The Chairperson of the Commonwealth Observer Group and former president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, yesterday said Nigeria’s 2023 general elections were “largely peaceful” despite administrative and logistics hurdles at many polling units.
Also, the ECOWAS Observation Mission described the elections as generally peaceful and transparent.
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.
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 electorates 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.
Tinubu leads in 8 states
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.
Daily Trust reports that at the commencement of collation on Monday, INEC announced the result for Ekiti State which was won by Tinubu.
At the resumed collation on Monday, the electoral empire certified the victories of Tinubu in Kwara and Ondo states, as well as that of Atiku.
INEC Chairman Prof. Mahmood Yakubu received the collated results from the collation officers led by the Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) from the states.
Prof. Paul Annune who is the state returning officer in Kwara, said APC’s Tinubu won in all the 16 local government areas of the state.
Annune, who is the Vice Chancellor of Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi, Benue State, said Asiwaju polled 263,572 while Atiku followed with 136,909 votes.
Obi scored 31,166 votes to come third while Kwankwaso scored 3,141 votes.
In the same vein, the Osun State returning officer and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, announced that Atiku won in the state.
She said while Atiku polled 354,366, Tinubu scored 343,945, Obi garnered 23,283 and Kwankwaso recorded 713 votes, respectively.
Prof. Ogunsola said a total of 756,744 votes were cast, with a total of 733,203 considered valid votes while 23,541 votes were rejected.
For the third state announced on Monday, the Ondo State returning officer and Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Prof. Abayomi Sunday Fashina, said Tinubu won the state with 369,924.
He said Atiku came second with 115,463, while Obi came third with 47,350.
He added that the total number of registered voters was 1,991,344 while the total number of accredited voters was 571,402.
He said the total number of valid votes was 551,008, rejected votes 19,009 and the total vote cast was 570,017.
He said the cancelled results were in four local government areas with 11 polling units PUs and 5,363 registered voters.
In Bayelsa, Atiku polled 68, 818 votes to defeat Obi who scored 49, 975 votes to come second.
Tinubu scored 42, 572 votes to come third in the state as announced by the returning officer and Vice-Chancellor, University of Benin, Prof Lilian Salami.
In Kebbi, Atiku was also declared the winner after polling 288,175 votes to defeat Tinubu who got 248,088 votes.
Obi polled 10,682 votes while NNPP trailed behind with 5,038 votes.
By Fidelis Mac-Leva, Abbas Jimoh and Joshua Odeyemi