Nairobi News

Must ReadNews

How Nigerian election is turning into ‘carbon copy’ of Kenyan polls of 2022

By Wangu Kanuri February 28th, 2023 2 min read

Nigeria seems to be going the Kenyan way as the country eagerly awaits the outcome of Saturday’s presidential election, with different political actors lamenting about electoral malpractice.

Just like in the Kenyan elections of August 9, 2022, Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been under immense pressure since the day of the polls after its Viewing Portal (IReV) malfaunctioned.

Since Saturday, tension has been high in Nigeria with opposition parties decrying a lack of transparency in the new electronic voting system. This is the first national election in the West African country are using an electronic device.

Also read: 9 Nigerian nationals almost lynched in Thika for ‘practicing witchcraft’

This has seen former President Olusegun Obasanjo urging the youth to remain claim and not to burn the country. Obasanjo, a respected statesman who led Nigeria between 1999 and 2007, has also appealed to INEC chair Mahmood Yakubu to save the country from impending danger by rectifying the errors in the electoral systems.

A similar scene unfolded last August in Kenya in a tight presidential contest between then Deputy President William Ruto and his main challenger Raila Odinga.

Just like the Nigerian electoral body, the Wafula Chebukati-led Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was the focal point of the Kenyan elections whose presidential results were announced six days after voters went to the polls.

Also read: Raila reveals why he ‘wanted to leave’ AU job

And when Mr Chebukati eventually announced Dr Ruto as the duly elected president, Mr Odinga’s camp loudly protested the results as a chaotic scene unfolded at the Bomas of Kenya.

Dr Ruto would then be sworn in as the fifth President of the Republic of Kenya but the debate on the outcome of the polls has refused to die down with Mr Odinga’s camp repeatedly calling for the opening of the servers to establish the “truth” on the matter.

Meanwhile, in Nigeria a candidate needs to have the most votes and a quarter of ballots cast in 25 of the 36 states plus Abuja to be declared the winner. If those thresholds are not reached then there will a second round run-off between the top two candidates.

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy, powered by oil exportation, a savvy human resource and talented sports athletes but the nation has been bogged down by lack of basic amenities such as electricity, road network and security.

Also read: Raila’s tenure as AU High Representative for Infrastructure lapses