Africa News Bulletin

Nigeria’s Ruling Party Strengthens Dominance with Victory in Local Elections.

Nigeria’s Ruling Party Clinches Victory in Two of Three State Elections Amidst Violence and Fraud Allegations.

Nigeria witnessed significant electoral activity over the weekend, marked by intense contests for governorship in three states—Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo. Despite heightened security measures, reports of violence surfaced, including fatal shootings and the abduction of an official from the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec).

Results indicated a clear win for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo State, securing incumbent Governor Hope Uzodinma’s second term with a substantial vote margin of 540,308 against the opposition. Similarly, the APC retained power in Kogi State, with Ahmed Usman Ododo securing over 446,000 votes.

However, in Bayelsa State, the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) prevailed, allowing outgoing Governor Douye Diri to maintain his position with 175,196 votes against the APC candidate’s 110,108.

As it stands, the APC controls 20 of the 36 states, while the PDP governs 13 states, leaving the last three states under different parties’ leadership.

Observing the polls, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) noted low turnout at several polling stations, attributed to fears of violence, while reports surfaced of fatal shootings and alleged vote-buying incidents.

The electoral process faced scrutiny due to previous election concerns, notably Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s presidential victory earlier in the year. Criticisms surrounding result delays and technical issues raised suspicions of potential electoral fraud.

In response, the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) affirmed its commitment to ensuring a fair and credible electoral process, despite the challenges encountered.

The election’s integrity was further tested when an Inec employee was kidnapped in Bayelsa state, and an incident involving a capsized boat disrupted the voting process for over 5,000 voters.

Nigeria has a history of electoral violence since the transition from military rule in 1999, and contentious election results often end up in court disputes.

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