidential election results will be done at four levels — first at the 8,889 wards, then at the 774 local government areas, then the state collation officers for the presidential election (SCOPs) at the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory will submit the votes per candidate in Abuja.
The electoral chief said the collation centre will be open all day and all night with short breaks.
He also cautioned political parties to only draw their figures from INEC and announced that collation from states will resume by 6 pm when results from states would have arrived.
“As we await the arrival of the SCOPs, we will now take a break and resume at 6pm.
“We are certain that by 6pm, one or two of the SCOPs will arrive with the results. So, we begin the process of collation,” the INEC chief stated.
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