News / Africa

Presidential Rival Challenging Nigerian Election Results

Muhammadu Buhari (File photo)
Muhammadu Buhari (File photo)

The second-place finisher in Nigeria's presidential election is challenging results that he says were rigged by electoral commission computers. There has been violence in northern states following a vote that most international observers believe was largely free and fair.

Former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari is calling on his supporters to remain calm as his party prepares to challenge the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan.

"We have commenced consultations at the highest levels to recover your stolen mandate. I would therefore urge you to continue to be patient," said Buhari.

Some Buhari supporters have battled riot police in northern states following the election results, reigniting ethnic and religious violence that has displaced thousands of people, caused an unknown number of deaths and seen both mosques and churches burned. Buhari condemned that violence.

"This act is worse than rigging of the elections," he said. "Information has reached me that, out of frustration, some of you have been destroying your voter cards. This is a very grievous mistake which is not going to solve any of your problems."

Watch a Related TV Report by Mariama Diallo



Instead, Buhari is calling on his supporters to remain politically active as his Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) party challenges what he says was electronic vote rigging.

"They uncovered in Katsina and Kano that the computer was programmed to cheat us, the CPC, by 40 and 26 percentage respectively," said Buhari.

Katsina and Kano are northern states that Buhari won. He says fraud there was meant to reduce his overall vote total. In southern states that were won by Jonathan, Buhari says fraud was meant to inflate totals for the ruling PDP party.

"In the South-South, six states, and the South-East, five states, in 11 states the turn out physically, you can cross-check from INEC officials who were there, was between 25 and 40 percent," he said. "Yet the results showed that 99 percent, 98 percent, 97 percent of the voters' cards had voted for PDP. And we are collating all this information and confronting INEC with it. And then we will go to court. The party will go to court on this issue."

Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has not responded specifically to any of the Buhari campaign's complaints, but an INEC spokesman said candidates who dispute the results are free to challenge them in court.

President Jonathan says the vote was one of the nation's best. He has congratulated his opponents and says the nation expects their continued leadership.

"I have no enemies to fight. Indeed, I reassure Nigerians that we will continue to run a government that is committed to fairness, equity, and justice for all," said Jonathan.

Buhari says the presidential vote was, in his words, "an absolute disaster"  mistakenly validated by election observers who were based largely in the north.

"We are going to prove that it was even the worst because of the sophisticated rigging by using computers," he said. "The way people were disenfranchised especially in South-South, South-East, and part of the South-West."

Electoral commission results show Jonathan avoiding a second-round run-off with Buhari because the president won at least one-quarter of the vote in at least 24 states.

That provision is meant to ensure that a Nigerian president has some degree of national support and is not simply a regional candidate. But the vote broke down along regional lines anyway with President Jonathan winning the south and Buhari winning the north.

You May Like

Video US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Activists for Peace Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified boarder, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs