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Nigerian vote in Gubernatorial,State houses of Assembly and FCT area council elections

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Nigerians are heading to the polls to elect state and local representatives, two weeks after the presidential poll.

The exercise will take place in 29 of the country’s 36 states.

In oil-rich Nigeria, some state governors control budgets larger than those of neighbouring countries and so these are often keenly contested.

President Muhammadu Buhari beat his main rival Atiku Abubakar in the 23 February election, securing a second term.

Across the country, Mr Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) got 15.2 million votes while Mr Abubakar’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) received 11.3 million. There are 73 million registered voters.

The APC won 19 states, while the PDP secured 16 plus the capital Abuja.

Mr Abubakar said the election was a “sham” and was not free and fair. He has since filed a petition challenging President Buhari’s win.

Although turnout for the presidential election was low across the country, it was higher in the northern states – one factor behind Mr Buhari’s victory.

This is likely to change in Saturday’s election because the seats being contested are closer to the grassroots and their impact is more felt by the ordinary people.

Fears of possible election-related violence has led to the massive deployment of security personnel across the country.

Seven states – Kogi, Bayelsa, Ekiti, Osun, Ondo, Edo and Anambra – will not hold elections because their governors have not finished their four-year terms.

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