On Saturday, Nigerians exercised their civic rights to elect governors and state lawmakers in the just concluded governorship and state assembly elections. They now await the official results of the polls across 36 states of the federation.

In previous live updates, PREMIUM TIMES reported how elections were held for 28 governorships and 993 assembly seats.

The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), a pro-democracy think-tank, revealed in a report that the Saturday elections were characterised by violence, vote buying and widespread fake news. However, the not-for-profit also noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) improved logistically.

In its report on Saturday, CDD observed that “those who are participating appear to be more open to inducement for casting their ballot with vote trading being undertaken by all political parties across Nigeria’s six geo-political zones.”

Corroborating, Yiaga Africa, another non-profit, reported 15 confirmed cases of vote buying across eight states where governorship and state assembly elections were exercised. Yiaga also noted several cases of infractions and non-compliance with the 2022 Electoral Act.

“The voters hand over their ballot papers to party agents in exchange for the bribe,” the press statement by Yiaga Africa stated, specifically noting how the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the People Democratic Party (PDP) were observed sharing food, cash and alcoholic drinks with some voters in different states.

Similarly, the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) reported malfunctioning of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in some polling units in five states, including Borno, Bauch, Plateau, Akwa Ibom and Imo. The non-governmental organisation also reported cases of attacks on journalists and media men in Sokoto, Lagos and Ogun.

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All the observer groups reported a lower turnout for the elections compared to the presidential election.

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