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Atiku laments low turn-out of voters

13 March, 2019, 14:44 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Nigerians vote in governor elections in 29 states

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

Although voting was mostly peaceful a local election observer was killed by a stray bullet as police attempted to disperse demonstrators in southeastern Enugu state.

During the presidential and parliamentary polling, there were reports of violence, vote-buying, voter intimidation and ballot box vandalism in some states. Violence and irregularities have already been registered by official and unofficial monitors. Despite the postponement, voting was disrupted by malfunctioning voter card readers which caused lengthy delays in some regions, particularly southern opposition strongholds.

Heavy military deployment was reported in Rivers state in Nigeria's restive south. They were later released unharmed.

Saturday's election comes two weeks after Muhammadu Buhari secured a second term in a delayed presidential vote.

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.

They can also provide a strong collective voice in Abuja.

The election is for 29 of the country's 36 governors, who are among the most influential politicians in Nigeria, which is Africa's biggest oil producer and has the continent's largest economy.

Nigerians vote in governor elections in 29 states
Nigerians Elect State Governors Amid Concerns Over Violence

"Most of governance functions at the state level where it has the most impact on people's lives", he said.

State-level elections are often predicted to broadly mirror presidential polling and this year come amid concerns about the role of security forces during the vote. 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.

Abubakar rejected the result, saying there was massive rigging and has asked the election tribunal to review the vote.

"But what we are witnessing today are signs of eroding faith in the democratic order".

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.

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.

That prompted the two main parties to accuse each other of conspiring to rig the result.

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

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