Sanwo-Olu re-elected Lagos governor in landslide victory
- INEC officials say thugs snatched some ballots
- Commercial hub Lagos is Africa’s biggest mega city
- Voting postponed to Sunday in some districts
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been re-elected Lagos governor in an election marred by intimidation and low turn-out of voters.
With 95 per cent of votes counted, Sanwo-Olu of the ruling All Progressive Congress had more than 736,000 votes, compared to just 292,000 for his closest rival, the Labour Party’s Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The turnout was just a small fraction of the 7 million registered voters. The Lagos election was the highest profile among races for powerful governorships in 28 of Nigeria’s 36 states, as well as for state assemblies across the country.
The race in Lagos had been expected to be close after opposition Labour candidate Peter Obi received the most votes in the state during last month’s disputed presidential election, which was won overall by Bola Tinubu of the APC but Sanwo-Olu managed to deliver a landslide victory.
Tinubu himself is a former Lagos governor, who ran the state from 1999-2007 and has since been seen as instrumental in picking his successors there including Sanwo-Olu.
Obi has said he was robbed of victory by rampant fraud, and political analysts said the handling of last month’s presidential election could have discouraged some voters from participating in Saturday’s regional polls.
Some officials from INEC who presented results in Lagos on Sunday reported some ballot boxes had been snatched by thugs, but said this was not widespread enough to affect the outcome of the vote.
Voting was postponed to Sunday at 10 polling stations in a Lagos neighbourhood following disagreements between INEC officials and voters over the location of polling units. Final results were expected after 1600 GMT.
Governors wield wide influence in Africa’s most populous nation and their support can help decide who becomes president.
Some governors preside over states whose annual budgets are bigger than those of some small African countries. Lagos has an annual budget of $4 billion.
In northeastern Adamawa, a conservative and largely Muslim state, electoral officials were collating results after a race that could produce Nigeria’s first elected female governor.
Voters were still casting ballots in two districts of oil-producing Rivers state where the INEC failed to deliver voting materials.