| 30 March 2023, Thursday |

Some Nigerians vote late after glitches as election count underway

Nigerians were still casting their votes on Sunday in a few areas of the nation because of technical difficulties that stopped them from doing so on Saturday, but the electoral commission said results would begin to be published at 6 p.m. (1700 GMT).

The presidential and parliamentary elections in the oil-exporting nation of West Africa are currently being counted; the results will be known in five days.

Mahmood Yakubu, the head of the commission, indicated at a news conference in the nation’s capital Abuja that a few of Nigeria’s 36 states’ combined results would start to be made public on Sunday night.

The race to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari was expected to be the closest in Nigeria’s history, with candidates from two parties that have alternated in power since the end of army rule in 1999 facing an unusually strong challenge from a minor party candidate popular among young voters.

A Reuters reporter saw people casting their votes at polling stations in Yenagoa city, in Nigeria’s oil-producing south, where polling could not take place in some parts on Saturday because election officers and materials did not arrive.

In one, voters stood on sandy, weed-choked ground checking for their names plastered on a half-built concrete house.

“The experience was the yesterday it was a terrible thing,” Freedom Amienyo, a 59-year-old civil servant, said after voting.

“But today they tried to redeem the situation and we have come exercise our franchise, which makes me happy”.

Voting was also expected to continue in some parts of northeastern Borno state after voting machines failed to work.

It was not clear how many of Nigeria’s 93 million registered voters were unable to cast a ballot on Saturday.

In most parts of the country of 200 million people, voting went smoothly. Despite scattered incidents of violence and intimidation, this was not on the scale of previous elections.

There were reports of violence in the northern state of Kano on Sunday, where an armed group attacked a collation centre in the town of Takai, before security forces arrived, said Rakiya Muhammad, an election observer who witnessed the incident.

  • Reuters