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Nigerians Anxiously Await Final Count in Third National Poll

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Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –

Nigerians cast ballots recently for state governors and legislators. It was the last election scheduled for last month since presidential and regional polls held earlier. Parliamentary polls were held April 9 and a presidential election took place April 16, which was won by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Results are expected within 48 hours of the 5 p.m. local time closure of polling stations, according to the West African nation’s Independent National Electoral Commission.

Polling went off quietly, unlike the earlier vote for president when some 600 people lost their lives in violence sparked by irregular voting practices that even drew criticism from international observers. So far, local news reports note numerous cases of ballot-box snatching in northern Katsina and Kano states, as well as several states in the south, including Akwa Ibom, Imo, Delta, and Rivers.

In Bayelsa state in the oil-producing Niger Delta region, violence and the hijacking of election materials led to the arrest of 13 people, authorities said. Six ballot-box snatching cases were reported in the main northern city of Kano, said electoral official Abdullahi Umar Danyaya.

While voting may be peaceful, published vote totals may be the spark for retaliation from groups seeing their numbers undercounted. Forensic exams of the ballot papers have been sought by the candidate of the Congress for Progressive change in Enugu State, Rosita Okechukwu.

“No electorate throughout history rewards a political party which failed to provide common infrastructure like electricity,” said Okechukwu. “It will be inconceivable that the Nigerian electorate rewarded PDP for decade stretch of failed promises. On Forensic Test and Biometric Technology we depend to prove our case; not on propaganda.”

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