Nigeria Presidential Elections Clouded By Chaos
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
ABUJA (Worthy News) – Christians prayed as Nigeria’s presidential elections were clouded by chaos Sunday, with results unclear in dozens of states and people still casting ballots though the vote officially ended Saturday.
Nigeria’s election commission said that the first results showed the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party’s candidate, Bola Tinubu, got the most votes in southwest Nigeria’s Ekiti.
But results from 35 other states and the capital, Abuja, were still pending after logistical problems and security concerns caused voting delays, observers said.
People across the troubled country of 225 million people continued voting Sunday hours after the official end of the general election, which also included choosing a new national legislature.
Following widespread delays and attacks on some polling stations on Saturday, voting was postponed until Sunday in parts of the country.
There was still the possibility that a fringe-party candidate, running against two long-familiar politicians in their 70s, would win the presidency for the first time.
At 61, former governor Peter Obi is the youngest of the three frontrunners for Nigeria’s top job in this weekend’s presidential election. Claiming he is the only candidate offering real change, Obi, a wealthy businessman from southeast Nigeria’s Anambra state, has emerged as a powerful force in the race.
He challenges ex-Lagos governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, 70, of the APC and 76-year-old ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar of the primary opposition Peoples Democratic Party PDP.
A candidate must have the most votes and 25 percent of ballots cast in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states to be declared the winner.
Otherwise, there will be a run-off within 21 days – a first in Nigeria’s history.
The election tensions emerged as Christians suffering from Islamist attacks faced new challenges after the government changed the nation’s currency design causing shortages.
The currency move came ahead of the presidential elections in Africa’s most populous and volatile nation, where thousands of Christians have been killed in recent years.
Yet despite the chaos, 19-year-old Christian student Adedayo Adedotun from the southwestern town of Alakuko said he hopes believers will remain in Nigeria.
“There is a scarcity of cash, and people burn down banks. But leaving the country is not the solution. The only solution is to pray that God will intervene, and I am hoping in God that everything will be
settled,” Adedotun told Worthy News.
The Pentecostal Christian also urged Christians in his African nation not to worry about fuel shortages.
“I believe this will get better soon because the Bible says in Isiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
He spoke as, in some places, voters continued to queue to cast their ballots.
Voters indicated that the elections must be seen as a referendum on the APC, which oversaw a period of economic hardship and worsening insecurity, including for Christians.
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