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Nigeria: Claims of political interference in presidential poll


Nigeria

Nigeria: Claims of political interference in presidential poll

Early results in Nigeria’s presidential poll show Muhammadu Buhari has won massive majorities in key northern states.

The Muslim former military ruler reportedly secured 1.1 million votes in Kaduna. President Goodluck Jonathan, a southern Christian, secured less than half of that number.

The weekend vote was marred by confusion, technical glitches and occasional violence. Britain and the US claim there are signs of political interference.

“Generally, the voting process may be characterised as disordered and prolonged. Although polling procedures were insufficiently followed, the EU observation mission saw no evidence of systematic manipulations,” said Hannah Roberts, EU Deputy Chief Observer.

Angry Buhari supporters have taken to the streets of Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State. They are demanding the election is cancelled, claiming they were not allowed to take part. Jonathan is said to have won 95 percent of the vote in the state.

The big fear is that violence may erupt once results are fully announced in the high-stakes contest to govern Africa’s most populous and richest nation.

More than 1,000 people died and some 65,000 were forced from their homes in northern riots after Buhari lost to Jonathan in 2011, according to the National Human Rights Commission.

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