Nigeria's Jonathan wins big in disputed Rivers state

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan casts his ballot in Otuoke, in southern Nigeria's Bayelsa State, on March 28, 2015 (AFP Photo/) (AFP/File)

Abuja (AFP) - Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan won big in the southern oil-producing state of Rivers, with the result allowed to stand despite complaints about alleged ruling party vote-rigging.

The 57-year-old leader, whose home state is next door and where he won near total support (98.4 percent) from the electorate, won 1,487,075 votes or 94.9 percent of the total votes cast in Rivers.

Opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari picked up 69,238 votes.

The win in Rivers -- a key battleground as it is a major urban centre -- and in Bayelsa helped Jonathan claw back a nearly two million-vote deficit from Buhari, leaving the candidates just 500,000 votes apart.

Jonathan's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has won 12 states plus the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja, with Buhari's All Progressives Congress (APC) taking 13.

The APC had alleged widespread irregularities on the part of the PDP in Rivers and called for the election to be re-run.

But elections chief Attahiru Jega, who dispatched a team to probe the complaints, said the result would stand.

"We don't believe that the allegations are substantial enough to require the cancellation or scheduling of the elections in Rivers state," he said in the capital Abuja.