Nigerian opposition presidential candidates say they will challenge the results announcing the victory of the ruling party’s candidate.
Saturday’s election was marred by technical and staffing issues that delayed voting at some polling stations by a day or more.
The Labor Party met with journalists and supporters on Wednesday afternoon, hours after the Electoral Commission announced that Bola Ahmed Tinubu, candidate of the ruling Congress Progressive Party, had won Saturday’s election.
Peter Obi, the Labor Party’s presidential candidate, did not attend Wednesday’s meeting, but his deputy told reporters he and Obi would contest the results of the presidential election in court.
Yusuf Dati Ahmed, the Labor Party’s vice-presidential candidate, also urged party members and supporters to remain calm.
“Illegality has been performed and as far as we’re concerned,” he said. “Here is an incoming government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that is illegal and unconstitutional. We’re submitting our case to the court of law. It is for them to show again that level of confidence.”
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The other main candidate for the election, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), also disputes the result. The People’s Democratic Party and Labor Party held a joint briefing on Tuesday in which they called the result a farce, hours before Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Tinubu the winner.
According to international observers, last weekend’s presidential election was overshadowed by delays and numerous operational problems with voting machines across the country. There were also reports of electoral violence, coercion and manipulation.
There are various reasons for election problems, said Rotimi Olawale, political scientist and co-founder of Youth Hub Africa.
Olawale said: “Some of the problems we saw on Saturday are simply logistical; by different parties to hamper the electoral process. This also raises doubts about the electoral process.”
Opposition parties want a new election. However, Olawale said this would only be possible if the evidence of manipulation presented by the parties was significant enough to change the outcome.