Nigerians vote to elect parliamentarians amidst security fears
Nigeria’s rescheduled parliamentary election has kicked off, as voters go to polls nationwide to select new National Assembly members.
Polling stations opened at 8:00 a.m. local time and will stay open until the last accredited voter on the queue casts his or her vote.
WADR Abuja correspondent Chima Nwankwo says voting is going on smoothly at several polling stations in the nation’s capital with large turnout.
On Thursday INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega at a news conference in Abuja announced the postponement of 18 of the 109 senatorial elections this Saturday and 48 elections for the House of Representatives.
He said those elections will hold alongside the elections for governors and state house of assembly on April 26, while the presidential election will now hold on April 16.
Professor Jega said the postponement was “inevitable” and blamed it on both domestic and international companies hired to print ballot papers.
Meanwhile, tension has heightened in some states, ahead of Saturday’s polls.
Local media reports say at least eight people were killed and 26 others injured after a bomb explosion at an office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the country’s central Niger State on Friday evening.
In Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Bayelsa and Kano States, police seized arms, bullet-proof vests and imported military uniforms. There are also alleged assassination attempts as well as threats of violence.
Police in northern Kaduna state said on Friday that a Nigerian suspected of building bombs to disrupt Saturday’s elections was killed when one of the devices exploded prematurely.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who is expected to win re-election on April 16, assured voters that security agencies had been directed to provide maximum security for the entire process.Tweet