Vote counting continues in Nigeria after last Saturday’s presidential election. Initial results indicate incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari is in the lead.
The official announcement of partial results started Monday and the process is moving slowly. Early results show Buhari by 1.5 million votes ahead of his closest challenger at the halfway point of state-by-state announcements of the results of Saturday’s election.
For supporters like Nasir Usman it’s a result he was hoping to see.
“We will be happy if Buhari wins this election. There is no problem in this country and Buhari has brought peace. Everything is working in this country,” Usman said.
For Nigerians like Taiwo Ogunkuade, who supports the main opposition candidate, Atiku Abubakar, conceding defeat will not be easy.
“If Atiku loses in this election, I’ll feel so bad and I don’t think the majority of people fighting for him to become the president will feel so good about this. It’s really not going to be a good news for most of the people,” Ogunkuade said.
Jaiye Gaskia, a political analyst, says Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) could win but that the margin of victory might be slim.
“It seems from what is emerging that the APC has a slight edge over the PDP (opposition People Democratic Party) but the results are not showing any dramatic differences in terms of differences in the number of votes between the two parties. I think it’s going to be a close election,” she said.
Gaskia said he worries that neither of the top candidates is fit for the job.
“I’m worried because it does seem that one of these two is going to be president and very likely the incumbent but I don’t see it transforming into a better life for the common and average Nigerian because the growth model that both candidates have favored are models that are not inclusive,” Gaskia said.
But as more results emerge, Nigerians are watching and wondering. Will the trends continue to favor the incumbent leader or is there still a glimmer of hope for his main challenger?