Gubernatorial elections in Nigeria today
Elections will be held today for the Governorships and State Houses of Assembly for the 36 states excepting governorships for seven states which will not be involved in this election because of by-elections since 2011; they are Anambra, Ondo, Edo, Kogi, Bayelsa, Osun and Ekiti. Governors hold wide powers and control large budgets in Nigeria.
Across all the states there will be 990 Assembly members elected.
The election follows the Presidential and general election on 28th March when the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari won the election. The APC took 214 of the 360 seats in the House of Representatives and 64 seats in the 109 seat Senate. Meanwhile the PDP dropped from 203 seats to 125 seats in the House of Representatives and from 64 seats to 45 seats in the Senate.
The result was a disaster for the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which had been the party of power since 1999. In the last two weeks the PDP has imploded with party activists defecting to the APC and the organisation visibly collapsing.
In the 2011 election the PDP took 23 state governorships, but after the recent election that looks like a tough task to hold on to a majority. Currently the PDP holds 20 governorships whilst the APC has 14, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Labour Party hold one governorship apiece.
Polling stations are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time and the new biometric voting system will be used again despite widespread problems in the general election two weeks ago. Results are expected on Sunday.