Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change

Governorship polls: south-south retains political colour of the ruling party

By IWPR Nigeria

The south-south zone of Nigeria's restive, oil-rich Niger Delta, has retained the political colour of the ruling People's Democratic Party, PDP.

That was the situation, as results of governorship elections were wrapped up in the early hours of Thursday.

The figures were still suspiciously high, but less so than in the National Assembly and Presidential elections.

Only one state, Edo, governed by the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN's Adams Oshiomole, is now out of the PDP's harvest in the south-south zone.

Oshiomole, a former trade unionist, installed for a four-year term by a court in 2008, is the speck in the political canvass. If Oshiomole opts for a second mandate then his own re-election battle beckons in 2012.

However, apart from Edo, elections did not hold in two of the states for a similar reason.

There were no elections in Bayelsa and Cross River, where Governors Timipre Sylva and Lyel Imoke will be in office until 2012, according to a recent court order.

So, only re-elected governors, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa-Ibom, Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta, and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers fought electoral battles on Tuesday.

Although there is so much back slapping, chest thumping and wild jubilation, there are also widespread claims of electoral malpractices and wholesale fraud over the victory, as well as cries of anguish by voters that were brutalized in the orgy of ballot snatching and other incidents of violence in the zone.

The South-south was adjudged by observers, as the second next hotspot of violence, after the Northern region roared in apparent rejection of the presidential election result.

More IWPR's Global Voices