Accessibility links

Breaking News

Foul Play Allegations Rock Governor Poll in Nigeria's Oil Capital

A policeman keeps watch on the road leading to Taraba state electoral commission during the announcement of the results of the Governorship and State assembly elections in Jalingo, Nigeria, April 12, 2015.

Nigeria's newly ascendant All Progressives Congress party won at least 18 of 29 state governor positions that were at stake in Saturday's elections. But in southern Rivers State, the party says violence and tampering compromised the vote.

Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission declared Nyesom Wike of the Peoples Democratic Party the winner of the gubernatorial election in Rivers State. It is an important victory for the PDP, which after holding the presidency for 16 years lost it to All Progressives Congress party candidate Muhammadu Buhari when Nigerians voted for president two weeks ago.

Rivers State is the heart of Nigeria’s oil production and Wike will be taking over from a firebrand APC governor that was a thorn in the outgoing ruling party’s side. But the All Progressives Congress says this weekend’s vote in Rivers was marred by fraud and violence.

APC publicity secretary in Rivers state Chris Finebone said voters were intimidated to keep them from voting, and results sheets were fabricated to give votes to the PDP.

“It calls for a total overhaul of INEC and then who [can] set up a team who can come and have a re-run of that election. Otherwise, the outcome will remain unacceptable for us,” he said.

At least six deaths were recorded around voting time in Rivers. The APC will go to court if the Independent National Electoral Commission does not re-run the vote, Finebone said. “We will have no choice but to seek legal redress before the tribunal.”

International observers also noticed issues with the elections in Rivers. A statement from the European Union observation team called the problems in Rivers “very severe,” and encouraged parties to take settle disputes through official means.