Presidential Election: Nigeria Chooses Its Leader Today

Presidential Election: Nigeria Chooses Its Leader Today

The most expected day of the recent period has finally come: March 28, the day of the presidential election.

Millions of Nigerians are to go to the polling units to cast their votes for the candidate who will lead the country for the next 4 years.

Fourteen parties and presidential candidates were gunning for presidency.

The toughest competition will apparently take place between President Goodluck Jonathan, running on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, and Muhammadu Buhari, representing the All Progressives Congress.

Both candidates yesterday arrived in their hometowns for the historical event in the political life of Nigeria.

Follow for the freshest updates from across the country.

01: 20 In the final result announced at the two polling units at the Presidential Villa Saturday night, PDP candidate President Goodluck Jonathan lost to APC candidate General Mohammadu Buhari as he polled a total of 595 votes to General Buhari’s 613 votes.

00: 30 INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, expressed satisfaction with the election process so far. Speaking at the Channels Television, he admitted challenges with the card reader and explained the rationale behind creating an addendum to the electoral guidelines. He also said he regrets the unforeseen incidents.

00: 10 Though counting of ballot papers is still ongoing and 300 polling units will continue voting process on Sunday, March 29, some results have been already displayed (Abia: PDP 75%, APC 25%; Lagos: PDP 10%, APC 90%).

23: 15 According to the recent reports, Boko Haram extremists killed 39 people, including a legislator, in northeastern Nigeria, disrupting the country's presidential election. Residents of the town of Miringa say Boko Haram militants torched people's homes and then shot them as they tried to escape. Twenty-five reportedly died. Another 14 people, including Gombe state legislator Umaru Ali, died in attacks on the towns of Biri and Dukku.

22: 56 Thugs suspected to be working for the ruling PDP snatched one of the ballot boxes at Shehu Manzo 005 polling unit in Gombe metropolis where Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo’s casted his vote following apparent indication of President Jonathan’s failure at the unit.

Reportedly, the thugs were aided by armed policemen men on patrol in the polling unit area after observing from the tune of the counting that the result may not favour PDP’s presidential candidate.

22:34 The votes are being counted by torchlight in Abuja and other states

21: 50 The incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan comes back to Nigeria's capital, Abuja, after casting his vote at his hometown in Otueke, Bayels

20:50 More and more polling units send in their reports with results. The APC looks really strong in Lagos.

20:12 Night-time voting is underway at various polling stations in Lagos.

19:54 APC supporter shot in Edo state has been brought to the hospital two hours later and is said by the Doctor's to be in stable condition.

 19:45 The head of the ECOWAS Election Monitoring Team to Nigeria, John Kuffour, has praised Nigerians for the large turnout for the general elections.

He said: “Nigeria is very strategic to West Africa and Africa in general, that is why the attention of the continent and the whole world is focused on this election.

“It is our hope that Nigeria will come out a winner. I commend the way and manner voters conducted themselves.’’

19:40 The Rivers state police command have revealed that they apprehended a middle aged man for stealing a ballot box in Tai local government area of the state.

19:02 BBC Journalist, Kelvin Brown, shared this picture of Buhari's hometown as people still wait in line to cast their vote.

18:55 Reports coming in state that Governor Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) had clashed with Army Brigade Commander due to his movement with his convoy.

Amaechi, who drove himself in a bullet-proof BMW jeep, turned and drove towards his family compound in Obima but was stopped by a detachment of troops led by the Commander of the 2nd Brigade, Nigeria Army, Bori Camp, Brigadier General Essien Essien.

A minor altercation ensued between Essien and the governor over the legality of Amaechi moving around with a convoy while election is going on.

Amaechi told the army boss the problem voters were encountering in the area and noted that as the governor of the state, he has the right to make sure that elections are conducted within the ambit of the law. “Brigade Commander, why are you mountings two road blocks near my father’s compound,” he said.

“Are you being sent by President Jonathan to kill me? I had told the world that President Jonathan is trying to kill me and I am saying it again.”

Essien denied being given any instruction to kill anybody and asked the governor to go back to his home and stop moving about.

“His Excellency, we have instructions not to allow people who are not duly accredited not to move around during the election,”  Essien said.

18:52 Vice-President Namadi Sambo on Saturday made history, for the first time in his political life, when he delivered his polling unit to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

18:28 Youths in Kadunna state  attempted to murder one alleged PDP thug who was said to have been taking Permanent Voters’ Cards of 150 women, according to one witness in the area.

18:24 Rivers state soldier alongside two other by standers killed as election turns bloody.

17:54 According to Twitter users, in Osun and Lagos polling unit, the APC is currently winning, while in Abuja PU's Jonathan is clearly the favorite. Official results are not yet out.

17:22 Dr Bukola Saraki and Alh Abubakar Kawu Baraje have expressed optimism that the party’s presidential candidte, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari will emerge victorious in today’s election.

17:18 source in OYI LGA, Anambra, reports: “Trouble as pdp official caught sharing #1500 to voter.police are everyhere and units voting might be cancelled according to police,” “Pdp money holder arrested and taking away by police,”

17:10 Emir of Kano casting his vote sometime earlier

17:00 General Buhari finally arrives his Daura PU to vote and is currently casting his vote.

16:52 Former Presidents Babangida and Abubakar at their polling unit.

 16:47 As we wait for Buhari, see what the APC candidate was doing after getting accredited.

16:36 Accreditation almost done at PU003 where Muhammadu Buhari will be casting his vote.

16:25 The World's Richest black man, Aliko Dangote votes. Have you voted?

16:20 Straight from the INEC twitter handle on their recent changes to their guidelines. Another chance to cast a vote tomorrow for those who did not make it today!

16:00 Edo state governor Adams Oshiomhole laments Army's decision to not allow INEC officials get into his home town and do their job.

15:53 INEC tweets: "If the CR [card reader] can't read your fingerprint but authenticates your PVC, an incident form will be filled and you'll vote."

15:49 Counting of votes has already started at Ward 009, police college, Ikeja (The Punch).

15:44 People waiting patiently for voting to commence at a polling unit in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

15:35 Like Plateau Governor Jang, Adamawa state Governor Bala Ngilari also encountered problems, as the card reader failed to capture the biometrics in Yola (PT).

15:33 One Ozemena Odeta was arrested at Ekawoke Ward in Ikwo LGA, Ebonyi state, while he was distributing PVCS allegedly snatched from the INEC staff during the last distribution exercise in the area (Vanguard).

15:22 GEJ briefs journalists after voting:

"I don't think the issue of card readers is limited to my LGA, to Bayelsa state. It's nationwide issue. When the card readers are not working, definitely we'll take manual option.

"I don't think it's limited to PDP-controlled state.

"I'm not aware of violence in Enugu state. I called the governor, there were some vehicles that came from the north, someone suspected there was an IED.

"What happened in Gombe: you know the war against terrorism is still going on. There was some fighting between the soldiers and the terrorists, but this has nothing to do with elections.

"I voted for myself, and I voted for the PDP, just like in all the other elections."

15: 14 Patience Jonathan right after her husband.

15:13 Goodluck Jonathan casts his vote.

15:05 The APC asks the INEC to extend the time for accreditation and voting due to delays caused by technical issues (problems card readers).

The Saturday statement reads:

"The card reader is a novel tool in our elections and naturally there will be some initial hiccups. We understand that the delays were due to the failure to remove the protective films on the lenses of many card readers, the poor network of some of the sim cards in the machines and the effect of jamming devices on the card readers."

14:53 Olusegun Obasanjo is done with voting!

14:50 Speaking about the problematic locations, Yemi Osinbajo, the APC vice presidential candidate, urged residents to remain calm by saying: "We need to be patient and don't allow delays to discourage us from voting." (Sahara Reporters)

14:30 Imad Mesdoua, Political Analyst at Africa Matters Limited, tweets that 3 deaths have been confirmed in Yobe state. The tragedy was said to have been caused by Boko Haram activities as the voters were going to the polling stations.

14:05 The Punch confirmed an explosion in Awka, Anambra state. The incident reportedly took place at Atom a polling unit at Umuokpara Primary School.

14:00 readers from all over the country have been informing us that the accreditation has finished and voting has started (Ona-Ara local government and Oyo State, Abeokuta South LGA). In some other areas the accreditation process was extended (for example, Uyo, Oku).

13:35 Dire photo from the scene of Enugu explosion (Channels TV).

13:25 INEC website is back online.

13:17 Elections staff explain to US Ambassador to Nigeria James F. Entwistle and US assistant secretary of state Linda Thomas-Greenfield the malfunctioning card readers.

13:07 Some Kaduna state voters who registered to cast their votes in places away from their residences were stopped by the police from going to the polling units. The police spokesman promised to sort out the misunderstanding (PT).

13:05 INEC officials at Gbagada unit 001 and 062, Lagos, refuse to manually accredit voters despite failure of card readers (Vanguard).

12:57 BBC Africa reports with reference to Transitional Monitoring Group that 68% of polling units in Nigeria opened by 11:30. When the scheduled opening time was 8:00.

12:50 Again, issues with the card readers. This time the machine refused to capture biometrics of Plateau state Governor Jonah Jang and his wife Talatu. The politician commented: "I am disappointed in the process, since the card reader can reject the number one citizen of the state."

12:30 At least 2 people killed in a suspected Boko Haram attack on polling stations in the villages of Birin Bolawa and Birin Fulani in the Nafada district of Gombe state (Vanguard). An anonymous election official commented: "We could hear the gunmen shouting, ‘Didn’t we warn you about staying away from (the) election?'"

12:19 INEC say they are aware of the cyber attack. Currently investigating the incident.

12:00 Photo of a 117-year-old voter at Yahaya Umar polling unit, Gombe state, goes viral!

11:56 Unconfirmed information about unrest in Gombe, with one person killed.

11:48 BREAKING: INEC website hacked

11:44 Jonathan addresses people for the second time, after having been accredited without the card reader

11:33 Nobel Prize laureate Wole Soyinka going through the accreditation in Ogun state

11:30 According to the Twitter handle of the NBA Lawyers-Nigeria, there was "heavy shooting in Ekiti Oke Osun ward, Ikire Ekiti, over argument between Deputy Gov and a Party Agent. A security and a Voter badly wounded."

11:25 Nigeria's former president Olusegun Obasanjo accredited at Ward 11, Unit 22 Totoro/Sokori, Abeokuta North.

11:05 Now for sure, GEJ gets accredited, Channels TV reports. Confirmed by Daily Trust. Says he will be back by 13:00 to cast his vote.

10:45 Meanwhile Aisha gets successfully accredited in Daura

10:35 BREAKING: Despite previous updates that Jonathan was accredited, the freshest news suggest that three voter card readers have yet failed to read President Goodluck Jonathan's biometrics and accredit him.

10:33 People displaced by Boko Haram are voting in Maiduguri camps.

10:11 Soldiers reportedly barricaded the Abuja-Kuje road turning back journalists and observers heading to the town. A witness said even European Union observers were blocked at a military checkpoint at Dantata on the way to Kuje. One of the locked journalists said he has information that some ruling party politicians plot to rig in the town (Premium Times).

10:07 Speaking about accreditation problems, Jonathan said:

"I am not worried that Card Reader did not work well we have to be patient with the INEC."

10:00  Kaduna state governorship candidate Nasir El-Rufai heading to his polling unit to cast a vote.

9:55 ANOTHER explosion is said to have taken place in Anambra state. Luckily, no casualties. Details not clear.

9:44 @nkemifejika tweets: "Water & 'omo' recommended. Card reader friendlier to clean hands. Apparently."

9:40 Finally, done! The accreditation process accreditation took at least 6 minutes at the card reader stage. Based on the social media mesages, it all went quicker with Buhari.

9:37 Seems like GEJ still can't complete the accreditation. Why is that?

9:23 Goodluck and Patience Jonathan being accredited in Otuoke, Bayelsa state.

9:20 BREAKING: A car bomb exploded at the WTC Primary School polling booth in Enugu North LGA at about 7:38 Saturday (The Advocate).  No casualty recorded. The experts dismantled the second bomb which was timed to explode during the voting and detonated it at 8:45. As shocking as it might be, there was a third device which detonated at 9:05.  Screening in progress.

9:15 @shile_02holly posted a photo accompanied by the caption "Dis policemen just seized a PVC frm a man!"

9:05 A voter in wheelchair displays his voters card after completing his accreditation at Ido-Osi in Ifaki local government, Ekiti (PT).

8:45 Muhammadu Buhari, and his wife Aisha have been accredited in his hometown Daura, Katsina state.

8:40 Nigerians report that accreditation successfully commences in polling units around 8:00.  See the messages dropped from across Lagos. However, in some areas there area delays For example, at Iworoko Ekiti, Irepodun Ifelodun LGA, and in Oyi LGA, Anambra state, voters are waiting for the arrival of INEC officials and materials.

8:27 Another angle. One of the users, @codegidi, compares the road view with the "war zone".

8:15 Oshodi-Apapa Expressway by Sanya b/s with no vehicular movement  (7:11, reported by @ksa0510.

7:55 Wow! Google Doodle of the day celebrates the Nigerian elections. Check it out below:

7:43 @AriyoAristotle shares: "On Election Duty in Lagos. I can tell you that the security is very tight."

7:30 Security agencies have embarked on various measures to ensure safe polls in the 36 states.

7:00 Many social media users are already tweeting that they have arrived at the polling units early morning. People are praying for peaceful polls and even wishing each other a happy voting. The issue of security is of top importance because of Boko Haram activities and the political violence in the past.


Khadijah Thabit avatar

Khadijah Thabit (Copyeditor) Khadijah Thabit is an editor with over 3 years of experience editing and managing contents such as articles, blogs, newsletters and social leads. She has a BA in English and Literary Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Khadijah joined in September 2020 as a copyeditor and proofreader for the Human Interest, Current Affairs, Business, Sports and PR desks. As a grammar police, she develops her skills by reading novels and dictionaries. Email:

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