By Crispin Kaheru
Polls in the Federal Republic of Nigeria closed Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 2:30PM to elect a president and vice.
There were some delays in the commencement of the polls in both the rural and urban areas.
Polling officials had to first familiarise themselves with the new polling technology before they could officially open the polling units.
It is mainly for this reason that polls in some places did not start at 8:30am as designated by law.
The Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines that are intended to verify voters as well as transmit polling information functioned fairly well across the country.
The machines deployed at each of the about 176,606 polling units (stations) are internet dependent in transmission of electoral information to the Collation Centre set up in the Federal Capital, Abuja.
Turnout appeared to be high, with many young, first-time voters arriving before dawn to cast their ballots.
The elections are the biggest democratic exercise in Africa, with 87 million people eligible to vote.
In the urban Capital, Abuja, preliminary results so far announced at polling units put the Labour Party (LA) of Peter Obi in the front position; followed by the ruling All
Progressives Congress (APC) whose candidate is Bola Tinubu and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of Atiku Abubakar.
Nigeria election 2023: Votes are counted but final results may take days
Vote counting will end in a few hours and thereafter results will be transmitted in both physical and soft formats to the Collation Center set up at the International Conference Center in Abuja.
By and large, the polling was generally peaceful, save for some chaotic scenes at polling units where voters struggled to cast their ballots in the morning hours.
The writer, who also doubles as a member of Uganda Human Rights Commission is among the 90 election observers deployed by the African Union to oversee the polls in Nigeria.