Opening Times

For the 2011 presidential election polling units across the country opened, but logistical challenges resulted in some opening late.

2011 Presidential Elections

99% of polling units opened; a marked improvement over 2007 when many did not open at all. Not all polling units, however, opened on time. At 76% of polling units nationally accreditation began by 9:00am.

99% of polling units opened.
At 76% of polling units nationally accreditation began by 9:00am.

Percentage of Polling Units where Accreditation began by 9:00am by Local Government Area (LGA)

  • 0-25%
  • 26-50%
  • 51-75%
  • 76-90%
  • 91-100%
  • No Data

The above map shows the LGAs by their relative size. As a result, some of the smaller LGAs are not visible. The following illustration shows all LGAs as equal in size so that all are visible.

Percentage of Polling Units where Accreditation began by 9:00am by Local Government Area

2007 Elections

The 2007 elections severely undermined Nigerians’ confidence in the electoral process. Large numbers of polling units never opened, but the elections went forward and results were announced. Consequently, Nigerian and international observers roundly criticized the process.

“Election commenced very late at majority of the polling stations due to later arrivals of personnel and materials. In a large number of polling units across the country, materials were either insufficient or incomplete (e.g. ballot papers were provided but not result sheets).”

Transition Monitoring Group, "Preliminary Report on the Gubernatorial and State Assemblies Elections" 14-4-2007

“In many states, especially in the south east and north east, elections did not take place due to the nondelivery of election materials...”

Domestic Election Observation Group, "An Election Programmed to Fail: Preliminary Report on the Presidential and National Assembly Elections" 21-4-2007

“The April elections had flaws and shortcomings but it is significant that for the first time in our history, we had a civilian to civilian transfer of power. But our resolve is to be able to conduct elections that meet international standard. That is important for the sustenance of our democracy.”

Former President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua 7-6-2007

2011 National Assembly Elections

National Assembly elections were held a week before the presidential elections. Initially, there was fear that these elections would be a repeat of 2007, as systematic reports showed polling units failing to open. However in an unprecedented move, INEC Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega cancelled the National Assembly elections at noon and ordered new elections, which took place a week later.

Only 13% of the polling units were operating as of 8:30 this morning.

“Observers were on site as planned this morning in 766 local government areas and based on their reports only 13% of the polling units were operating as of 8:30 this morning.”

Project 2011 Swift Count 2-4-2011

“As you know the National Assembly (House of Representatives and Senate) elections are supposed to be taking place as I speak. You would also have noticed that things have not proceeded smoothly as expected with the elections … in order to maintain the integrity of the elections and retain effective overall control of the process, the Commission has taken the difficult but necessary decision to postpone the National Assembly elections.”

INEC Chairman Professor Attahiru Jega 2-4-2011

2013 Anambra Gubernatorial Election

Average Accreditation Start Time

The Anambra gubernatorial elections in South East saw polling units fail to open. Unlike in the past, INEC reran the elections in these polling units. This delayed the process, and undermined confidence in INEC in advance of the 2015 elections.

  • Before 8am
  • 8am-9am
  • 9am-Noon
  • After Noon
  • Never
Average Accreditation Start Time - Anambra gubernatorial elections in South East saw polling units fail to open.

Explore Critical Issues from the 2011 Presidential Elections