Nigeria Heads to the Polls
This weekend Nigerians are set to head to the polls for the 2019 general elections. The presidential contest is widely seen as a close race between incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku Abubaka of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). However, there are a total of 73 candidates on the ballot paper.
With a record 84,004,084 registered to vote the undertaking for the country’s electoral commission has been huge. This is around a 15% increase in the number registered during the last elections in 2015.
Those participating will also be voting for members of the National Assembly, with elections for Governors and members of state Houses of Assembly scheduled to follow on March 2.
Concerns include the proliferation of false information and fake news, the use of violence and intimidation to discourage participation in certain areas, and the recent dismissal of the country’s Chief Justice by President Buhari, in apparent contravention of due constitutional process.
There are 161 local observer groups accredited by the electoral commission and 28 foreign observer groups.