On March 18, Nigerians came out to vote for their preferred governorship candidates across different political parties in 28 states of the federation. Results from the election exercise are now being announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
From the presidential elections to the governorship, PREMIUM TIMES has keenly reported events as they unfolded to inform and educate the public while they exercise their franchise.
In many states, the dynamics changed after the presidential election with political parties clinging to victories after losing to the opposition during the 25 February presidential election.
In Lagos, the All Progressive Congress (APC) had lost to the Labour Party during the presidential poll but things changed during the governorship elections held on Saturday. APC’s Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been declared the winner while the candidate of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, came a distant second. The LP’s candidate alleges rigging while there were many reported cases of violence and voter suppression during the election.
It was the same story in Oyo where Seyi Makinde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led APC’s Teslim Folarin with a wide margin as against what transpired during the presidential election when the APC won.
In Katsina, the PDP had won the presidential election but APC took over the battlefield as INEC announced Dikko Radda of the APC as the winner of the election.
In Kaduna, the contest is tight between APC’s Uba Sani and his PDP counterpart with a winner yet to be declared. But in Sokoto, APC defeated PDP despite the latter party winning the presidential election in the state.
The APC won the presidential election in Zamfara but the PDP’s Dauda Lawal leads APC’s Governor Bello Matawalle after results from five of the state’s 14 local governments were announced.
In Benue, despite the governor showing support for LP’s Peter Obi, the APC won the presidential election in the state and has taken an early lead in the governorship poll.
In Ogun, Governor Dapo Abiodun of the APC retained his seat as he narrowly defeated his PDP counterpart who challenged the declaration by INEC.
In Jigawa, the outgoing governor, Badaru Abubakar, joined the league of APC leaders who won their states in both the governorship and presidential elections. Sule Lamido, a former PDP governor of the state and PDP leader, failed in his bid to install his son as the next governor of the state with APC’s Umar Namadi declared the winner.
In Kano, the NNPP has won the majority of the votes, just like it did in the presidential election. INEC is expected to declare the NNPP winner of the governorship election on Monday morning. In Kebbi, a winner has yet to be declared in the close contest between APC and PDP.
In the presidential election, Plateau voted for LP’s Peter Obi but that is fast changing in the governorship poll as the race is now between the PDP and the APC.
In Kwara, Governor Abdulrahman Abdurazak of the APC was re-elected for a second term. The APC has also retained Niger State.
In Adamawa, Aishatu Binani of the APC trails Governor Umaru Fintiri of the PDP with only one local government yet to be decided. Binani, however, believes she has a strong chance to overcome the margin with a big win in Fufore, the remaining local government. She seeks to become Nigeria’s first woman to be elected state governor.
In Borno, chances are high that APC’s Governor Babagana Zulum would be re-elected if he maintains his early lead. In Gombe and Yobe, APC’s incumbent governors have been re-elected.
For the southeast region, the Obi tsunami is still potent but not without its challenges. In Abia, for example, LP is in a comfortable lead but struggles with the PDP in Enugu. But in Ebonyi, the APC governorship candidate is set to be declared the winner.
The Obi tsunami has no life in Rivers as victory is between the PDP and APC with the APC in an early lead. In Cross River, the APC governorship candidate is in a comfortable lead. And in Delta, PDP has taken an early lead in the governorship poll.
INEC improvement but problems remain
PREMIUM TIMES reported the improvement in logistics by INEC, a fact also commended by observer groups such as CDD and YIAGA. Election officials arrived earlier than in the presidential election and voting started early in many parts of the country. However, the governorship elections were characterised by more violence and vote buying than during the presidential election.
There were also cases of politicians inciting ethnic divisions with Amnesty International warning political figures and journalists against the act.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.Donate
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999