Published: Wed, March 13, 2019
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Gubernatorial and State Assembly Elections Records Low Voter's Turnout

Gubernatorial and State Assembly Elections Records Low Voter's Turnout

The turnout for the state elections is expected to be higher than the 35.5% in last month's presidential election, down from 44% in 2015.

The presidential and parliamentary elections last month drew criticism from some observer groups for problems with logistics, collation of results and reports of intimidation.

About 120,000 polling stations opened at 07:00 GMT across Africa's most populous nation, but idle electoral officers spent much of the day waiting for voters in the capital, Abuja, and across the country.

Elections for governors were being held in 29 of Nigeria's 36 states, for all state assemblies, plus the administrative councils in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.Voting was mostly peaceful but there were reports of vandalism, violence and vote buying, including deaths on Friday night.

Voting was delayed in some cities due to the late arrival of materials, according to election monitors, and there were allegations of vote rigging in southern Abia state.

With so much at stake, many previous governorship elections have been marred by violence including shootings and armed gangs snatching ballot boxes.

The president, alongside his wife, Aisha, had earlier voted at the polling unit 003 Kofar Baru III, Gidan Niyam, Daura, Katsina state. "After voting [thugs] came and burned our result sheets", Chinedu Obiora, a businessman told Al Jazeera.

Nigerian voters returned to the polls on Saturday to elect powerful state governors just two weeks after Muhammadu Buhari secured a second term in a delayed presidential vote, but civil society observers said turnout was low. It's home to the Nigerian headquarters of companies including Exxon Mobil Corp., Facebook Inc. and Nestle SA.

"Voters, especially young people, feel betrayed by the electoral commission".

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

Asked to react to the decision by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to challenge the outcome of the February 23 presidential election at the election tribunal, he simply said, "I expect that to happen".

"The low turnout of voters can only but be attributed to two factors, voter apathy arising from the effect of the disappointment of citizens over poor conduct of the February 23 elections and the excessive deployment of military personnel", the Situation Room said in a statement handed to reporters in Abuja, the capital.

Three such centers were burned in Ebonyi, said the Center for Democracy and Development, one of the major local organizations monitoring the election.

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