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Nigeria election 2023 +++ Live blog +++

DW correspondents in Nigeria
February 24, 2023

The latest developments in Nigeria's election.

A street vendor wears goggles in the colors of the Labour Party (LP)
Nigeria is Africa's most populous countryImage: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP

 Nigerians are set to vote for a new leader and government on Saturday. Political analysts say the presidential race will be one of the most hotly contested. Election campaigning ended with an appeal for calm.


All times given are in GMT

These live updates are now closed. Keep up to date on Nigeria's 2023 election by clicking here


15:49: The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission calls on Nigerians to report electoral fraud, including suspected incidents of vote trading.

14:52: Local radio reports are quoting police in southern Rivers state as saying that lawmaker Chinyere Igwe was taken into police custody after some $500,000 in cash was discovered in a bag in his car in the early morning hours. Igwe is a member of the House of Representatives. 

Is Nigeria's cash crisis politically orchestrated?

14:32: The electoral commission says it has suspended the senatorial election in southeastern Enugu state, where the opposition Labour Party candidate Oyibo Chukwu was killed.

14:26: Customers are stocking up on food and essentials at Yan Kaba Market in the northern city of Kano, Reuters reports. "We don't know what is going to be the outcome of the election so that is why you see everyone trying to come and buy some items," Auwal Usman Ahmed, a potato seller, is quoted as saying in the report.

To men stand alongside a row of yellow and black rickshaws
Commercial rickshwas pictured in Kano city, Kano state in northern Nigeria in February 2023Image: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP

13:15: Residents in predominantly Muslim northwestern Sokoto are gathered at mosques around the state for Friday prayers. Imams at mosques in and around the city of Sokoto have been calling on their congregations to cast their ballots peacefully, says DW's Shehu Salmanu. 

Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar
The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of Nigeria's Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad AbubakarImage: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images

12.35: Cash is still hard to come by in Nigeria's capital Abuja, DW's Ben Shemang says: "At banking compounds, the queues are big and but the gates are locked. There's just no cash and that is affecting everyone. Even soldiers are now looking for cash."

Men and women line up outside a bank in Nigeria
A queue outside a bank in Lagos as Nigeria's cash crunch persists on February 23Image: Ben Curtis/AP/picture alliance

11:47: On Twitter Nigeria, the top trending hashtags are football and music related —  #MUNBAR and #Yourwastechallenge — with those related to the election in third and sixth spots — #UzabeNigeria and #SayNoToAPC.

10:18: Authorities announce that Nigeria's land borders will be closed throughout Saturday. "The Federal Government has directed the total closure of all Land Borders effective from 00:00 hours on Saturday 25th February, 2023 to 00:00 hours Sunday, 26th February, 2023,"  Nigeria's Comptroller General Jere Idris says.

 A motorcyclist carrying cans filled with gasoline
Nigeria has closed all its borders, including the 1,500 kilometer border with NigerImage: BOUREIMA HAMA/AFP

9:50Premium Times reports that the presidential candidate of the opposition party Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has accused elements from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of seeking to foment violence in some states.

 Candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar speaks during a campaign rally
Opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar has warned of plans to scuttle the electionImage: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP

9:26: The head of the AU Election Observer Mission, former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, calls for strong solidarity with Nigeria during Saturday's elections.

8:56: Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan appeals to fellow citizens to be peaceful during the election period.

DW's Isaac Mugabi says the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed to journalists in Abuja that some 87 million voters will be eligible to cast their ballots. According to INEC, Nigeria has 93,469,008 registered voters, 37 million of whom are aged 18-34.

What do Nigerians want from the presidential election?

Edited by Chrispin Mwakideu and Benita van Eyssen