July 22, 2024

Nigeria’s ruling party has overwhelmingly won the governorship election in the south-eastern Imo state amid a boycott by some voters.

Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress won with more than 540,000 votes – his closest rival had 71,000.

Some Imo residents were seen queuing to buy water rather than going to vote as a strike has cut supplies of drinking water and electricity.

Saturday’s elections in three states saw reports of violence and rigging.

The results of elections for the powerful position of governor in the southern, oil-producing state of Bayelsa state and the central state of Kogi are expected later on Sunday.

Under Nigeria’s federal system, governors control huge budgets – larger than those of some countries in West Africa.

However, there have been numerous reports that some of this money has been stolen. Some former governors have been prosecuted and jailed for misappropriation of funds and money laundering.

In Imo state, Samuel Anyanwu of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came second with 71,500 votes, with the Labour Party’s Athan Nneji Achonu third on 64,000.

Some clashes were reported in Bayelsa state during voting on Saturday. An electoral official was abducted a day before the polls before being released.

In Kogi state, the electoral body, says it’s investigating opposition allegations that the results had been written before voting had even started.

These elections are seen as a test of how much confidence people still have in the country’s electoral process after February’s presidential election results were challenged by the two main opposition candidates.

They had alleged irregularities and sought to have the results overturned in court.

But President Bola Tinubu’s election victory was upheld, with the judges saying the opposition had failed to present any evidence of rigging.

More stories from Nigeria:

Road with stones on itRoad with stones on it

Youths with sticks prevented a BBC team from visiting the polling station on this road in Kogi state

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