Nigerians to elect powerful state governors Other News 10:50


Nigerians voted for their state representatives on Saturday.

Political scientist Jibrin Ibrahim, from the Centre for Democracy and Development, said governorship and state assembly elections mean more to many voters than the presidential ballot.

"Voter turnout remains low", the Situation Room, a monitoring mission comprising over 70 civic groups, said of Saturday's vote in a statement.

Voting ended at 2 most polling centers, followed by the counting of ballots, with results only likely to start trickling in from Sunday.

"There is low voter turnout and I believe it's because of the last election which was marred by a lot of irregularities", Atiku told journalists after voting in his Adamawa home in northeast Nigeria. "There are reports of poll officials and observers arrested in some parts of the country by security personnel".

The army said on Friday it would ensure people could vote in an environment free of violence.

The electoral commission said a fire destroyed voting materials at one of its offices in Akwa Ibom state, in the south.

His All Progressives Congress (APC) now controls 22 states while the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is in charge in 13.

Governors are powerful and influential figures in Nigeria's federal politics, controlling state finances, where they are responsible for key areas including education to health.They can also provide a strong collective voice in Abuja.

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At the polling unit 001 for the governorship poll, PDP polled 38, AA (14), APC (6) and Accord Party polled only one vote.

The two parties are particularly keen to win in Lagos, the commercial capital that has 15 million to 20 million people and an economy of roughly $80 billion, according to Fitch Ratings Ltd., which makes it bigger than Ghana and similar to Kenya and Ethiopia.

APC national leader Bola Tinubu has been the dominant political force in the state ever since he was its governor from 1999 to 2007.

The Situation Room reported seven deaths, five in Rivers state.

Because Buhari's APC has been banned from fielding a gubernatorial candidate in Rivers as a result of internal party disputes, it's supporting the African Action Congress against the PDP.

Atiku said the involvement of the military in the election is unconstitutional, urging the electorate to be law-abiding. "We have seen unusual security deployment in a way that raises questions".

The Situation Room said last month's poll did not meet the minimum standard for a credible election, although most domestic and global observers disagreed.

President Muhammadu Buhari says the court case instituted against his electoral victory by Atiku Abubakar, the defeated candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is not unexpected. "They believe that their votes did not count in the elections from February 23, and don't trust the system enough to come out again", Agwuegbo said.