Live results from the 2015 Nigerian presidential election are starting to trickle in, showing a very close race between President Goodluck Jonathan and his primary challenger, ex-military ruler Muhammadu Buhari.
The early results showed little separating the two, with Jonathan’s People’s Democratic Party enjoying a lead of about 20,000 votes.
But as live returns from the 2015 Nigerian election came in, some members of the international community expressed concern that there could be “political interference” in the vote counting.
“So far, we have seen no evidence of systemic manipulation of the process,” said the statement from UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. “But there are disturbing indications that the collation process, where the votes are finally counted, may be subject to deliberate political interference.”
Voting in the Nigerian presidential election has run into a host of problems. Ballot paper arrived late in several areas and new digital voting cards also encountered problems in many areas. Even Goodluck Jonathan had to wait 20 minutes to cast his ballot when the voting machine could not properly scan his fingerprint.
The problems led officials to decide on Saturday to push back the 2015 Nigerian election results and extend voting by at least a day.
Widespread violence from militant groups has also delayed voting. The militant group Boko Haram killed at least 11 people in attacks at polling places, and the group warned many residents to stay away from polls or risk death.
“They kept saying, ‘Didn’t we warn you to stay clear of polling stations?'” said Birin Fulani resident Baidu Lawan, who noted that least one person was killed in his village.
Attacks from Boko Haram already led Nigeria to push back voting by several weeks. The election was originally slated for February 14 but was delayed after deadly attacks from the group.
It is more than just attacks and delays pushing back the Nigerian election. Al Jazeera also noted a series of technical problems with voting.
“INEC’s official website was hacked but was quickly secured, said officials who said the site holds no sensitive material.
“‘Struck by Nigerian Cyber Army!’ was the message left at www.inecnigeria.com.
“Technical problems also plagued a new system for reading voting cards with biometric card-reading machines, prompting the electoral commission to promise an extra day of voting for some polling stations.”
Results from the 2015 Nigerian election are expected to continue rolling in for several days, with final results expected on Saturday.
Live results from the 2015 Nigeria presidential election can be found here or here.
[Image via Tempo360Degrees]