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Nigeria’s electoral commission begins releasing state-wide results

Nigeria has started counting votes a day after it held its presidential and parliamentary elections with nearly 90 million registered voters.

The first results, from Ekiki state, showed a majority of votes for president cast in favour of Bola Tinubu of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).

Tinubu pulled in more than 200,000 votes in the state, against less than half that total for Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and just over 11,000 for Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman Mahmood Yakubu adjourned the counting session following the first results and said the release of tallies would resume at 11 a.m. (1000 GMT) on Monday.

While the election was largely peaceful, some incidents of violence, delays, and technical issues forced voters from several constituencies to wait until Sunday to cast their ballots. 

Marking the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s two terms in office, the elections have given many Nigerians hope that a new leader will address issues of insecurity, unemployment, and poverty in the country.

Tinubu, the candidate for the ruling APC, and Atiku Abubakar, the candidate for the opposition PDP, are the two main contenders in the race.

A former governor of Lagos, Tinubu is 70 years old, while Abubakar, a former vice president, is making his sixth bid for the presidency at the age of 76.

This year’s election also marks the first time since the end of military rule in 1999 that a third-party candidate, Peter Obi of the Labour Party, has challenged the dominance of the APC and PDP. Obi has campaigned on a message of change, aiming to appeal to voters disillusioned with the two major parties.

The final results of the election are expected to be announced in the coming days.

INEC chairman Yakubu urged media houses and independent observers to refrain from publishing unofficial results.

READ MORE: “Nigeria tallies votes after tight election hit by long delays”

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