31 March 2015 – Muhammadu Buhari is currently ahead of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in the electoral race to lead Africa’s largest oil producer.
The former Nigerian military ruler has gained more than 50% of the vote and leads Jonathan by some two million votes after the results of 18 states and the capital Abuja were declared on Monday.
Key states such as Lagos and Rivers are yet to be declared, however.
The full election result is expected to be announced on Tuesday. In order to avoid a run-off election, the winner must win at least 25% of the vote in three quarters of Nigeria’s 36 states.
If no outright winner is declared, a run-off must be held within seven days.
Saturday’s election spilled over into a second day of voting following glitches with some electronic card readers, which were introduced to help prevent electoral fraud.
There were also security fears in some areas, with an electoral headquarters in oil-producing Rivers State burned down. Some regions saw protests over alleged killing of opposition workers and voting irregularities, but fears that the Boko Haram insurgency would try to disrupt the election did not come to pass.
Jonathan is head of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), while Buhari heads the All Progrssive Congress (APC). The pair last week signed an agreement aimed at preventing any violence during voting, a hallmark of previous elections. That deal was brokered by ex-military ruler Abdulsalami Abubakar.
Nigeria sealed off its land and sea borders in an effort to hold a free and fair election and an attempt to impose strict security measures during voting time.
Saturday’s poll was originally set for 14 February but was delayed in order to allow the country to guarantee a greater degree of security amid the ever-present threat from Islamic militant group Boko Haram.
*Eoin O’Cinneide – Upstreamonline