Stacey Abrams Is in Nigeria to Oversee Their Elections

Results are coming in after Nigeria's elections on Saturday, and as all three of the main parties in that nation are taking issues with the way elections and tallies are done, twice-failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate and voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams is on hand, for some reason.

Abrams is with the National Democratic Institute "on a mission to observe elections and encourage voter participation," ZeroHedge reports, which is a "diplomatic initiative." NDI focuses on the youth vote, something Abrams has also pressed in her home state of Georgia. 

She gave an interview from the capital city of Abuja about overseeing those elections and visiting polling places. Human Rights Watch said that a "thick veil of violence" surrounded Nigeria's elections.

"I would say that despite a slow start," Abrams told a reporter curious to know what she's seen at polling places on Saturday, "with the [violence], we have seen orderly lines, we have seen long lines, signaling strong enthusiasm. But we've also seen a great deal of cooperation and a very peaceful conversation among voters. They want to be heard, and they are willing to stand in line and have patience, because they know that's their path to progress."

Abrams went on to discuss youth voters in Nigeria, saying that "they want to be heard. They believe progress is possible. They believe that more is possible. They understand that they are the most assailed by unemployment, that the challenges they face are real, but that so is the opportunity for change. What we've tried to have a conversation about though is the caution that not every election turns out the way you want, but that the responsibility is to show up and try to shape the future as much as you can."

There have been reports of violence at some of the polling places and results are still coming in. "The political violence we've seen, the fear that some voters have faced, is troubling, and it is disturbing. And it should not be countenanced anywhere. Nigeria is the most populous democracy on this continent. And as goes Nigeria, so goes so much of the question of the future," Abrams told NPR.

Abrams ran for governor of Georgia twice, both times against Brian Kemp, who won both times. Each time she ran, Abrams claimed that Georgians' voting rights were in danger. Georgia voters turned out in record numbers during the last election, and in the primary leading up to that election, despite unfounded claims by Abrams and President Joe Biden.

The three main presidential candidates are Bola Tinubu from the governing All Progressives Congress party (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the main opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the smaller Labour Party (LP), Reuters reports. With results in from 25 of Nigeria's 36 states, Tinubu is in the lead with 36 percent of the vote.

Tinubu, who was formerly the governor of Lagos, attended Obama's nomination at the Democratic National Convention in 2012. Controversy surrounded his attendance, as his aides had said "Tinubu received a gold card invitation, which is prime; and with this, he will be joined by three other eminent personalities: Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji; and a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy in Lagos State, Mr Dele Alake." Other reports said he had paid for a ticket, though it may simply have been that Tinubu received an invitation after having made a donation larger than $5,000.

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