Candidates from Nigeria's two major political parties will compete in a runoff election April 25 to decide the governorship of Taraba state, the country's Independent National Electoral Commission announced this week. The runoff will pit candidate Darius Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Sen. Aisha Jummai Alhassan of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Nigerian news outlet This Day Live reported.
The PDP is the party of outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan. The APC is the party of President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, who defeated Jonathan in the country's presidential election, which was held March 28-29.
"We have several cases of figures being subverted, from polling units to ward, and down to the local government areas," electoral commissioner Gabriel Ada said, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.
Phebian Yame, a spokesman for the Department of Enlightenment and Publicity, announced the date for the runoff during a briefing at the head office of the electoral commission in Jalingo, the Taraba capital. Yame said the date had been communicated to all parties.
The announcement came as election-related violence in Taraba had subsided. The violence had occurred in Jalingo and in Sunkani (headquarters of the Ardo Kola local government area) and Gembu (headquarters of the Sardauna local government area). The death toll from the violence in Sunkani had risen to 11, a local news report said.
Declaring the elections inconclusive and ordering a runoff is consistent with Nigeria's constitution and its Electoral Act, said Kyari Mohammad, an elections officer. The rules stipulate that when the total number of canceled votes in an election is higher than the margin between the first- and the second-place candidates, elections should be declared inconclusive and a runoff should be conducted.
The runoff election will be held at all 165 polling stations of the Donga local government area, as well as in some polling areas in Bali, Karim Lamido, Takum, Ussa, Wukari, Yorro and Zing, This Day Live reported.