As results start to trickle in following Nigeria's presidential election on February 23rd, the head of one of the top two leading parties, the People's Democratic Party (PDP), has said he will reject results.
Provisional results announced so far in state capitals show that incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, has secured a lead over his rival Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples' Democratic Party.
Results from States so far#NigeriaDecides2019 #inecelectionresult2019 pic.twitter.com/sKPG9i4fP7
The Punch Newspapers (@MobilePunch) February 26, 2019
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and the United Nations, issued a statement earlier today calling on all "candidates, political parties and indeed all Nigerians to continue to exercise patients, calm and restraint in order to allow for the full results of the election to be released by the Independent National Elections Commission (INEC)."
The statement also asked any grieving parties and persons to "resort to legal means to seek redress, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of Nigeria".
But already, the PDP has rejected incoming numbers so far as "incorrect and unacceptable".
Tight election race
This year's general elections are considered to be one of the tightest in Nigeria's democratic history.
Buhari, 76, a former military ruler is seeking a second term with the renewed promise to end corruption.
Atiku, as he's commonly referred to, 72, has made a growing private sector and the youth the central issues of his platform.
Out of 71 other presidential candidates, these two men have been the main focus of the elections.
Both men are from the north, both are Muslim and both are Fulani, making the usual North-South, Muslim-Christian or ethnic divide a non-issue in this vote.
The polls were initiatly meant to be held on 16 February. But a last minute decision by INEC, citing logistic reasons, the vote was pushed back to this past Saturday.
Voting itself was comparatively peaceful to those in 2015, but election -related violence still saw 47 people killed, that's according ot figures by Situation Room, a collective of over 70 civil society groups.
Delayed delivery of materials to certain polling stations also saw voting extend beyond the official closure of 2 p.m., and even on Sunday.
Election observers also witnessed vote-buying across certain states and even ballot boxes destroyed in a few polling stations.