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All Progressives Congress, the ruling party, in the lead as first election result from Ekiti State is announced

27 February 2023
Reading time: 6 minutes

Even though it is early days, the first of the 36 states to announce the results of Saturday’s general elections, Ekiti State, has placed the All Progressives Congress (APC), the ruling party, in the lead.

The announcement came late on Sunday, February 26, after INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu had officially opened the 2023 General Election Collation Centre in Abuja in the afternoon.

Collation and counting is taking place at the International Conference Centre (ICC).

Ayobami Salami, Ekiti State’s resident electoral commissioner, said the APC’s Bola Tinubu had received 201,494 votes, followed by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who got 89,554 votes. Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) received 11,397 votes with Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) getting just 264 votes.

At the opening of the collation centre, Yakubu set the ground rules, emphasising that only the commission was empowered to release election results.

The electoral chief said the collation centre would be open day and night from Monday 11am. Personnel would be allowed short breaks. The collating and counting process was expected to take a few days.

Reuters news agency said the presidential vote was expected to be the closest in Nigeria’s history, with candidates from two parties that have alternated power since the end of military rule in 1999 facing an unusually strong challenge from a minor party nominee popular among young voters.

Of the 18 candidates vying to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, three stood a chance: former Lagos governor Bola Tinubu, 70, the ruling party candidate; former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, 76, the main opposition candidate; and Peter Obi, 61, the Labour Party (LP) candidate, a challenger popular among young voters, it said.

Yakubu said the commission was still waiting for the results from the other 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory, which were expected to start trickling in from 11am on Monday.

“I appeal to all political parties and media organisations to draw their figures only from the official results released by the commission as the only body constitutionally responsible for releasing official election figures,” he said.”


Elections for the office of the president, vice-president, 360 members of the House of Representatives and 109 senatorial seats were held in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory on Saturday, February 25.

Although there were 18 candidates in the race for the position of president, pollsters and analysts  described the contest as a four-horse race between Kwankwaso, Atiku, Tinubu and Obi.

Obi and Tinubu are from the southern region of the country, Kwankwaso and Atiku come from the north. The four heavyweights and strong contenders all had large followings, but only one will emerge as the successor to President Muhammadu Buhari whose two-term tenure ends on May 29.

Elections were held at most of the 176,606 polling units in Nigeria; 87.2 million voters with permanent voters cards took part in the polls.


After the announcement of the first result on Sunday, the 2023 General Election Collation Centre was closed.

Yakubu said there had been complaints from political parties about glitches at various polling units across the country and that was the reason for the closure. Once the glitches had been addressed, the centre would reopen at 11am on Monday and it would remain operating day and night until all the results were collated and counted.

One of the complaints centred on the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV). However, Yakuba assured voters and political parties that the IReV had not been sabotaged or compromised, adding that it remained “well-secured”.

Yakubu and Festus Okoye, the spokesman for INEC’s information and voter education committee, said in a statement issued on Sunday that the commission was aware of the challenges with the portal, assuring Nigerians that the “outstanding problems” would be resolved as soon as possible.

Many party leaders had complained bitterly about INEC polling unit officials’ inability to upload election results to the IReV. The IReV and the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) are new technologies introduced by the electoral body for the accreditation and electronic transmission of votes and used in this year’s general elections for the first time.

The technologies had been used in minor state elections before but never in general elections.

Okoye apologised to all concerned and promised that the glitches would be resolved, saying: “The commission regrets this setback, especially because of the importance of IReV in our results management process.

“The problem is totally due to technical hitches related to scaling up the IReV from a platform for managing off-season state elections to one for managing nationwide general elections.

“It is indeed not unusual for glitches to occur and be corrected in such situations. Consequently, the commission wishes to assure Nigerians that the challenges are not due to any intrusion or sabotage of our systems and that the IReV remains well-secured.

“Our technical team is working assiduously to solve all the outstanding problems and users of the IReV would have noticed improvements since last night [Saturday night].

“We also wish to assure Nigerians that results from polling unit copies that were issued to political parties are safe on both the BVAS and the IReV portal. These results cannot be tampered with and any discrepancy between them and the physical results used in the collation process will be thoroughly investigated and remediated, in line with Section 65 of the Electoral Act 2022.

“While we fully appreciate the concerns of the public about this situation and welcome various suggestions that we have received from concerned Nigerians, it is important to avoid statements and actions that could heat up the polity at this time or encourage disaffection towards the commission.

“We take full responsibility for the problems and regret the distress that they have caused the candidates, political parties and the electorate.”

Okoye said that once the glitches had been resolved, the collation and counting of election results would continue on Monday, February 27, at 11am.

Personnel at the collation centre would work day and night to ensure the results were relayed to the public as soon as possible, he said.


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