The party of Nigeria's president-elect Muhammadu Buhari has won governorship elections in a majority of Nigeria's 36 states, building its strength nationwide after a historic presidential win, official results Monday showed.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) took control of at least 19 governor's seats following Saturday's closely fought regional polls and could add to that tally with results from several states still pending.
President Goodluck Jonathan's People's Democratic Party (PDP) had controlled the federal and most state governments since the end of military rule in 1999 but suffered major losses during Nigeria's gripping 2015 election cycle.
The PDP was handily defeated across the mainly Muslim north, excluding Gombe state in the northeast, where incumbent Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo was re-elected.
Jonathan, a southern Christian, lost to Muslim northerner Buhari in the presidential vote two weeks ago, in the first ever democratic change of power at the federal level since Nigeria gained independence from Britain in 1960.
The president faced significant pressure to stand aside before the vote in favor of a PDP northern governor but insisted on running again, a decision that many experts believe helped fuel the APC's rise.
Jonathan's PDP lost governorship seats it had controlled in the northern states of Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi and Adamawa, the latter having been hit particularly hard by armed group Boko Haram.
According to official results released so far, the only state the PDP wrestled away from Buhari's APC was the southern, oil-producing hub of Rivers.
Al Jazeera and Agence-France Presse