Nigeria’s All Progressives Congress has made key gains in regional elections and kept power in the economic capital Lagos.
The party has also gained governorships in northern states strengthening its position nationwide. Final results for 29 governorships and all 36 state assemblies are still being tallied.
Nigeria’s governors control huge budgets and are among the country’s most influential politicians.
The regional elections come two weeks after the APC’s Muhammadu Buhari defeated incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of PDP to become the country’s first opposition candidate to win a presidential poll.
When General Buhari takes over the presidency it will be the first time that the president’s party will control Lagos since the end of military rule in 1999.
Official results from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said the APC had claimed the governor’s seat in Kaduna and Katsina, two northern states held by the PDP since democracy was restored.
The APC, formed just two years ago, was also poised to make gains elsewhere.
The PDP party lost for the first time key northern states like Kaduna and Katsina. However, it managed to hold on to Rivers State, Nigeria’ s oil hub.
The PDP won nine governorships, while the election in Imo state was declared inconclusive, because the number of spoilt ballot papers was larger than the margin of victory.
Nigeria’s 36 governors enjoy wide powers and are extremely influential. Some, especially in oil-producing areas, control bigger budgets than those of national governments in some neighbouring West African countries.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) reported 66 violent incidents at polling stations – higher than in the presidential poll.
Experts say Nigeria’s gripping 2015 election cycle has highlighted democracy’s growing hold in a nation plagued by military coups and tainted elections since independence from Britain in 1960.