In 2022, INEC announced that the governorship and House of Assembly elections will hold on March 11, 2023, two weeks after the presidential and National Assembly elections.
But, days before the election, INEC shifted the elections to March 18, 2023, due to the reconfiguration of key election tools, BVAS machines.
The time has finally come today as Nigerians begin voting for their next governors.
Eko Hot Blog reports that Nigerians have headed to the polls to elect their next governors and state House of Assembly members.
While the House of Assembly election will hold in the 36 states of the federation, the governorship poll will hold in only 28 states as the eight other states – Osun, Ekiti, Kogi, Bayelsa, Anambra, Edo, Ondo and Imo – have off-season elections.
The elections have elicited hope in the minds of millions of Nigerians who want to chart a different direction, while others are satisfied with the status quo.
The polls are expected to spring up upsets, surprises, and excitement in most states.
RACES TO WATCH
Some are expecting the unexpected win by opposition parties in some states during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections to repeat itself in today’s elections in most parts of the country.
Such states include Lagos, Abia, Oyo, Rivers, Enugu, Benue, Sokoto, Bauchi, Delta, Kano, Kaduna and Plateau. These states witnessed opposition parties defeat the governing parties in the presidential election.
Observers are particularly watching the governorship races in Lagos and Oyo States.
In Lagos, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party is hoping to ride the wave of support that helped his party win the presidential election in the state to unseat Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who is seeking reelection.
In contrast, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, running for reelection, is hoping to fend off Senator Teslim Folarin of the All Progressives Congress (APC), whose party won the presidential poll in the state.
WHERE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTIONS ARE HOLDING
Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara.
WHERE GOVERNORS ARE SEEKING REELECTION
1. Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State, in North-East Nigeria, is seeking reelection for another four-year term on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Fintiri is hoping to defeat a field of 14 candidates, including Labour Party (LP)’s Mustapha Madawaki and All Progressives Congress (APC)’s Senator Aishatu Dahiru, famously known as Binani.
2. Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, also in North-East Nigeria, is seeking reelection under the PDP umbrella. Mohammed is in the contest with 13 other candidates, including Senator Halliru Jika of the New Nigerian People’s Party (NNPP) as well as APC’s candidate, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who is Nigeria’s immediate past Chief of Air Staff.
3. Also seeking reelection in the North-East geopolitical zone is Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State. Zulum, an APC member, is in the race alongside 11 others including PDP’s Mohammed Jajari and LP’s Goni Abdullahi.
4. In the North-East, Governor Muhammad Inuwa of Gombe State is seeking reelection on the platform of the APC. Inuwa will be slugging it out at the polls with 13 others, including PDP’s Muhammed Barde and LP’s Amuga Esau.
5. Governor Mai Mala Buni wants another term in office as governor of Yobe State. He is in the race alongside 10 other candidates, including PDP’s Shariff Abdullahi and NNPP’s Umar Garba.
6. In the North-West, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State is in the race with PDP’s Dauda Lawal, LP’s Ahmed Yahuza, and 11 others.
7. In the North Central, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State hopes to retain his seat on APC platform. He is in the race with PDP’s Abdullahi Yaman and 12 others.
8. In Nasarawa, another North Central State, which shares a border with Nigeria’s seat of power, Abuja, the reelection bid of Governor Abdullahi Sule of the APC is being challenged by 13 others, including LP’s Ewuge Joseph and Mohammed Alfa of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).
9. For Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, in the South-West zone, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the APC will be slugging it out with 15 co-contestants, including LP’s Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and PDP’s Olajide Adediran aka Jandor.
10. Still in the South-West, Governor Dapo Abiodun’s second-term bid is facing the challenge of 12 others, including PDP’s Ladi Adebutu, political mainstay, as well as Biyi Otegbeye of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), who has the backing of former governor and serving APC senator, Ibikunle Amosun.
11. Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde is seeking reelection with 15 others including LP’s Akinwale Tayo as well as a serving senator, Teslim Folarin of the APC.
WHERE NEW GOVERNORS ARE EXPECTED
New governors are certain to emerge in 17 other states.
The states are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, and Taraba.
By Sunday or Monday, Nigerians in various states are expected to know who their next governors will be.
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