Nigeria polls open to elect governors, state assemblies

LAGOS, Nigeria

Polling has opened in several parts of Nigeria — two weeks after the presidential ballot — to elect new governors in at least 29 of the country’s 36 states and 991 state lawmakers. 

Voters in the Nigerian capital Abuja would be electing six chairmen and 62 councilors for the area councils in the high-end city.

There is no governorship poll in seven states — including Edo, Kogi, Ondo, Ekiti, Anambra, Osun and Bayelsa — due to alterations in their political calendar as a result of court verdicts.

The polling officially began at 8.00 a.m. local time (0700GMT) amid scanty reports of burning of electoral materials in Akwa Ibom and Benue states. Violence has also been reported in central Nigeria’s Kwara State.

Observer groups had warned of likely violence in a couple of volatile states including the commercial capital Lagos, where the race is between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The Independent National Electoral Commission said 1,082 candidates are vying for various positions.

Official results are not expected until late Sunday or Monday as counting may last over one day.