Nigerians return to polls to elect governors, state lawmakers amid some unrest

Reuters  Eric Gaillard

There appeared to be far fewer people taking part in Saturday's governorship and state assembly polls compared with the presidential and National Assembly elections when electoral officers in some polling areas were overwhelmed with large numbers of voters.

President Buhari was declared the victor by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with Atiku saying that he was robbed of victory.

The state's GDP is more than that of Kenya. They were later released unharmed.

President Muhammadu Buhari will be expecting to consolidate his victory on February 23, when he won 19 states to secure a second, four-year term of office.

Elections for governors were being held in 29 of Nigeria's 36 states, for all state assemblies, plus the administrative councils in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.Voting was mostly peaceful but there were reports of vandalism, violence and vote buying, including deaths on Friday night.

State governors are usually hotly contested seats being among the nation's most powerful political offices, with some running budgets larger than those of smaller African nations.

The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha has defeated Governor Rochas Okorocha's adopted candidate, Uche Nwosu, and the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Hope Uzodinma, at the Imo State Government House polling units 001 and 002.

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"The choices people make in these elections really determine the level of governance they get". But initial indications were of a low turn-out, with the military blamed as well as voter apathy after a disorganised and delayed presidential vote in February.

Enaboh said, "Since yesterday after the election, we have been receiving reports of insecurity, molestation, harassment and assault of our staff and ad-hoc staff".

More than 84 million voters registered to take part in the elections but only 35 percent of that number took part in last month's presidential and National Assembly elections.

Accusations from the two main parties, accusing the other of conspiring with INEC to rig the result, have not gone away.

The PDP governor, Nyesom Wike, accused the military of complicity in the killing of 16 people in the Abonnema area of the state.

Adding to tensions in Rivers this time is a court ruling barring any APC candidates from standing in the gubernatorial election because of procedural irregularities in the selection process.

Violence erupted after nightfall in Warri and Ughelli cities in Delta state in the restive south as some party supporters fearing an election loss destroyed results sheets and other voting materials.

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