The official results from the southwestern Ekiti state indicate a clear victory for ruling party candidate Bola Tinubu in one of his most important election bases. The next part of the results will be formally announced at 10:00 GMT on Monday. After some delays and attacks on polling stations, voting was postponed until Sunday in parts of the country.
The turnout in the voting appears to be high, especially among the young voters who make up about a third of the 87 million of those allowed to vote by law.
The elections in Nigeria are therefore the largest democratic process in Africa.
The election brings a significant breakthrough in the two-party system that has dominated Nigeria for 24 years.
Peter Obi from a mostly unknown Labour Party, Mr. Tinubu from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are considered potential winners in the vote. There are 15 other candidates running for the office.
A winning candidate needs to obtain the majority in the vote and 25% of ballots cast in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states. If nobody will manage to fit into that pattern, another round in the election shall take place in 21 days.
Mr. Tinubu pulled in more than 200,000 votes in the Ekiki state. Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition PDP took less than half of that vote and Peter Obi of the Labour Party just over 11,000.
In most parts of the country, voting passed without serious incidents.
Reports of violence came from the northern state of Kano on Sunday, where an armed group attacked a voting center in the town of Takai before security forces arrived, reports Rakiya Muhammad, an election observer.
Nigeria’s outgoing President Buhari, a retired army general who was also once a military ruler in the 1980s, after serving two terms in the office allowed by the country’s constitution.