Nigeria starts counting of votes

Nigerian officials started counting of votes in state assembly elections.

Updated: Apr 27, 2011, 19:07 PM IST

Abuja: Nigerian officials on Wednesday started
counting of votes in the gubernatorial and state assembly
elections.

Early figures show that the ruling Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) might lose some states to opposition parties in
the south while little known Congress for Progressive Change
(CPC) may succeed in grabbing a few states in the north.

Three explosions had rocked the country`s northern
city of Maiduguri and cases of ballot-box snatching were
reported from southern state of Abia yesterday in poll-related
violence.

"The blasts initially affected the level of turnouts
in the early hours of the day but the turnout eventually
picked up," a resident of Abia, Michael Olugbode told PTI over
phone.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
Resident Electoral Commissioner in northern Kano state,
Abdullahi Umar Danyaya, said the commission recorded six cases
of the ballot boxes snatching in the state.

In Lagos, six women were arrested at Falomo area
for trying to snatch ballot boxes in the area.

Presidential elections held in Nigeria on April 16
turned violent after the victory of incumbent President
Goodluck Jonathan.

According to an NGO, at least 500 people have been
killed and thousands displaced in post-election violence in
the country as the losing candidate Gen Muhammadu Buhari
alleged rigging.

The gubernatorial elections were held in 24 out of the
36 states along with the state assembly polls yesterday.

Ten governors have their tenures still running while
two states will hold elections tomorrow over security
reasons.

Nigeria, a country of 150 million people returned to
democracy after many years of military rule in 1999.

PTI