Nigeria’s Electoral Commission announced the first results of the country’s presidential election late Sunday, but it could be days before the winner is announced.
The ruling party’s candidate, Bola Tinubu, received the most votes in Ekiti state in south-west Nigeria, the commission said at the National Alliance Center in the capital Abuja.
Results from 35 other states and Abuja are still pending after logistical issues and security concerns caused delays in voting.
People across the country continued to vote on Sunday, although the general election, which included the election of a new national lawmaker, was due to end on Saturday.
Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, said: “We are aware there will be many more states concluding tonight and )tallies) coming to Abuja,” Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, said.
Voters have been eagerly awaiting the announcement of the winner in the race for leadership of Africa’s most populous country as incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari steps down after two four-year terms.
There were three contenders in the 18-party race: Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition party and Labour’s Peter Obi, the surprise favorite in what has long been seen as a two-man race.
The winner will probably be announced on Monday at the earliest. After the last presidential election, it took four days to announce victory.
A runoff election occurs when no candidate receives a quarter of the votes from two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states and the capital combined with the highest number of votes.
Some frustrated voters unable to vote on Saturday waited overnight at polling stations that remained open on Sunday.
Election officials blamed logistical problems for the delay, although other observers pointed to disruptions caused by the redesigned currency resulting in many residents being unable to receive notes.
Cash shortages not only affect the transportation of voters, but also of poll workers and police officers who provide security. Yiaga Africa, the country’s top election watchdog, said the challenges likely led to lower voter turnout.