Nigerian opposition governor wins re-election

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Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki speaks about migrants brought home from Libya in Benin, capital of Edo State in midwest Nigeria.
Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki speaks about migrants brought home from Libya in Benin, capital of Edo State in midwest Nigeria.
Pius Utomi Ekpei, AFP

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Nigeria's main opposition party has won re-election in southern Edo state, officials said Sunday after the nation's first poll since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Obaseki of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 307 955 to beat his closest challenger, Osagie Ize-Iyamu of President Muhammadu Buhari's ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who polled 223 619 votes in Saturday's vote, the election commission said.

A total of 17 political parties had fielded candidates.

Obaseki was elected on APC's platform in 2016 but defected to the PDP after being denied the ticket because of intra-party squabbles.

Sixteen of Nigeria's 36 states are led by opposition governors.

Edo voters turned out in face masks in compliance with government measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has so far infected 57 000 people and claimed almost 1 100 lives.

Security was tight, with police officers and soldiers screening vehicles on major roads.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, held general elections last year, but Edo is among seven states that vote off-season because of court rulings.

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