Pressure builds as votes counted in Nigerian election
konknaijaboy | On 30, Mar 2015
tense vote count was underway Sunday in Nigeria’s bitterly contested election, as the two main rival parties accused each another of releasing false vote counts and plotting anarchy, raising fears the election may end in a disputed result and violence.
Some Nigerians cast ballots on Sunday after voting was extended by one day in some areas because of the failure of handheld biometric devices.
Elections chief Attahiru Jega downplayed the extent of the problems, which led to long delays but didn’t prevent anyone from voting. But he acknowledged Sunday that the failure of three biometric readers to read the thumbprint of President Goodluck Jonathan was “a national embarrassment” that would be investigated.
With the official result expected by late Monday, Jega, who is chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, warned Nigerians to reject any purported results circulating on social media, especially those from partisan sources.
His comments came as the opposition All Progressives Congress demanded the annulment of the vote in volatile Rivers State in the Niger Delta, the heart of Nigeria’s crucial oil industry. Numerous cases of violence, ballot box theft, intimidation and lack of voting materials were reported there.
The party complained its agents were barred from attending the vote count and rejected the tally for Rivers State even before it was announced, marching in protest in Port Harcourt on Sunday. An elections commission office in Rivers State was burned down, Jega said.
Speaking at a news conference, he said he had received a formal complaint from the All Progressives Congress and would investigate.
In addition, there were opposition accusations of irregularities in Imo state, also in the southeast. And Jega said there had been complaints of underage voting in eastern Taraba state, which also were under investigation.
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