Nigeria’s ruling party wins Ekiti state vote

FILE PHOTO: An APC flag is pictured at the All Progressive Congress (APC) national headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s ruling party won a state governorship election this weekend after unseating the opposition incumbent, officials said, giving President Muhammadu Buhari a boost ahead of national polls next year.

  • FILE PHOTO: An APC flag is pictured at the All Progressive Congress (APC) national headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria July 5, 2018. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo
  • Kayode Fayemi of the All Progessive Congress (APC) took almost 45 percent of the vote in southwestern Ekiti state, the electoral commission announced on Sunday.

    Saturday’s vote is a test of the ruling party’s popularity, after the APC split last week when one faction declared it no longer supported Buhari’s government and later announced it was forming an alliance with the opposition.

    Fayemi, a one-time governor of Ekiti, resigned as Buhari’s minister for mining and steel development to contest the race against the People’s Democratic Party in a state where the incumbent, Ayodele Fayose, has been critical of the government.

  • FILE PHOTO: The Minister of Mines and Steel Development Kayode Fayemi speaks during an exclusive interview with Reuters in Abuja, Nigeria October 11, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo
  • As minister, Fayemi tried to revive Nigeria’s mining sector and had been in discussions with the country’s sovereign wealth fund to create a $500 million fund for exploration and attract investment. Some of the plans are yet to materialize.

    Buhari, who plans to seek another term in office, congratulated Fayemi and the electoral body for the conduct of the vote.

    Nigeria is preparing for presidential, parliamentary and state governorship elections from February next year. Political parties must select their candidates for the election between Aug. 18 and Oct. 7.

    Governors are among the most powerful figures in Africa’s most populous nation. Some control budgets bigger than those of many African countries and play a significant role in selecting presidential candidates.

    Fayemi’s victory consolidates the ruling party’s position in Nigeria’s southwest, a key region that helped the APC, a merger of four regional parties, win the last election.

    Source: Read Full Article