Vote counting began on Saturday in Nigeria after voters came out for the general election, with the three frontrunners vying to govern Africa’s most populous country.
A total of 87.2 million people were eligible to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor, as well as a new vice president and members of the new National Assembly at around 176 000 polling stations nationwide.
A total of 18 political parties nominated presidential and vice-presidential candidates, with the most competitive presidential candidates being Bola Tinubu from the governing All Progressives Congress, Atiku Abubakar from the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, and Peter Obi from the Labour Party.
The winning candidate must meet the conditions required by the Nigerian Constitution to obtain a 25% support rate in at least 24 states, otherwise, the top two candidates will compete in a runoff vote 21 days later.
The national vote will also elect 109 senators and 360 representatives from the country’s 36 states.
“At this particular time, we need to come out and vote because we need a new Nigeria. We need to change a lot of things,” said a voter, Uzoma.
In order to prevent fraud and reduce disputes, Nigerian officials introduced new technologies, including dual authentication of voter identities with voter cards and fingerprint or facial recognition results.
The government has dispatched more than 530 000 security personnel, including police and soldiers, during the general election to ensure a safe and ordered voting and counting session.
Staff members at various polling stations counted the ballots under the supervision of political party representatives and observers on Saturday afternoon, and it is expected that the presidential election result will be announced on Sunday.