Article written

  • on 01.04.2015
  • at 11:43 AM
  • by Kevin Hind

Former Military Man Declares Victory in Nigerian Polls 0

Showing a “commendable determination to register their vote and choose their leaders,” Nigerians by the hundreds of thousands lined up at polling stations across the country to select the next president and National Assembly of their country, U.S. and British witnesses to the hotly-contested presidential polls observed.

In a joint statement by the British Foreign Secretary and the U.S. Secretary of State, the observer governments “welcomed the largely peaceful vote on March 28.”

Concerns over the possibilities of fraud were quietly swept away when the national election commission called the winner of the country’s presidential poll as Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Buhari edged out his rival by around two million votes. A phone call from the defeated president, Goodluck Jonathan, reached Buhari’s headquarters about five minutes before five with congratulations on the victory.

After 35 of the 36 states’ vote totals were tallied, Buhari appeared to have captured 14.9 million votes compared to Jonathan’s 12.8 million.

The massive balloting and collection was marred by missteps as the new voter cards failed, sensitive materials were snatched, election officials were held captive, and protestors were tear-gassed.

Thousands of ballots were rejected and some polling stations were closed without notice including in major cities such as Lagos.

Even before preliminary tallies were recorded, the opposition APC rejected the process in Rivers state and denounced the vote there as “a sham and a charade”.

A similar complaint came from Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State who complained of soldiers harassing voters, shootings, ballot boxes mishandled, and the arrest of his senior special advisor. “This is the worst act of militarisation of democracy,” the governor said.

The new imported biometric machines “largely failed to read voter cards,” commented Kayode Idowu, spokesman for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Continue reading on: IPS News

by Lisa Vives

Photo Credit: Flickr/Juju Films (Muhammadu Buhari Presidential Campaign Rally 2015) 

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Direttore Responsabile Giuseppe Frangi