Buhari Has Unassailable Lead in Vote: Nigerian Election Update

(Bloomberg) -- Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari widened his lead over his main rival, Atiku Abubakar, with results declared in 33 of the West African nation’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory after Saturday’s general election.

Here are the latest developments, updated throughout the day. (Time-stamps are local time in Abuja.)

Highlights So Far:

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Here’s What to Watch for as Nigeria’s Election Results Come in
Nigerian Presidential Election Preliminary Results (Table)

Buhari Has Most Votes With Only Rivers Result Awaited (11:28pm)

Buhari beats Abubakar in Kebbi state by 77 percent to 20 percent, and in Zamfara state by 76 percent to 22 percent. The candidates’ shares of the total vote are 56 percent and 40 percent respectively.

Three States to Go (10:59pm)

Buhari wins Sokoto, taking 56 percent against 41 percent for Abubakar, who has won in Bayelsa. The totals so far are 14 million votes for the incumbent, against 10.5 million for his challenger. The only outstanding results are from the states of Kebbi, Rivers and Zamfara.

Buhari’s Big Borno Win (10:20pm)

After a win of 836,496 votes to 71,788 in the northeastern state of Borno, and adding more than 220,000 votes in Delta, Buhari’s built his tally to 13.4 million votes, compared with 9.95 million for Abubakar. Their shares of the vote are now 56 percent for Buhari, compared with 41 percent for Abubakar.

Abubakar Wins Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom (9:47pm)

The opposition PDP has trounced Buhari in Cross River by 295,737 votes to 117,302, even though the incumbent quadrupled his vote tally from the last election. Abubakar also takes Akwa Ibom, with 55 percent of the vote against Buhari’s 41 percent.

Those figures give Buhari a total of 12.4 million votes, or 56 percent of total ballots, compared with 9.28 million, or 41 percent, for Abubakar, Independent National Electoral Commission results show.

Opposition Wants Votes in 4 States Canceled (7:43pm)

Abubakar’s People’s Democratic party demands that results in Borno, Nasarawa, Yobe and Zamfara states be canceled and fresh elections take place.

“The PDP predicates its demand on available evidence to the effect that data from the card readers are being reconfigured to suit the manipulations, rigging and over-voting already carried out during the election in some states by the All Progressives Congress,” Tanimu Turaki, deputy director-general of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, said in a statement.

Buhari Victorious in Katsina (6:30pm)

Buhari triumphs in his home state of Katsina by a 79 percent to 20 percent margin.

Buhari Wins Big in Kano (6:07pm)

The president wins the northern state of Kano by more than a million votes and a 77 percent to 21 percent margin.

The president is preparing a acceptance speech that he will deliver after the final results are announced or if Abubakar concedes first, a campaign director for the ruling party, Babatunde Fashola, said by phone.

A campaign spokesman for Abubakar, Segun Showunmi, said by phone: “At this time, I would say let us wait until the candidate is ready and when the candidate is ready, a proper statement will be put out. So, for now no comment.”

With 10 states left to be counted, Buhari has 10.5 million votes, compared with 7.9 million for Abubakar, Independent National Electoral Commission results show. That gives the incumbent a lead of 55 percent to 41 percent.

Abubakar Wins Imo (5:14pm)

Abubakar beats Buhari in Imo state by a 65 percent to 27 percent margin.

Babatunde Fashola, a campaign director for Buhari’s ruling party and former governor of Lagos state, says by phone: “Our numbers show we’ll win.”

With 13 states left to be counted, Buhari has 8.57 million votes, compared with 6.97 million for Abubakar, Independent National Electoral Commission results show. That gives the incumbent a lead of 53 percent to 43 percent.

Abubakar Wins Benue, Edo (4:54pm)

Abubakar’s PDP wins Edo and Benue by less than 10,000 votes each. That takes his tally of states to nine, plus the FCT. Buhari prevails in Ogun, taking 50 percent of ballots against 34 percent for Abubakar.

With 14 states left to be counted, Buhari has 8.43 million votes, compared with 6.63 million for Abubakar, Independent National Electoral Commission results show. That gives the incumbent a lead of 54 percent to 42 percent.

Commercial Hub Backs Buhari (4:10pm)

Lagosians voted in favor of Buhari by a margin of 53 percent to 41 percent for Abubakar. That brings Buhari’s tally of states to 11, against seven and the FCT for Abubakar.

Buhari Has Unassailable Lead in Vote: Nigerian Election Update

Stocks Fall (4:02pm)

Nigerian stocks have fallen 0.7 percent today amid perceptions that Abubakar, considered more market friendly by investors, looks set to have lost the vote, said Paul Clark, a money manager at Ashburton Investments in Johannesburg.

“It would have been more business friendly and certainly, market would have rallied strongly had we had Atiku win,” Clark said. “The one benefit of a Buhari win is business as usual and everything goes on as it was.”

Reduced Margin (3:42pm)

Buhari takes Bauchi, albeit with a reduced margin of victory compared with 2015.

Approaching Halfway (2:43pm)

Abubakar wins his home state of Adamawa, boosting his tally to seven states plus the FCT.

Buhari Has Unassailable Lead in Vote: Nigerian Election Update

It’s another swing -- Buhari won the state in the 2015 general election by a margin of 59 percent to 40 percent. This time, Buhari got 47 percent, compared with 51 percent for Abubakar, according to calculations by Bloomberg.

Buhari looks set to win the election as he’s expected to garner about 4 million more votes from Kano, Nigeria’s second-largest state and the other “major populated states,” according to Habu Mohammed, head of political science at Bayero University in Kano.

“Population wide, the percentage will be in favor of Buhari,” he said.

Swing State (1:17pm)

Oyo, a state in southwestern Nigeria that Buhari carried in the last election, swings to Atiku by the slimmest of margins -- 1,461 votes separate the two.

Ten Out of 16 (12:44pm)

Buhari picks up Kaduna, while Abubakar gains Anambra. That gives Buhari victories in 10 states, compared with five others and the FCT for Abubakar.

In Kaduna, Buhari’s All Progressives Congress garnered 60 percent, compared with 39 percent for Abubakar’s People’s Democratic Party. In Anambra, the APC got 5.5 percent and the PDP 87 percent.

Another Win for Buhari (11:59am)

Buhari now has wins in nine states, with his APC taking Jigawa state. The APC garnered 72 percent of the vote, compared with 26 percent for Abubakar’s PDP.

Bonds Rally (11:49am)

Naira bond yields have fallen this week on relief that the election was generally peaceful, according to Kevin Daly, a money manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments in London, which oversees $735 billion of assets, including Nigerian debt.

“We all know PDP will contest the result and the fact they’re doing it now, before all results are announced, suggests they know they’ve probably lost,” Daly says.

Buhari wins Niger state (11:28am)

Buhari picks up his eighth state. His APC party garnered 72 percent of the 896,976 votes cast in the ballot, compared with 26 percent for Abubakar, according to INEC.

Buhari Has Unassailable Lead in Vote: Nigerian Election Update

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