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Nigeria

Low turnout at governor elections

Fears of violence and rumours of vote rigging resulted in fewer than 20% of voters going to the ballot box in polls that saw the APC win two states and the PDP take one

President Bola Tinubu's ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had a convincing win in two out of three state elections at the weekend as turnout slumped below 30%.

The APC won in southeastern Imo state, where the current governor Hope Uzodinma secured a second term with 540,308 votes, according to official election tallies, and in central Kogi state, where Ahmed Usman Ododo defeated Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate Murtala Ajaka by 446,237 to 259,052. Ododo was declared the winner by the electoral commission despite the elections agency stating that new polls would be held in part of the state.

PDP governor Douye Diri was declared the winner in southern Bayelsa state on Monday with 175,196 votes to the APC's 110,108 after final results were delayed.

The three states were the only gubernatorial elections not to have been held in tandem with the presidential elections won by Tinubu in March (AC Vol 64 No 5, Tinubu's last trick: from godfather to Kabiyesi).

However, election observers from the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), reported low turnout because of fears of violence, as well as widespread allegations of vote buying. The delays in reporting the results mirror the confusion and delays that followed the March polls, which saw turnout drop to 27%, the lowest level since the return of multiparty elections.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it had 'done everything possible to guarantee that the weekend's election was free, fair, and credible', and reported that one of its officials had been abducted in Bayelsa.

Monitoring groups and Nigerian media reported several deadly shootings, including one in which military officials allegedly killed a man trying to run off with a ballot box in Anyigba, Kogi state.



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