Nigeria votes for state governors, local assemblies

Nigeria voters
Nigeria voters

[easymedia-slider-two med=”299″](AFP) – Polling stations opened across Nigeria on Saturday for gubernatorial and state assembly elections, two weeks after a historic first opposition win in the presidential race.

Some 760 candidates are in the running for 29 governor and deputy governor positions, while 5,290 hopefuls are seeking local assembly seats in all 36 of Nigeria’s states.

Voting proper is due to get under way on Saturday afternoon, once the 68.8 million registered voters have had their credentials checked. Nigeria’s main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) is tipped to build on its presidential win by Muhammadu Buhari against President Goodluck Jonathan, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The PDP currently has 21 governors while the APC has 14. “The still-ruling PDP will likely lose its majority of the governorships, partly from the bandwagon effect, incumbency fatigue and the APC’s momentum in regions like the southwest and Middle Belt,” the Eurasia Group said in a briefing note on Friday.

But the group’s head for Sub-Saharan Africa, Philippe de Pontet, said the key state of Rivers, in the oil-producing southern delta region, would go to the PDP.

Governors are increasingly influential figures in Nigeria’s federal system of government, exercising near-total control over their states, including finances and projects at the local level. As a group they have become a considerable force to counter or bolster presidential power. LEARN MORE …..