Africa

Nigeria awaits results of delayed vote

Ballots are being counted in Nigeria’s closely fought general election, although voting has been extended to a second day in a handful of places.

Due to logistical problems and some cases of violence, polls have been put back to a later date in a few areas.

President Muhammadu Buhari, 76, is seeking a second term. His main challenger is former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, 72.

The election had been due last week but was delayed at the last minute.

Whoever wins in Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy will have to address power shortages, corruption, security threats, and an economic slowdown.

President Buhari cast his ballot in his hometown of Daura in the northern state of Katsina. Asked if he would congratulate his rival if he lost, he said: “I will congratulate myself.”

Mr Abubakar, a business tycoon, also said he was confident of victory.

The main results centre is expected to open at 18:00 local time (17:00 GMT) in the capital, Abuja, but final results are not expected until Monday at the earliest.

Most of the country was calm but there were reports of attacks by the Boko Haram Islamist militant group in the north, and voter intimidation and attempts to steal ballot boxes from some polling stations, especially in the southern states of Rivers, Lagos and Anambra.

A coalition of civil society groups reports that a total of 16 people were killed around the country – this is less than in previous elections.

Two people were arrested in the Surulere district of the commercial capital, Lagos, after voters were attacked by a group of young men “brandishing weapons: cutlasses, axes and stakes”, one witness told the BBC.

“What they were saying was that if you were not [voting for the ruling party] APC, you’ll be attacked,” Ralph Onodike, who sustained an arm injury, told the BBC.

BBC

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