Nigerian voters turn out to elect governors in 29 states

Nigerians vote in governor elections in 29 states

Nigerians vote in governor elections in 29 states

Millions of eligible voters in Nigeria have stayed away from casting their ballot to elect governors and state assembly members, amid reports of disturbances.

It was also observed that voter apathy experienced during the February 23 Presidential and National assembly polls was a child's play when compared with what happened on Saturday.

Late on Friday the Situation Room umbrella of more than 70 civil society monitoring groups expressed concern of an "escalation of violence between and within political parties and their supporters".

"When thugs invade our polling units and kidnap our staff there is nothing we can do but rely on security forces", he added.

The military has beefed up its presence in certain states, such as oil-rich Rivers, and in Benue, the epicenter of clashes in the central part of the country between crop farmers and cattle herders over grazing land that London-based Amnesty International said claimed about 2,000 lives a year ago. They were later released unharmed.

The election comes two weeks after the presidential vote in which incumbent Muhammadu Buhari won a second term.

The PDP is hoping for victory in some of the 22 states now run by President Muhammadu Buhari's ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

As the country is Africa's biggest oil producer and has the continent's largest economy, numerous governors control budgets larger than those of small nations.

They can also provide a strong collective voice in Abuja.

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A voter fills in her ballot during Nigeria's governorship and state assembly election in Karu, Nigeria March 9, 2019.

"Most of governance functions at the state level where it has the most impact on people's lives", he said.

Mr Abubakar said the election was a "sham" and was not free and fair.

"But what we are witnessing today are signs of eroding faith in the democratic order".

Moreover, the Situation Room has said last month's presidential election did not meet the minimum standard to be credible, although most domestic and global observers disagreed. But tensions remain high as the PDP challenges the result in court.

That prompted the two main parties to accuse each other of conspiring to rig the result.

Seven people were confirmed killed in election-related violence across the country in the past 24 hours, according to the Nigerian Election Situation Room grouping of observers.

The PDP governor, Nyesom Wike, accused the military of complicity in the killing of 16 people in the Abonnema area of the state.

It said election materials were destroyed and 75 polling units were affected.

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