By Ruth Olurounbi and
William Clowes (Bloomberg News)
Nigeria’s ruling party candidate took an early lead in the West African nation’s presidential elections as results from Saturday’s vote trickled in.
All Progressives Congress candidate Bola Tinubu won in Ekiti, Ondo and Kwara states, the Independent National Electoral Commission said on Monday. Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party narrowly secured a majority in Osun state, it said.
In a potentially a major upset, outsider Peter Obi of the Labour Party secured the most support in Lagos state, the country’s commercial center where Tinubu has for decades been the most powerful politician, The Cable reported, citing uncertified tallies. Abubakar also won Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state, the Lagos-based news website said.
Nigerian Eurobonds Gain for a Third Day (Feb. 27, 1:44 p.m.)
Nigeria’s dollar bonds gained for a third day, with the yield on 2032 securities falling 48 basis points to 11.94% by 2:06 p.m. in Abuja, the capital. The premium investors demand to hold the country’s dollar debt rather than US Treasuries has narrowed 42 basis points since Wednesday to 723, the lowest in a month.
The naira weakened 0.2% to 461.43 a dollar on the official market. It traded at 765 naira to the greenback on the parallel market, down from 760 naira over the weekend, Umar Salisu, a bureau de change operator who tracks the data in Lagos, said by phone.
System Glitches (Feb. 25, 9:56 a.m.)
The Independent National Electoral Commission said glitches in a new electronic system used to verify citizens’ identities and in the transmission of ballot counts from polling stations won’t have any impact on the results it’s collating.
“The commission wishes to assure Nigerians that the challenges are not due to any intrusion or sabotage of our systems,” the Independent National Electoral Commission said in a statement. “Results cannot be tampered with and any discrepancy between them and the physical results used in collation will be thoroughly investigated and remediated.”
Jittery Parties (Feb. 26, 5:28 p.m.)
Opposition parties urged the electoral commission to immediately release results from the vote to reduce the chances of the outcome being compromised.
Polling stations were supposed to transmit the counts as soon as they were tallied, but the electoral commission had published results from less than a quarter of them by 4 p.m. local time. Officials in some areas, including one south of the capital Abuja, uploaded notes saying the “election was declared not contested,” following attacks by criminals.
Infighting in Rivers State Ruling Party May Help Obi (Feb. 25, 6:26 p.m.)
Infighting between leaders of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, which rules the biggest state in Nigeria’s oil-producing region, is likely to help the Labour Party’s candidate Peter Obi.
Nyesom Wike, the outgoing state governor, refused to back Abubakar, despite the two belonging to the same party. Abubakar’s supporters accused Wike of undermining their campaign and secretly backing ruling-party nominee Tinubu in the race. The governor denied the allegations.
“All I can say is it’s to our advantage,” said Beatrice Itubu, who is running on Labour’s ticket to succeed Wike as governor.
Billionaire Dangote Lauds Turnout (Feb. 25, 5:13 p.m.)
Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest person, said the election turnout was the highest he’d seen in more than two decades.
“The turnout is very, very impressive,” he told Channels TV after voting in the commercial hub, Lagos. “I’ve been voting since 1999 when we returned to democracy and this time around I’ve seen much more than the usual times.”
Dangote’s comments echo similar statements made by World Trade Organization Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
— With assistance by Robert Brand, Emele Onu and Michael Cohen