Nigeria’s Obi wins key Lagos state in presidential election
Slow uploading of results to INEC’s website has fueled worries of malpractice in the country.
Nigerian presidential candidate Peter Obi has gotten the most votes in the commercial hub of Lagos state, which houses Africa’s biggest city.
Obi, of the Labour Party, got 582,454 votes, just ahead of former Lagos Governor Bola Tinubu, who got 572,606 votes for the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) party, electoral commission data showed on Monday.
Lagos was previously Tinubu’s main stronghold.
Obi’s campaign attracted young and urban voters fed up with corrupt traditional politics. It called on voters to reject the two parties that have run Africa’s most populous nation for a quarter of a century.
Nearly 90 million were eligible to vote in the elections to choose a successor to President Muhammadu Buhari, with many hoping for a new leader to tackle insecurity, economic malaise and widening poverty.
Voting on Saturday was mostly peaceful, but there were some incidents of some polling stations being ransacked. Many others opened very late in Lagos and other cities. Voters stayed overnight to watch over the initial count at polling stations.
Voting continued in some parts of the country on Sunday.
Announcing first results state by state, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday said APC’s Tinubu won the small, southwestern Ekiti state with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) coming second.
Final tallies for the presidential race could take days. Votes are tallied by hand at local polling stations and results are uploaded online to INEC’s central database IReV, which is meant to improve transparency.
However, slow uploading of results to INEC’s website has fuelled worries of malpractice in a country with a history of ballot rigging and vote buying.
By Monday morning, results from about 52,000 centres had been submitted to the platform from about 176,000 polling centres nationwide – approximately 30 percent.
PDP on Monday accused the ruling APC governors of pressuring INEC over results in the southeast and in parts of Lagos, a highly contested state with the most registered voters at more than seven million.
The early result in one state for APC’s Tinubu was very preliminary in a country almost equally divided between a mostly Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south and with three main ethnic groups in different regions.
Voting is usually determined by large key states such as Lagos and northwestern Kano and Kaduna.
To win the presidency, a candidate must get the most votes, and also win at least 25 percent of votes cast in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states to reflect broad representation.