Ruling party runs the poll in Nigeria

Published on Sunday 25th May 2008

Nigeria: Nigeria's ruling party has retained the governorships of the oil-producing state of Bayelsa and of northern Sokoto in election re-runs.

The courts had annulled the election of nine state governors after polls in April last year which foreigner observers said were flawed.

The People's Democratic Party (PDP) has won all four state re-runs so far held, with victories in central Kogi state in March and in northeast Adamawa state last month.

The national electoral body said on state television that Aliyu Wamakko polled 562,395 votes in the election in Sokoto to defeat his closest rival Maigari Dingyadi of the Democratic Peoples Party, who had 124,046 votes.

In Bayelsa, Timipre Slyva scored a landslide against Ebitimi Amgbare of the opposition Action Congress party, electoral officials said.

The polls on Saturday were generally peaceful, but turnout was low, local media said.

The April 2007 elections were billed as a democratic landmark in Africa's top oil producing nation, marking the first transfer of power from one elected leader to another since independence from Britain in 1960.

But they were so marred by widespread ballot-stuffing and vote-rigging and intimidation that European Union observers said the results was not credible.