Opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari had a minimal lead over President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria’s really close general election on Monday with just half of all states counted in the nation.
The election which has Jonathan against the former military ruler Buhari is the closest in Nigeria’s history. It is also the first with a legit opposition challenge.
The international community has had positive reactions about the elections, despite minor issues like late delivery of election materials and technical glitches with the voting devices.
The international observers and Nigeria’s Transition Monitoring Group have been witness of how things have gone smoothly for the most part. The Monitoring Group added that, “These issues did not systematically disadvantage any candidate or party.”
Buhari defeated the current president by almost 1.7 million votes in one of the key areas of the nation, the state of Kano. The state, which has been one of the hardest hit regions by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, has made the election a close one. Buhari also took a considerable amount of votes in Katsina and Kaduna.
Goodluck Jonathan turned things around in the southeastern states as well as the central state of Plateau.
Buhari had a 2 million lead on Jonathan but there are still populous states that haven’t been counted. These states are Rivers and Lagos.
Warning From Countries
The All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party accused each other of vote rigging and other suspicious activities during the weekend. This could lead to a legal challenge of the results.
Elections in the past have turned out violent, after the winner is announced. With this in mind, the United States and Britain warned against any “interference” in the vote count.
“So far, we have seen no evidence of systemic manipulation of the process,” U.S Secretary of State John Kerry and British foreign minister Philip Hammond said in a joint statement.
The spokesman for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Kayode Idowu, told the media that right now there is no evidence of political interference.
After the warnings, Jonathan challenged Kerry and those who are questioning the legitimacy of the elections to show evidence or proof.
In Kaduna state, one of the most violent areas of the nation, where an estimate of 1,000 people were killed in post-election battles four years ago, was said to be calm.
Still, some officials believe that some states are a ticking time bomb and that the places could get violent if there is electoral fraud in the ruling.
A group of women protesting against the handling of the elections were tear gassed as they tried to come together on the local electoral commission offices in the city of Port Harcourt.
The women claim that the Peoples Democratic Party is vote rigging. The commission is currently investigating these allegations.
Nigerians Try To Stay Calm
Jonathan has been in charge since 1999, but his opponent is putting up a huge fight. A new person in charge and the economic problems of the nation, have given Nigerians the reason to vote for the APC.