Nigeria’s main opposition parties are calling for fresh elections, describing results currently being announced by the electoral body as “heavily doctored and manipulated,” in a joint press conference in the capital, Abuja.

They said their parties would no longer be part of the ongoing collation process in the capital Abuja and added they had lost confidence in the electoral body Chairman Mahmood Yakubu, said a joint statement from the Peoples Democratic Party, Labour Party, and African Democratic Congress in Abuja on Tuesday.

The parties called for new polls to be held under a new chairman for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“We call on the international community to note that the results being declared at the National Collation centre have been heavily doctored and manipulated and do not reflect the wishes of Nigerians expressed at the polls on February 25, 2023,” they said.

‘Lacked transparency’

The election process has been dogged with controversy, and the announcement at the national collation center in Abuja has seen some tense moments, with opposition party members walking out of the collation center as the results were being announced Monday.

Several observers including the European Union have said the election fell short of expectations and “lacked transparency.”

“The election fell well short of Nigerian citizens’ reasonable expectations,” said a joint observer mission of the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI).

Ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party candidate Bola Ahmed Tinubu is so far leading the race with nearly half of the vote already tallied Tuesday, according to the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) results.

23 out of 36 states have declared their results at the state level. The leading opposition party PDP’s Atiku Abubakar is in second place, according to INEC figures.

Despite his shock wins over Tinubu on his home turf in Lagos State, Peter Obi, the much-touted ‘third force’ candidate is trailing in third place.

According to INEC’s iRev results portal, 83.798 out of 176.846 polling units have submitted their results.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was also among those who criticized the electoral process in a strongly-worded letter late Monday where he alleged results had been doctored.

But the government warned him not to truncate the elections with “his inciting, self-serving and provocative letter on the elections,” in a statement from Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed.

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