It was largely peaceful – Commonwealth, ECOWAS applaud Nigeria’s election as Tinubu leads with 6.3m votes

The Nigerian election has been adjudged to be largely peaceful by the Commonwealth and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Speaking on Monday, the Chairperson of the Commonwealth Observer Group and former president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, said Nigeria’s 2023 general elections were “largely peaceful” despite administrative and logistics hurdles at many polling units.

This was also corroborated by the ECOWAS Observation Mission which described the elections as generally peaceful and transparent.

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This is coming as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is so far leading with 6,300,834 votes according to results of last Saturday’s presidential election so far announced at the National Collation Centre in Abuja and as declared in 18 states collation centres across the country.

Delivering his team’s preliminary assessment of the electoral process at a press conference in Abuja, Mbeki said Nigerians were largely accorded the right to vote.

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“We congratulate all Nigerians for their determination, patience and resilience displayed throughout the electoral process, “he said.

He urged all citizens to exercise patience to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its staff to conclude the results process peacefully.

“We call on all those with grievances to address disputes through prescribed legal channels.

“The time now is for restraint and continued patience as we await the final results,” he said.

He commended the commitment shown by voters despite the late arrival of election officials and materials at many polling units, technical issues with the biometric identification machines in some cases, and delays with the live results transmission system.

On its part, the ECOWAS Observation Mission described the elections as generally peaceful and transparent.

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The leader of the delegation and former President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone, during a preliminary briefing on the elections in Abuja, said the voter turnout was low in most polling units visited.

He said most electorate composed themselves throughout the voting process.

“Vote counting and tallying processes were carried out in a transparent, simple and professional manner, in the presence of party agents, observers, and security agents in the daytime in some polling units and with lamps in others, where voting was delayed,” he added.

While commending the INEC for ensuring a hitch-free exercise, he, however, noted that there were pockets of violence in some states of the federation during the election.

“Most polling officials and ad hoc staff demonstrated inadequate knowledge of their duties, especially with voting materials. The set-up of most of the polling units visited did not adequately protect the secrecy of the voting process,” he also said.

Meanwhile, Tinubu is leading in eight states, according to results of last Saturday’s presidential election so far released at the collation centres in states across the country.

The results also indicate that Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), came second with 4,758,962 and won in nine states, while the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, is trailing with 3,035,529 and won in four states.

The candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, led in his home state (Kano) with 1,358,377 according to the collated results.

The 22 states where results have been collated so far are Adamawa, Kwara, Jigawa, Yobe, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Nasarawa, Lagos, Gombe, Niger, Kano, Benue, Plateau, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Kebbi and Kaduna states.

An analysis of the results indicates that Tinubu is leading in eight states namely: Kwara, Jigawa, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti and Benue and Niger.

Similarly, Atiku is having the upper hand in Adamawa, Yobe, Osun, Akwa Ibom, Gombe, Bayelsa, Kebbi, Bauchi and Kaduna states; while Peter Obi is leading in Enugu, Nasarawa, Lagos and Plateau.

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