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Africa

Nigerian voters turn out to elect governors in 29 states

media Votes being empited from an urn. Reuters/Eric Gaillard

Nigerians voted for their state representatives on Saturday. They are electing governors and members of their state assembies. In the capital Abuja, Federal Territory, ballots are being cast for administrative councils. Violence and irregularities have already been registered by official and unofficial monitors.

 

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

Election monitors meanwhile, have expressed concern over possible increased political violence.

On Friday the Situation Room, an umbrella organisation made up of more than 70 civil society monitoring groups said they were concerned about several states where they said there was evidence of "partisanship of security agencies" and "an intimidating presence of military personnel."

The monitoring group said that two people had been killed and 35 vehicles destroyed in violence between political supporters in the southwest state of Lagos on Friday.

Moreover, the Situation Room has said last month's presidential election did not meet the minimum standard to be credible, although most domestic and international observers disagreed.

President Muhammadu Buhari hopes to consolidate his victory of 23 February. He he won 19 states and a second, four-year term of office.

His All Progressives Congress (APC) currently controls 22 states while the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is in charge in 13. One state is under The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) .

In Nigeria, governors control state finances, and are responsible for key areas including education and health.
 

 
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