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HomeNewsNigeria Decide 2023: Anxiety as Nigerians Return To Elect Govs, State...

Nigeria Decide 2023: Anxiety as Nigerians Return To Elect Govs, State Assembly Members

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  • Lagos, Kano, Rivers Gov Candidates face Tough Battles
  • We are Working towards hitch-free Governorship Elections – INEC
  • INEC to obey Court  order to  transmit Results electronically
  • Vows To Sanction Officials Who Sabotaged Presidential Poll
As Nigerians again head to the polls today, tough battles are expected among the contenders for governorship positions and assembly seats in Lagos, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi and Rivers states.
The polls come three weeks after a dramatic round of presidential and National Assembly elections, which has received mixed reactions from stakeholders at home and abroad.

This year, INEC replaced the Smart Card Readers with a more advanced piece of biometric technology for verifying voters: the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).

This enabled the electoral body to transmit results electronically to its Result Viewing Portal (IReV), a development that necessitated the enactment of the Electoral Act, 2022.

Despite the early promise BVAS showed in the 2021-2022 off-cycle governorship elections of Anambra, Ekiti and Osun, criticism trailed the last month’s elections over what INEC described as “technical hitches“.

The polls were initially scheduled for March 11. But the fallout of the presidential election set back reconfiguration of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) devices, prompting a one-week delay.
In all, 18 political parties are fielding candidates for the governorship elections slated to hold in 28 out of the 36 states of the federation.

Of the 36 states, governorship polls will be held in 28, namely 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.

Over the next four years, each of the other eight states – Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Osun and Ondo – will get their chance, separately, held off-season due to litigations and court judgements.

As for the state legislatures, all 36 states are the home bases of thousands competing for 993 state house of assembly seats.

In Sokoto, the governorship polls will be a straight fight between the All Progressives Congress candidate, Ahmad  Aliyu, and his Peoples Democratic Party counterpart,  Saidu Umar

In Lagos, the battle for Alausa, the governor’s office is expected to be tough and possibly, a re-enactment of the presidential election in which the godfather of Lagos politics, now president-elect, Bola Tinubu, was handed his first electoral defeat.

The election would be a three-horse race between Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the APC, Labour Party candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and his PDP counterpart, Abdul-Azeez Adediran.

Sanwo-Olu, who is seeking a second term in office will contend with youth disenchantment and their desire to break the stranglehold of his political benefactor, Tinubu on the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria.

Buoyed by the party’s success in the last election, Rhodes-Vivour is banking on the young voters to re-enact the magic that gave the LP presidential standard bearer, Peter Obi, a  win in the state.

In Kano, the race to succeed Governor Umar Ganduje is between the APC candidate, Dr Nasiru Gawuna and that of the opposition New Nigeria People’s Party, Abba Yusuf.

Going by the outcome of the February 25 presidential and national assembly elections, the NNPP may have the upper hand in the governorship election.

The election result confirmed the dominance of the NNPP in Kano politics as it trounced the ruling party scoring 997, 279 votes to APC’s 517, 341 votes.

The 4.3 million registered voters in Kaduna have to choose between APC’s Uba Sani or Isah Ashiru of the PDP on Saturday.

The governorship polls in Rivers State will be a titanic battle between Siminialayi Fubara of the PDP, Senator Magnus Abe of the Social Democratic Party, Tonye Cole of the APC and Mrs Beatrice Itubo of the Labour Party.

The rotation of power between the riverine and upland areas has been a major consideration in the political equation of the state for a long time, although it is not cast in stone.


But Governor Nyesom Wike’s emergence in 2015 somewhat altered the rotation arrangement. Reason: Both Wike and his predecessor, Rotimi Amaechi not only hailed from the upland area, but they were also both of the Ikwerre ethnic nationality.

Vote trading is likely to be more pronounced than in the 25 February election, given the localised nature of the races, the prevailing economic hardship and the announcement by the Central Bank that old naira notes remain legal tender until the end of 2023.

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