Adelani Adepegba and Jesusegun Alagbe with agency report
Democratic candidate, Joe Biden stood on the verge of winning the United States presidency on Friday, as he expanded his narrow leads over President Donald Trump in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Georgia three days after polls closed.
Biden had a 253 to 214 lead in the state-by-state Electoral College vote that determines the winner, according to Edison Research.
Winning Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes would put the former vice president over the 270 he needs to secure the presidency, according to Reuters.
Biden would also win the election if he takes two of the three other key states where he held narrow leads on Friday: Georgia, Arizona and Nevada. Like Pennsylvania, all three were still processing ballots on Friday.
As Biden inched closer to triumph, he was expected to address the nation on Friday evening.
Meanwhile, Trump showed little sign he was ready to concede, making clear in a statement on Friday he would continue to press his claims of election fraud.
“From the beginning, we have said all legal ballots must be counted and all illegal ballots should not be counted, yet we have met resistance to this basic principle by Democrats at every turn,” he said in a statement released by his campaign.
“We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee that the American people have confidence in our government,” Trump noted.
The statement came a day after Trump levelled an attack on the democratic process, appearing at the White House on Thursday evening to allege the election was being “stolen” from him.
In both Pennsylvania and Georgia, Biden overtook Trump as officials processed thousands of mail-in ballots that were cast in urban Democratic strongholds, including Philadelphia and Atlanta.
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The surge in mail voting slowed the counting process in numerous states, a fresh reminder of the pandemic that will remain the next president’s most formidable challenge.
Hundreds of Democrats gathered outside Philadelphia’s downtown vote-counting site, wearing yellow shirts reading “Count Every Vote.”
In Detroit, a crowd of Trump supporters, some armed, protested outside the counting location, waving flags and chanting, “Fight!”
Reuters reports that a sense of grim resignation settled in at the White House on Friday, where the president was monitoring TV and talking to advisers on the phone.
One adviser said it was clear the race was tilting against Trump, but that Trump was not ready to admit defeat.
His campaign is pursuing a series of lawsuits across battleground states, but legal experts described them as unlikely to succeed in altering the election outcome.
It’s better to lose power and gain honour, says Jonathan
Meanwhile, amid the keenly watched US presidential election mainly between Biden and Trump, former President Goodluck Jonathan has told politicians and other leaders that their ambition is not worth the blood of any citizen.
Jonathan stated this on Friday in a message posted on his verified Facebook page. The statement was personally signed by him.
“Nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any citizen. It is better to gain honour at the cost of losing power than to gain power at the cost of losing honour. At any point in time, the power of love should matter more than the love of power. This is my philosophy. I have lived it.
“It has brought great peace to both my beloved nation and me. And I recommend it to all leaders facing challenging situations, in government, or at the polls, or even in their dealings with fellow political actors,” he wrote.
The ex-President made a similar statement when he sought re-election at the 2015 presidential poll – which he lost to the current President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).