Nigerians Frustrated As Votes Are Tallied

Logistical and security challenges in Nigeria’s general election have caused widespread delays and public frustration. Experts say new election technology has contributed significantly to the hitches.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Mahmood Yakubu had promised to announce results on Sunday. However, after logistical problems and violence at polling units in some states, including Kaduna, Bayelsa, Imo, Cross Rivers and Edo, some voters were still casting their ballots on Sunday.

“We hope that by tomorrow, we have some of the election results coming from states, particularly for the presidential election,” Yakubu told journalists in Abuja.

Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), urged the INEC to upload results.

“Political parties and the media should get results from the National Collation Center,” Yakubu said meanwhile.

Hitches with new electronic system 

Political analysts told DW that the new biometric voting system used in the election had contributed to delays. The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) was causing “great panic,” according to political analyst Dr. Omoshola Deji.

“The essence of introducing such an electronic system is that you get the results immediately,” Zainab Mohammed, the deputy head of DW Hausa, said.

“The anxiety is to be expected. In this election there are a few political parties contesting in this election and only one political party is going to win,” political Rafatu Salami said.

Voter turnout ‘encouraging’

INEC has yet to release voter turnout figures, but political analysts said the number of people who went to the polls appeared to be high.

“Nigerians are really eager to participate in the process. The turnout was very commendable,” Deji said.

This year’s vote is being carefully watched, as Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy. By 2050, the UN estimates that Nigeria will tie with the United States as the third most populous nation in the world after India and China.

Edited by Benita van Eyssen

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