Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has called for the voiding of election results where the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and servers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were manipulated or rendered inactive. In a statement on Monday evening, Obasanjo said that results that were brought outside BVAS and servers did not truly reflect the will of Nigerians. He, therefore, said such results must be declared void and inadmissible for election declaration. He called on President Muhammadu Buhari and INEC chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, to save the country from the looming danger, adding, “I strongly believe that nobody will toy with the future and fortune of Nigeria at this juncture.” The European Union Election Observation Mission in Nigeria for the 2023 elections, also on Monday, in its first preliminary statement, commented that a lack of transparency and operational failures reduced trust in the process and challenged the right to vote. The head of the ECOWAS Observation Mission, Ernest Bai Koroma, the former President of Sierra Leone, also said the voting process was marred by irregularities.
Nigerian bonds have posted some of the best gains in emerging markets, as investors bet that the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Tinubu, will pull Africa’s largest economy out of a fiscal mess. Five of Nigeria’s dollar bonds ranked among the 10 best performers on Monday in a Bloomberg index. The country’s sovereign risk premium narrowed the most this year on Monday, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. data. The equity benchmark in Lagos rose to an eight-month high. Money managers expect the country’s next leader to take the unpopular decisions required to boost government revenue, stabilise the currency and cut down debt. Some of the gains have also been driven by bargain hunters after Nigeria’s bonds tumbled in the run-up to the elections. Nigeria’s bond due 2047 rose 1.8 cents on the dollar to 68.8. Securities maturing in 2029, 2030, 2032 and 2033 all rallied more than 2 per cent in price.
The rating on Ghana’s local-currency debt was upgraded by S&P Global Ratings, as the country settles its domestic debt exchange with bondholders. The country’s foreign debt remains rated in default. Ghana’s local credit score was raised to CCC+ from SD — or selective default — by S&P after new domestic debt securities were delivered to creditors. The credit assessor continues to score the West African country’s foreign-currency debt at SD, as the government works to restructure the external bonds, wrote analysts Frank Gill and Ravi Bhatia. “We understand that the authorities aim to lower debt to GDP to about 55 per cent over a five-year horizon,” they wrote. “Discussions with holders of foreign currency instruments are continuing.”
Ethiopia is courting support for a motion to cut short a U.N-mandated enquiry into atrocities in the Tigray war, five diplomats said, in a move that could divide African and Western countries. Addis Ababa has circulated a draft version of a resolution calling for the Tigray inquiry to stop. The country had opposed the investigation from the outset by calling it politically motivated and trying to block funding. Ethiopia’s proposed motion has not yet been formally submitted to the 47-member rights council, which meets from Monday until 4 April. Two of the diplomats familiar with the matter said there were ongoing efforts to dissuade Addis Ababa. “It would be a terrible precedent,” said a Western diplomat in Geneva. Diplomats said any vote on a possible Ethiopian motion would be tight and would pit Western countries, including the European Union that helped set up the investigation, against African partners.