Nigeria’s main opposition party on Tuesday demanded an immediate halt to the release of presidential election results by the electoral commission until data on voters who took part was made available to all parties in the race.
President Muhammadu Buhari has taken an unassailable lead in the election, a tally by Reuters based on official and provisional results showed. The results showed that his main rival, businessman and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, could no longer catch up.
Nigeria is Africa’s top oil producer and biggest economy but it is struggling to emerge from a 2016 recession and corruption is rife. A decade-old Islamist insurgency has killed thousands of people in the northeast, many of them civilians.
47 killed since Saturday
Buhari, 76, is a former military ruler who took office in 2015 and sought a second term with pledges to fight corruption while overhauling the country’s creaking road and rail network.
Voting took place on Saturday after a week-long delay, which the election commission said was due to logistical problems.
But the event — Africa’s largest democratic exercise — has been marred by violence in which 47 people have been killed since Saturday, according to the Situation Room, a monitoring organization linking various civic groups.
Some of the deaths took place about after gangs allied to either of the leading parties clashed with each other and police over theft of ballot boxes and vote fraud. Police have not yet provided casualty figures.
More than 260 people have been killed in total since the start of the election campaign in October. The toll is lower than in previous elections, but in the past the worst unrest broke out after results were announced.