Incumbent President on Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari is an unequivocal leader of the election race according to the provisional results.
The results showed that incumbent President main rival, businessman and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, could no longer catch up.
The candidate with the most votes nationwide is declared winner as long as they have at least one-quarter of the vote in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states and the capital Abuja, otherwise there is a run-off. Buhari has already secured enough votes to avoid a run-off vote the officials said.
Incumbent Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari (76) and his main opponent, businessman Atiku Abubakar (72) cast their ballots in presidential election voting after a week’s delay. The two candidates lead among more than 70 challengers.
The voting has started with an episode, animating social networks with a video depicting President Buhari checking his wife’s choice of the candidate.
Out of 84 million registered voters, 72.775 million Nigerians will be able to cast their ballots.
The materials include 707,892 ballot boxes and voting cubicles have been supplied. “We have accredited 120 domestic and 36 international observer groups, deploying accumulative number of 73,000 observers“, the Independent National Electoral Commission reported.
While casting his vote Atiku Abubakar said he would accept the elections outcome.
President Muhammadu Buhari said he was “deeply disappointed” but urged people to refrain from “civil disorder“, while he reacted upon the decision to postpone the vote announced by the electoral chief, Mr Yakubu, who said: “Our decision was entirely taken by the commission. It has nothing to do with security, nothing to do with political influence.”.
Yakubu insisted the delay was down to problems with the transportation of electoral materials – ballot papers and results sheets – to some regions of the country.
Main rival Atiku Abubakar called for patience but accused the administration of “anti-democratic acts“.
Election officials cited “logistical” reasons for delay in presidential and parliamentary polls.
Nigerian media reported about President’s Buhari decision to sack the INEC chairman Yakubu for the failure to organise the elections according tot he declared schedule.
Nigeria’s former vice-president Atiku Abubakar repeated bids for the presidency have excluded a renewal of political landscape in upcoming presidential elections in 2019.
Having failed four times for the top job claims, the 71-year-old political veteran again has been given chance by the main opposition PDP party to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari in February’s election.PDP
Abubakar is credited with having a solid network of support which is considered to be matching the level of the challenge, as well some progressive trends due to his backing of education initiatives, including the creation of the high profile American University of Nigeria in Adamawa State.
However Abubakar reputation has been plagued by chronic allegations of corruption, and arguments around conflict of interests between his business and political activities, repelling young electorate from his candidacy as a meaningful alternative to incumbent president.
Abubakar defected and switched back to the PDP in December 2017, alleging the 75-year-old president Buhari of “letting the Nigerian people, and especially our young people, down”.
In September Abubakar called Buhari “uncompromising” and “power drunk” attempting to establish himself as a right man to lead Africa’s biggest economy.