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Buhari wins narrowly in Lagos

The opposition leader Muhammadu Buhari has scored a narrow victory over President Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria’s largest city Lagos, officials results from the country’s general election showed Tuesday.

The vote in Lagos was characterised by low turnout.  

Only 1.7 million of 5.8 million registered voters cast ballots in the presidential and legislative polls held at the weekend. 

Technical glitches, including failures in voter card identification devices being used for the first time in Nigeria, caused major delays nationwide, including in Lagos, a city of roughly 20 million people. 

Frustrations over delays were thought to have kept turnout down in a number of Nigerian states. 

In Lagos, Buhari of the opposition All Progressives Congress took 792,460 votes, while Jonathan from the Peoples Democratic Party won 632,327.

The Lagos government has been controlled by the opposition since the end of military rule in 1999, but the PDP had earned victories there in past presidential elections. 

Lagos was identified as a key swing state, where both Buhari and Jonathan had campaigned hard in the run up to election day.

It was not immediately clear how the low turnout would affect the national result, but news of the win in Lagos was cheered by APC loyalists at the party’s headquarters in Nigeria’s capital. 

Lagos is Nigeria’s most religiously and ethnically mixed area, and voters have a history of transcending the sectarian biases that frame voting in other parts of the country.

Buhari, a northern Muslim, has scored huge majorities in the north, while Jonathan, a southern Christian, is awaiting results from his strongholds. 


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