Problems that arose during the Nigerian presidential elections may be responsible for the burning of the Independent National Electoral Commissions (INEC) building in Emohua. The problems that the country faced caused the election to be extended through Sunday. The country’s people turned out in droves to vote, but many were unable to vote. The problems included attacks by Boko Haram militants at poling places that were responsible for the deaths of 11 people, digital card readers that did not work, and hackers taking over the election commission’s website. This did not stop some stations from reporting no problems, and even counting the ballots cast.
The INEC building that was burnt down following the Nigerian presidential election problems. The attack was pulled off by unknown political thugs. No official statement has been released by the government regarding the attack. The building was located in Emohua and the building houses the local government body. Their have been no announcement made regarding any election results as of yet. After a winner is announced at each polling station the results will be sent to a national coalition center for verification. Initial reports on the results could come as early as Sunday evening.
Nigeria has quickly become the continent’s top economy and is looking to hold its election without any kind of fraud. This is a hotly contested race for President, and the last thing that either candidate wants is any suspected voter fraud. This year the country tried to take steps to prevent any type of fraud, which has been prevalent in the country during past elections. Electronic voter identification readers were used in polling stations across the country, but most of these systems had failed. The polling stations were left to look over every individual identification card. This actually was something the INEC was trying to avoid, because it was a problem in past elections. The two candidates running for the country’s presidency are Muhammadu Buhari, of the All Progressives Congress, and Goodluck Jonathan, of the People’s Democratic Party. Ever since the military rule of the country ended in 1999 the People’s Democratic Party have been in power.
The Boko Haram attacks were another major setback for polling stations during Saturday’s elections. People were shot as they lined up to vote, and voting materials were burned after people fled the polling station. In another attack, unrelated to the voting, Boko Haram militants decapitated 23 people during a Saturday night raid.
Even with the many voting difficulties that the Nigerian people faced on Saturday, Nigeria is still receiving praise from the international community. The voting areas were mostly peaceful. Only about 300 polling stations were affected with problems during Saturday. The election has continued on through Sunday for those that were affected by these issues.
The vote had already been delayed six weeks because of the Islamic extremist Boko Haram, and at this time it is unclear whether they had played any part in the Nigerian Independent National Electoral Commission building being burnt down. An investigation into the burning will surely bring forth the perpetrators of this heinous act.
By James Dixson
Photo by: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung – Flickr License