Nigeria: Gubernatorial election marred by violence and low turnout

Members of the Election Commission count votes at a polling station during the gubernatorial election in Lagos, March 18, 2023. AFP - PIUS UTOMI EKPEI

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Nigeria elected 28 governors and more than 900 representatives of local assemblies on Saturday, March 18. A crucial election since the most populous country in Africa is a Federal Republic. This election was marked by violence in many parts of the country.


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With our correspondent in Lagos, Liza Fabbian

Local elections ended in a volatile atmosphere.

Despite renewed promises from the Electoral Commission, voting had to be postponed until Sunday in several polling stations across the country due to logistical problems or violence.

Once again, ballot boxes were stolen or destroyed, journalists were harassed or injured in the course of their work, and voters were attacked by gangs in many polling stations. According to the Nigerian press, several of these agitators were shot dead during confrontations with the police.

In Lagos, the Labour Party candidate published a video in which he accused the Electoral Commission and the security forces of "provoking the Lagossians" - Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour asked them "not to set Lagos on fire". These statements are "typical of a bad loser," retorted the APC spokesman in a statement, which accused the LP candidate of "playing the victim".

This tension and violence probably did not encourage voters to go out and vote. In many regions, abstention appeared to be even higher than in the general elections.

Read also: Nigeria: the stakes of the election of governors, a decisive election

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