Showing posts with label election. Show all posts
Showing posts with label election. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Video - Court in Nigeria starts hearing petitions challenging Bola Tinubu's win

Opposition political parties and their candidates filed challenges against Bola Tinubu's win in the February 25th election back in March. Nigeria's Presidential Election Petition Court has roughly until September to issue a judgment. However, that judgment can then be appealed to the Supreme Court.


Related story: President-Elect Bola Tinubu Leaves Nigeria to Rest in Europe After Campaign

Video - Clip from President-elect Bola Tinubu's acceptance speech



Thursday, March 23, 2023

President-elect of Nigeria denies being unwell after travelling to Europe to rest

Nigeria's president-elect Bola Tinubu on Wednesday dismissed Nigerian media reports of ill health, his campaign saying he had travelled abroad to rest and plan his transition programme after a "very exhaustive" presidential election campaign.

Tinubu's health is being closely watched in a country where a former president died in office after a long illness and incumbent Muhammadu Buhari routinely travels abroad for medical checks and in early 2017 spent three months on medical leave in Britain for an unspecified ailment.

Tinubu's victory in last month's disputed presidential poll is being challenged in court by two of his closest opponents.

The 70-year-old former governor of commercial hub Lagos had appeared frail during some campaign appearances, his speech often slow and slurred, but he repeatedly brushed aside concerns about his health.

"After a very exhaustive campaign and election season, president-elect, Asíwájú Bola Tinubu, has travelled abroad to rest and plan his transition programme ahead of May 29, 2023 inauguration," campaign spokesperson Tunde Rahman said in a statement.

Tunde did not say where Tinubu had travelled to but said he would be back soon. 

By Felix Onuah, Reuters

Related story: President-Elect Bola Tinubu Leaves Nigeria to Rest in Europe After Campaign

President-Elect Bola Tinubu Leaves Nigeria to Rest in Europe After Campaign

Nigeria’s president-elect left the country Tuesday to rest after his recent electoral campaign, his office said.

Bola Tinubu, who will be inaugurated as president on May 29, will visit Paris and London before traveling to Saudi Arabia to take part in a pilgrimage during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that begins on Thursday, his spokesman said in a statement.

“While away, the president-elect will also use the opportunity to plan his transition program,” according to the statement. His office didn’t say when Tinubu would return.

Tinubu, 70, is a frequent visitor to London and spent 90 days in the city in 2021 undergoing and recuperating from knee surgery. He dismissed concerns about his health raised by opponents during the campaign before last month’s presidential election.

Visits to London for health-care aren’t uncommon for Nigerian leaders. Outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari was a frequent traveler to the UK capital for medical reasons, which overshadowed his rule of Africa’s most-populous country. 

By Ruth Olurounbi, Bloomberg

Related stories:  Video - Clip from President-elect Bola Tinubu's acceptance speech


Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Video - Lagos governor re-elected in win for Nigeria’s ruling party

The Lagos state governor — Babajide Sanwo-Olu — has been comfortably re-elected for the ruling party after what was expected to be a tight race against his rival from the Labour Party. Security remains tight across Nigeria as vote counting continues following Saturday's elections for more than 900 assembly legislators and 28 state governors. Election officials reported that some ballot boxes had been snatched by thugs in Lagos. Violence and voter intimidation were also reported in other cities. Al Jazeera's Ahmed Idris reports from Kano, Nigeria.

Al Jazeera

Authorities Brace for Unrest as Gubernatorial Election Winners Announced in Nigeria

Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared results for 12 states so far, including the economic hub of Lagos, where incumbent governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the ruling party was reelected.

But observers say Saturday's elections were characterized by widespread violence, voter suppression and intimidation.

Local media reported that 21 people were killed and scores injured across the country.

In Imo state, police rescued 17 INEC staffers abducted by gunmen on the morning of the elections as they were heading to their polling units.

Rights group Amnesty International condemned the violence.

"There were pockets of violence and prevention of people to make their choices in the ballot, disrupting electoral processes and campaign of calumny, and the employment of thugs. We strongly condemn such human rights violations," said Aminu Hayatu, Amnesty International's conflict researcher.

Amnesty International said social media was used to incite tribal hatred and ethnic slurs and urged social media companies like Twitter, Meta and WhatsApp to improve their screening-out of hateful content.

There were also issues of staff delays and technical difficulties during Saturday's polls.

But Nigeria's information minister, Lai Mohammed, who voted in his hometown in south-west Kwara state, said the election was one of the most credible in Nigeria's recent history.

Idayat Hassan, director at the Center for Democracy and Development, disagrees.

"The likelihoods of postelection violence are high but how widespread is what we do not know," Hassan said. "Considering this is a projection, the response of the state is what we should actually be looking out for. How will the Nigerian state be able to timely nip any form of insecurity in the bud with the minimum use of force?"

Kano state authorities have imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew in anticipation of unrest as more results are announced.

Amnesty International wants authorities to identify and punish promoters of election violence.

"Such are violations against the international human rights law which Nigeria is signatory to. We're calling on [the] government to investigate and fish out those who are behind such human rights violations, irrespective of who they are," Hayatu said.

Last month, observers said the presidential election in which the ruling party's Bola Ahmed Tinubu was declared the winner lacked transparency and didn't meet the expectations of most citizens.

Experts said there's heightened tension in many states, including Adamawa state where incumbent governor Ahmadu Fintiri of the People's Democratic Party and Senator Aishatu Ahmed-Binani of the All Progressive Congress are locked in a tough race.

Ahmed-Binani is the first woman with a realistic chance of being elected governor in Nigeria.

By Timothy Obiezu, VOA

Related story: State elections postponed in Nigeria due to dispute of presidential vote


Peter Obi challenges Nigeria's presidential election result in court






Nigeria's opposition Labour Party candidate Peter Obi has filed a court petition challenging last month's disputed presidential election, the party said, kicking off what could be a long legal campaign lasting several months.

There have been numerous legal challenges to the outcome of previous Nigerian presidential elections but none has succeeded.

Obi campaigned as an outsider, galvanised young and first-time voters and had appeared to throw the contest wide open, raising some voters' hopes for change after years of hardship and violence under outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari, 80, a former army general.

But Obi came third behind winner Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress party (APC) and main opposition People's Democratic Party's (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, both of whom had powerful political machines and decades of networking behind them.

The APC and PDP have, between them, governed Nigeria since the end of military rule in 1999.

"We are challenging the qualifications of the candidate that was declared the winner. We are also challenging the processes that led to his declaration as the winner, among others," Labour Party spokesperson Yunusa Tanko told Reuters.

Election observers from the European Union, the Commonwealth and other bodies reported a range of problems, among them failures in systems designed to prevent vote manipulation.

The observers criticised the electoral commission for poor planning and voting delays, but they did not allege fraud. The commission itself apologised for the technical problems during the count.

The Appeals Court will sit as a tribunal and has 180 days to hear and make a ruling on Obi's challenge. Atiku has also said he would petition the court and has until midnight on Wednesday to file his papers.

If a candidate is not satisfied with the outcome of the tribunal, they can approach the Supreme Court, which will deliberate on an appeal within 60 days.

Nigeria's next president will be sworn in on May 29.

There were several cases of violence and voter intimidation in last month's presidential vote as well as this weekend's governorship polls. Turnout was low despite the highest number of registered voters, at 93 million.

The APC won 15 of the 28 governorship races, including commercial hub Lagos, compared to PDP's 8 and one went to a regional northern party.

Elections in two states were declared inconclusive and counting was suspended in two others due to violence.

By Camillus Eboh, Reuters

Related stories: Presidential election in Nigeria was positive for the region

Video - Opposition candidate Peter Obi says he will prove he won presidential election in Nigeria

Friday, March 10, 2023

Video - INEC postpones polls for state governors in Nigeria

Nigeria’s gubernatorial elections have been pushed back to March 18 instead of March 11. The country's electoral commission says the extra time will allow officials to reconfigure and deploy voting machines that were used in February's presidential and legislative elections.


Related stories: President-elect Tinubu will have busy first 100 days in Nigeria

Video - Opposition presidential candidates weigh options after election results in Nigeria



Monday, March 6, 2023

President-elect Tinubu will have busy first 100 days in Nigeria

Political analyst Tunde Ajeliye says that raising revenue, tackling the oil and gas prices as well as returning the subsidy programme are key issues Nigeria's president-elect Bola Tinubu must address during his first 100 days in office.


Friday, March 3, 2023

Video - Opposition candidate Peter Obi says he will prove he won presidential election in Nigeria

Labour Party leader Peter Obi, the third-placed candidate in the Nigerian presidential election, has promised to challenge the result in court. Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared winner and president-elect on Wednesday, securing 37 percent of the vote. The main opposition People’s Democratic Party candidate Atiku Abubakar received 29 percent of the vote, while Obi garnered 25 percent of the vote, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). In his first public speech since the official results were announced, Obi said he would prove he had been robbed of victory and urged his supporters not to lose hope. Al Jazeera’s Haru Mutasa reports from Abuja, Nigeria.

Al Jazeera

Video - Opposition presidential candidates weigh options after election results in Nigeria

Nigeria’s main opposition parties want a new presidential election held. Members of the People's Democratic Party and Labour Party both say Saturday's vote count was marred with irregularities. However, the two parties are not quite ready to mount an official legal challenge to INEC's declaration that ruling All Progressives Congress candidate Bola Tinubu won the race.


Related story: Video - Clip from President-elect Bola Tinubu's acceptance speech


Opposition renews calls to annul election results in Nigeria

Nigeria's opposition renewed calls for the election result to be overturned on Thursday, a day after the country announced its new president-elect.

“We won the election and we will prove it to Nigerians,” third-place Labour Party candidate Peter Obi said at a news conference in the capital. He said that the election would be remembered as one of the most controversial in Nigeria's history and that it was marred by irregularities.

Hours later, second-place candidate Atiku Abubakar with the Peoples Democratic Party also rejected defeat and said he was consulting with his lawyers on how to challenge the outcome.

“I have come to the conclusion that the processes and outcome of the Presidential and National Assembly election of last Saturday were grossly flawed in every (way) and as such must be challenged,” he told reporters in the capital, Abuja.

At least four other parties are joining them in challenging the results. They have three weeks from the day the final tally was announced to appeal.

But an election can be invalidated only if it’s proven that the national electoral body largely didn’t follow the law and acted in ways that could have changed the result. None of Nigeria’s presidential election results has ever been overturned by the country’s Supreme Court.

The opposition said the delay in uploading results from the country’s 177,000 polling stations to the electoral body's portal could have made room for vote tampering. They said there was also voter intimidation and cases where people were barred from voting at all.

While there were inconsistencies in the results in Rivers and Imo states between the information gathered by observers on the ground and the results announced by the electoral body, it wasn’t enough to impact the election’s final outcome, said YIAGA Africa, Nigeria’s largest election observer group. Still, the issues spotted could just be the tip of the iceberg, it said.

President-elect Bola Tinubu of the ruling party received 37% of the vote in last weekend’s election and will be Nigeria’s first president to take office with less than 50%, analysts say. The main opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar, won 29% of the vote, while third-place finisher Obi got 25%, according to official results.

Tinubu, 70, faces a divided nation and many younger Nigerians doubt his ability to improve economic opportunities for all, let alone reduce violence and corruption in a country that is one of the world’s leading suppliers of oil.

While the opposition cried foul Thursday, Nigerians were uncharacteristically indifferent. Unlike after previous elections where people took to the streets to celebrate or protest, the streets in Abuja were largely empty as daily life continued. Tinubu’s supporters believe he won fairly and will be sworn in as president on May 29.

“We have voted for him and he has been sworn in. It is now his turn to help us and see the way Nigeria is suffering,” said Gbemisola Olabogun, a water seller in Lagos city. “He should please look into everything and make life easy for us all."

Still, opposition supporters are holding out hope that the vote will be overturned.

“As far as I am concerned, Obi is my president,” said Chima Ekwueme a Labour Party supporter. “We will be here when he is declared winner,” he said.


Related story: Video - Clip from President-elect Bola Tinubu's acceptance speech

Nigeria elects Bola Tinubu is the new president

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Bola Tinubu will be the new president of Nigeria







Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been declared as the winner of Nigeria's presidential elections, beating out two other prominent candidates. It comes three days after criticism by observers for widespread logistical failings, violence that suppressed the vote and cries from opposition parties of a sham.

For Tinubu, his victory is the culmination of a deeply held ambition.

Over decades, the former two-term governor of Lagos has evolved into a divisive yet towering figure in Nigerian politics. The wealthy, so-called political godfather is a power broker who helped outgoing president Muhammadu Buhari win the presidency in 2015.

Tinubu's campaign slogan was "emi lo kan" in his native Yoruba — "It's my turn." And now it is.

He won just over 36% of the vote in one of the most tightly contested polls since the end of military rule. He lost in his home state but won by a clear margin in the rest of the country defeating 76-year-old Atiku Abubakar, a six-time presidential contestant, and 61-year-old Peter Obi, a third-party candidate who galvanized huge support from voters disaffected with the traditional political class.

The president-elect saw success in Lagos — and criticism over his continued influence

Tinubu is at once one of the most well-known politicians in the country and also an enigma, dogged by questions about the source of his wealth, his age and his health.

A former accountant and senator, he's credited by supporters for attracting major investment and turning Lagos into one of the biggest economies in Africa when he was governor of the state from 1999 to 2007.

Since he left office, subsequent governors have relied on his blessing and committed to following his blueprint.

But to his detractors, he is blamed for Lagos' many challenges: decrepit infrastructure, a lack of affordable housing and inequality. He has long claimed to have made millions while working as an accountant at Deloitte, but the firm says he was never employed.

He has often been accused of maintaining control of the state's finances which he helped to build. He has also fought corruption charges and been accused of involvement in drug-related crimes. In 1992, the U.S. government accused him in a lawsuit of laundering proceeds from heroin trafficking, and he eventually reached a settlement, forfeiting $460,000. He denies any wrongdoing.

The election indicates changes for Nigerian politics

Before the vote, several opinion polls predicted Obi would win the election. He ultimately came third but despite defeat, Obi's 25% share of the vote is the highest third party percentage tally in Nigerian history. Key wins in states like Lagos have made Nigeria's political map appear less set in stone, and more vulnerable to political mobilization of the kind that Obi has inspired, particularly among the young and middle class.

The opposition had called for the elections to be canceled and for a rerun of the vote, and there will likely be legal challenges.

But now Tinubu has been declared the next president of Nigeria, he faces the tall task of addressing major economic and security crises.

The last eight years have seen two recessions, high youth unemployment, inflation and a collapse in the value of the naira. Kidnaps for ransom attacks have spread, and armed groups are active across the country's north, central and southeast.

The inauguration is scheduled to be held in May.

Emmanuel Akinwotu, NPR

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Anxious wait as election results come in Nigeria

In Nigeria there is growing concern at the slow pace of ballot counting after this past weekend's election. Previous votes have been marred by corruption. Al Jazeera's Mohammed Jamjoom reports from Abuja, Nigeria.

Al Jazeera

Monday, February 27, 2023

Vote count under way in Nigeria amid some extended polling

Nigerians are still voting in a national election in a few parts of the country where technical and other glitches prevented voting from taking place as scheduled on Saturday. Vote counting was already underway in other places during the historically tight race between three frontrunners competing for the presidency of Africa’s most populous nation. Nearly 90 million voters were eligible to vote in Saturday’s election, which was largely peaceful, although isolated violence, delays and technical hitches forced many to wait until the evening, or Sunday, to vote.

Al Jazeera

Video - Nigeria facing food security challenge

Nigeria's electoral commission announced initial results from Saturday's national elections, but a final tally is not due for several days. The presidential vote is expected to be the closest in Nigeria's history. Collins Nweke, an African Affairs commentator based in Paris shares his thoughts on how the Nigerian Electoral Commission handed the vote.


Peter Obi wins key Lagos state in presidential election in Nigeria






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.

Al Jazeera

Related story: Video - Voters to elect new president on Saturday in Nigeria

Friday, February 24, 2023

Video - Voters to elect new president on Saturday in Nigeria

Voters in Nigeria are electing a president and members of parliament on Saturday. The race for leadership of the country is said to be too close to call. Amid economic and political turmoil, many Nigerians are hoping for change, but worry about what changes may come. Al Jazeera's Mohammed Jamjoom reports from Abuja, Nigeria.

Al Jazeera

Related stories: Election proceed in Nigeria despite cash shortage crisis

Video - Next President of Nigeria has a full plate already



Election proceed in Nigeria despite cash shortage crisis

Nigeria’s election commission said Thursday it now has received much of the cash it needs to carry out this weekend’s elections, dismissing concerns that the vote would be postponed because of the country’s banknote crisis.

Meanwhile, though, Nigerians continued to line up at banks across Africa’s most populous nation, unable to withdraw their money. The shortages fueled fears that voters could have trouble getting to their polling stations on Saturday.

Authorities have in the past delayed Nigeria’s last two presidential elections, but the Independent National Electoral Commission said Thursday that election materials and staffers were being deployed to more than 175,000 voting units across Nigeria.

“I want to assure Nigerians that we are adequately prepared for this election,“ INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu said at a news conference in the capital, Abuja.

Still, he noted that 6.2 million eligible voters had not picked up their voting cards in time for Saturday’s vote.

Hussaini Abdu with YIAGA Africa, a nonprofit group promoting electoral reforms in Nigeria, feared people could have difficulties getting to polling stations on Saturday or lose interest altogether.

“The growing discontent among citizens may lead to voter apathy in the form of protest, which will eventually lead to low voter turnouts,” Abdu said.

Nigerian voters are to choose a new president on Saturday from a field of 18 candidates following the second and final term of incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.

Three front-runners have emerged, including the ruling party’s Bola Tinubu and the main opposition’s Atiku Abubakar. Peter Obi, a third-party hopeful who has been favored in most polls, has broken the usual cycle of two-candidate races.

In a tweet Thursday, Buhari urged election officials and security agencies “to be firm and courageous, and to abide by the laws and constitutional provisions in conducting the elections.”

Authorities announced in November that they were replacing Nigeria’s currency, the naira, with new, redesigned notes for the first time in nearly two decades. But with the change coming just before the election, everyone from vendors to government officials have struggled to have enough money on hand in a country still heavily dependent on its cash economy.

On Thursday, the election commission also sought to reassure Nigerians that the country’s security challenges were being addressed as well.

Observers have expressed concerns about the safety of voters and election workers, particularly in the north where thousands have died in the last year because of violence linked to Islamic extremists and banditry.

Violence directed at polling stations in the southeast where separatists are active also has created unease about the vote.

A senate candidate for the Labour Party was burned to death by gunmen, police said Thursday, the latest in a spiral of violence that analysts fear could affect voter turnout.

Chinedu Asadu, AP

Related stories: Video - Next President of Nigeria has a full plate already

54% of currency in Nigeria no longer in circulation

Video - Nigerian banks face a shortage of new naira notes

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Video - Senate candidate Oyibo Chukwu killed by unknown gunmen

A Senate candidate from Nigeria's opposition Labour Party has been shot and killed in the southeast. It is the latest incident amid a spate of violence ahead of Saturday's election. Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa reports from Enugu, Nigeria.

Al Jazeera 

Related stories: Senate candidate killed three days before election in Nigeria

President Biden calls for peaceful, transparent election in Nigeria



Senate candidate killed three days before election in Nigeria

A senatorial candidate from Nigeria's opposition Labour Party was killed late on Wednesday by unknown gunmen in southeastern Enugu State, a local party official said on Thursday, the latest violent incident ahead of a momentous national election.

Nigerians are due to elect their next president and lawmakers on Saturday. President Muhammadu Buhari is stepping down after serving the maximum two terms allowed by the constitution.

The three-man race to be his successor is seen as the most unpredictable in recent history and the run-up to the election has been marred by violence, a pattern seen in previous polls in Africa's most populous country.

Police confirmed the killing of Labour Party candidate Oyibo Chukwu, which came hours after the parties and presidential candidates signed a pledge to support a peaceful electoral process.

Chinwuba Ngwu, the Labour Party chairman in the Enugu South local government area, said Chukwu had been ambushed and killed as he travelled back from a campaign event.

"He was shot dead and then set ablaze in his vehicle with his driver and one of his boys," Ngwu said.

"It is a devastating development for us. We are suspecting political assassination because he is favoured to win the election," he said.

A police spokesperson in Enugu State said they would issue a statement later.

U.S. President Joe Biden earlier called for a peaceful, transparent election, urging parties and candidates to accept the results when they are published by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

"All Nigerians deserve this chance to choose their future — freely and fairly," Biden said in a statement.

"While the United States does not support any single candidate or party, we strongly support a peaceful and transparent process that reflects the will of the people of Nigeria."

The main candidates for president are former Lagos governor Bola Tinubu, 70, who represents the ruling party, former vice president Atiku Abubakar, 76, who represents the main opposition party that was in power from 1999 to 2015, and Peter Obi, 61, an anti-establishment candidate popular among many young voters.

Obi, an ethnic Igbo, is running on the Labour Party ticket. He is particularly popular in the Igbo heartland in southeastern Nigeria, which includes Enugu State, and this may have boosted the lesser known party's profile in the region.

By Estelle Shirbon, Reuters

Related story: Video - Elections to go on despite security concerns in Nigeria