Share

AP Explains: What to watch as Nigeria awaits vote results

Share

KANO, Nigeria (AP) — Official results of Nigeria’s presidential election are expected as early as Monday in what is called a close race between President Muhammadu Buhari and a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, both from the largely Muslim north. At stake is Africa’s largest economy and largest democracy, that is experiencing a demographic boom that could make Nigeria the world’s third most populous country by 2050.

The winner inherits an oil-dependent economy still limping back from a recession that began in 2016 after global crude prices crashed. Nearly one-quarter of Nigeria’s more than 190 million people are unemployed. Inflation is over 11 percent. The country now leads the world in the number of people in extreme poverty. Frustration with the economy could decide the election, though insecurity is also a major issue.

Here’s what to watch in the hours ahead.

___

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO WIN?

Trending:
Gen. Flynn Warning: Before Nov., Dems Can Stick Us with Unelected POTUS/VP - Technically Legal, Extremely Troubling

For the presidency, a candidate must win a majority of overall votes as well as at least 25 percent of the vote in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states. If that isn’t achieved, the election moves to a runoff.

Top candidates have spent untold millions of dollars campaigning. Buhari is expected to do well in the north and Abubakar in the southeast, while many are watching the southwest anchored by Lagos, Africa’s largest city, and the central region where Buhari is criticized over his weak response to deadly farmer-herder clashes.

The results of Saturday’s vote have made their way to compilation centers, where election workers hunch over calculators and scribble totals under party agents’ watchful eyes. After results are brought in physical form to the capital, Abuja, the electoral commission will announce them state-by-state. Only the commission can announce official results, though local media are broadcasting the tallies of key compilation centers and party supporters tweet purported tallies.

With a surge in candidates — 73 this time, after 14 in 2015 — simply going through results party-by-party could prolong the process.

Some 73 million Nigerians were eligible to vote. The turnout was just below 44 percent in the last election, part of a downward trend.

___

WILL RESULTS BE CONTESTED?

Nigerians were surprised in 2015 when President Goodluck Jonathan conceded before official results were announced to Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator who pulled off the first defeat of an incumbent by the opposition in the country’s history. This time, Buhari and top challenger Abubakar have been coy about whether they will accept the results, despite signing more than one pledge for a peaceful election.

Between them the two candidates have run for the presidency nine times, with Buhari challenging defeats in court for months at a time, in vain. The president caused an outcry three weeks before this election by suspending the country’s chief justice, a key figure in any legal challenge to the vote, over corruption allegations but without the input of other branches of government as required.

Related:
Three Men Dead After Swimming Under Red Flag Warning at US Beach

___

COULD THE RESULTS CAUSE VIOLENCE?

While more than 800 people were killed after Nigeria’s 2011 election, the 2015 vote was one of the country’s most peaceful and transparent. Violence was said to be limited to extremist attacks in the northeast.

This time, analysis unit SBM Intelligence reports at least 39 people killed in clashes around the country, including an ambush of soldiers by “political hoodlums” in Rivers state in the turbulent south.

“Enough people have died,” the U.S. consul general, John Bray, told reporters on Sunday. In the northern state of Kano, Nigeria’s second largest, some have warned of unrest if Abubakar pulls off an upset win.

With Nigeria’s top political parties said to be driven more by access to power than issues, competition for hugely lucrative posts can turn ugly at any level — and the country also awaits the results of more than 450 National Assembly seats.

“The risk of violence is quite higher in this election,” and not because of religion or ethnicity, said Idayat Hassan, director of the Center for Democracy and Development. “It has to do more with … how much these people really want to win at all costs.”

___

Follow AP’s full coverage of the Nigeria elections here: https://www.apnews.com/Nigeria

___

Follow Africa news at https://twitter.com/AP_Africa

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation