According to official results trickling in from Nigeria’s presidential elections, the All Progressive Congress (APC) is in the lead by some margin.
With just over half of Nigeria’s states declared, the ex-military leader Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s is reportedly ahead of the incumbent president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan by some two million votes.
This was known yesterday when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officially declared to results of 18 states, including the FCT in two separate sessions.
While the PDP presidential candidate has gained 10.2 million votes so far, the APC party’s candidate received 12.5 million votes.
It should however be noted that the states which are yet to declare their results are states were the incumbent president’s party have their stronghold. That implies that the tables could yet turn around for the president.
Moreover, there is a clause in the constitution that need to be explained. The candidate with the simple majority will not just be declared the winner. He would only have won the first round and will only avoid a run-off if they gain at least 25% of the votes in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states. In case of a run-off election:
- Candidate with the most votes is declared the winner in the first round
- The winning candidate also needs at least 25% of the votes in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states
- If there is no outright winner, the law says a run-off election must be held within seven days
- Victory in a run-off election is by simple majority
The victory of the incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan in Rivers State has raised suspicion, with supporters of the APC taking to the streets to protest. This has prompted the authorities to declare a dust to dawn curfew in the state.
According to AP reports, the US Secretary of State John Kerry and Britain’s Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said in a joint statement that they were “very concerned” about the attempts to undermine the independence of Nigeria’s people.
“So far we have seen no evidence of systemic manipulation of the process. But there are disturbing indications that the collation process- where the votes are finally counted- may be subject to political interference,” the statement read.
The president termed the suggestions “absolute rubbish,” saying he would challenge the US Secretary of State to “provide the evidence” that backs his claims.