The opposition in Nigeria denounces "mass manipulation" and calls for the rerun of the elections | International
The two main opposition parties in Nigeria, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labor Party (LP), have called for the suspension of the counting of the elections that were held this Saturday and its repetition due to the numerous irregularities detected in the process. . Specifically, they spoke of "massive manipulations in the count." With 31 of the 36 states already counted, the government candidate, Bola Tinubu, from the Congress of All Progressives (APC), leads the electoral process, with some 7.5 million votes (35%), followed by Atiku Abubakar, from PDP, with some 6.2 million (29%) and Peter Obi, leader of the LP, with some 5.2 million ballots (25%). If these results are confirmed, a second round will be held between Tinubu and Abubakar.
"The APC has influenced the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and we can verify that the results have been modified," Senator Dino Melaye, of the PDP, assured the media on Monday, "we have information that there have been constituencies where the elections were not held and the results were cooked and in others, electronic devices were not used and results were also proclaimed”. Melaye staged an angry protest during the count at the INEC headquarters in Abuja, demanding that the tally from the polling stations be published on the screens set up for this purpose and not just read aloud. Umar Faruk Ibrahim, LP secretary general, agreed with these criticisms: "We have empirical evidence that the machines were not used," he said.
"The elections are irretrievably compromised and we have totally lost confidence in the whole process", assured representatives of both parties in a joint press conference held this Monday in which they demanded "the immediate annulment of this simulation of elections" and the organization new elections, according to Julius Abure, president of the LP. "The published results do not reflect the aspirations of Nigerians," they added, after recalling that the outgoing president, Muhammadu Buhari, had promised "to leave as a legacy free, fair, transparent and credible elections."
Defective facial and fingerprint recognition system
Criticism from the opposition has focused on the defective use of the facial and fingerprint recognition system, implemented for the first time in these elections, as well as on the electronic transmission of data to the electoral commission, which has only worked in some polling stations. or accumulate delays.
The observation mission of the European Union, in a preliminary report, has warned of the lack of transparency in the elections and has criticized both the lack of preparation of the personnel in charge of the new electronic resources and the lack of security in some polling stations. , which gave rise to abuses by electoral agents. Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has joined these criticisms and has called for a rerun of the elections where the vote has been disrupted by violence. In the oil-rich Rivers State, electoral commission agents temporarily suspended the announcement of results after one of his colleagues received death threats on his phone.
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The dropper publication of some results that place the government candidate Bola Tinubu in the lead has sparked protests this Tuesday in Abuja, the federal capital, and in other cities of the country. The protesters have demanded the annulment of the electoral process, which they described as fraudulent, as well as the dismissal of the president of the electoral commission, Mahmood Yakubu. On Monday there were also incidents in the city of Lagos, after the victory of Peter Obi in this state was known. Specifically, several shops run by members of the Igbo ethnic group, to which Obi belongs, were attacked and the Army deployed troops to guarantee security.
Meanwhile, the counting of votes has continued on Tuesday and already reveals some trends in these historic elections, in which for the first time since the arrival of democracy three parties had aspirations of victory. With 31 of the 36 States plus the federal capital already counted, the government candidate Bola Tinubu leads the count with 7.5 million votes and shows greater strength than his rivals, even in the States where he has lost.
The opposition leader Atiku Abubakar, of the PDP, achieves great results in the north of the country, winning in States such as Yobe, Katsina or Adamawa, while lagging behind in the south. Even so, he adds 6.2 million ballots. Finally, Peter Obi obtains brilliant victories such as Plateau, Abuja and especially Lagos, but the north is his great Achilles heel. He gets 5.2 million votes. For its part, the New Nigeria People's Party (NNPP) and its candidate, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, are in fourth place with 1.5 million votes thanks, above all, to their spectacular victory in the important state of Kano, the most country town.
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