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Monday, June 17, 2024

Nigeria’s election: Tinubu takes early lead as Obi, Atiku kick on

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The All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu has taken an early lead in the ongoing collation of the presidential election result in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Despite losing Lagos and Osun States believed to be his strongholds, Tinubu appears to be ahead of the other top contenders, Peter Obi of the Labour Party, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar.

From the results announced so far from 20 states, the APC candidate is leading other candidates with 5,862,453 votes. Atiku Abubakar is currently second with 4,288,434 votes so far. Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, occupies the 3rd position with 2,834,932, although results from Labour Party advantage states are yet to be announced. Meanwhile, Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, is in the bottom with 1,315,549.

Already, there are agitations across the country of massive rigging of the polls. The top contenders of the election have not hidden their dissatisfaction over the conduct of the polls even as the LP and the People staged a walk-out alongside other 8 political parties from the national collation centre in Abuja on Monday.

Led by the Spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party’s Presidential Campaign Council, Dino Melaye, the political parties had in unison challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to ensure that all results collated from the polling units are uploaded in the INEC portal before the commission could proceed with the announcement of the result.

The political parties argued that without the upload of the result in the portal, it will be difficult for Nigerians to crosscheck the results being announced at the collation centre in Abuja.

But the APC has called for the arrest of political parties calling for the cancellation of the result, alleging incitement on the part of the callers. According to the APC in a statement issued by its PCC Special Adviser on Media and Strategic Communications, Dele Alake, “We note with utmost concern those inciting comments and call to violence by some spokespersons for the opposition, especially those from the Peoples Democratic Party. We are particularly concerned and call on the State Security Services and the Nigeria Police Force to immediately restrain persons such as Dino Melaye, Dele Momodu and a certain Pastor Paul Enenche of Dunamis Church from their clear call to violence.

“How can a supposed man of God be issuing threat on the pulpit because the person he and his brother endorsed is not winning? How can you desecrate the sanctity of the pulpit on the altar of partisanship? That is an abomination.

But AFRIPOST observes that as the result collation resumes by 11 am on Tuesday, February 28, it remains difficult to predict a clear winner of the poll as no political party may clinch a simple majority or get the required 25 percent in 24 states and the FCT.

Already, social media has been flooded with evidence of election manipulations across the country.

It would be recalled that a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo had on Monday called for the suspension of the ongoing collation due to alleged rigging of the polls. Obasanjo said continuation would lead to dire consequences, saying by such, INEC would send the country on fire.

The APC has since dismissed Obasanjo’s advice, saying he supervised an election adjudged to have been rigged in the past and does not have the moral standing to stop the ongoing exercise.

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