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April 16, 2024

Guber polls: Voters decide Sanwo-Olu, Makinde, Buni, Zulum, seven others’ fate today

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…as new Govs emerge in 17 other states

Millions of voters in 11 states across the country will this morning determine the fate of the incumbent governors of these states who are seeking re-election for their second terms in office.

The voters will also elect new governors in 17 other states where the incumbents have completed their two terms of eight years.

They will also be electing members of the various Houses of Assembly in the 28 of 36 states where the elections will be conducted today.

But due to litigations and court judgements, eight of the 36 states – Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Osun and Ondo – are having “off-season” governorship elections and voters in these states won’t be participating in today’s nationwide gubernatorial polls.

Already, fears have gripped the camps of these first term governors seeking re-election as new forces that have emerged to displace their traditional opponents are now threatening their second term ambitions.

Some of these governors lost their states to these new opposition forces during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections. The results from the two elections have, therefore, continued to give the governors seeking second terms a lot of nightmares.

The 28 states where today’s governorship polls will be conducted are 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.

It is an obvious fact that the fate of the 11 serving governors seeking re-election today are in the hands of the millions of voters in their different states.

Foremost among these governors is Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos. All eyes are on him as he slugs it out on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress with 15 other contestants, including Labour Party’s Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and PDP’s Olajide Adediran aka Jandor. Sanwo-Olu was jolted by the shocking defeat of the ruling party in the presidential election in the state by the LP presidential flagbearer, Peter Obi. The APC in the state also lost some House of Representatives’ seat to the LP. Analysts are however of the opinion that the results of the presidential election may not determine the performance of Sanwo-Olu in today’s gubernatorial election in the state. Despite all the odds, he is expected to carry the day.

In neighbouring Ogun State, Governor Dapo Abiodun will be fighting for a second-term against 12 others, including PDP’s Ladi Adebutu, a veteran in the governorship race and the African Democratic Congress’ Biyi Otegbeye (BOT), who enjoys the support of former governor and incumbent APC Senator, Ibikunle Amosun. Today’s election in the state promises to be a very interesting one.

In Oyo State, Governor Seyi Makinde is seeking to retain his seat for a fresh term of four years against 15 others, including LP’s Akinwale Tayo and incumbent Senator Teslim Folarin of the APC. Makinde is the last of the PDP G-5 governors and member of the Integrity Group contesting in today’s election. His colleagues in the group – Governors Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Samuel Ortom (Benue) – each of who have been in office for eight years, lost their senatorial bids. But Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, who is also completing his second term, didn’t contest for any elective post. Following the defeat of three of Makinde’s comrades, all eyes are now on him in today’s gubernatorial poll. Analysts wonder whether he’ll be able to escape the “one term” jinx that was the lot of past governors of Oyo State until his predecessor, the late Abiola Ajimobi, broke it and spent eight years in office. Will Makinde achieve same feat today? The answer is with the electorate in Oyo State.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State is also seeking a re-election on APC platform. He is fighting to retain his seat against PDP’s Abdullahi Yaman, LP’s Abubakar Kabir and 11 others. Governor AbdulRazaq is expected to have a smooth ride back to the Kwara Government House at the end of today’s election.

In Nasarawa, Governor Abdullahi Sule of the APC is in today’s gubernatorial race with 13 others, including LP’s Joseph Ewuga and Mohammed Alfa of the Social Democratic Party. The voters in the state will decide whether Governor Sule will eventually escape the onslaught of the LP and PDP candidates.

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum, one of the poster boys of the APC, is in today’s race alongside 11 others including PDP’s Mohammed Jajari and LP’s Goni Abdullahi. He’s also expected to have a smooth ride back to the Government House in Maiduguri.

But Governor Muhammad Inuwa of Gombe State, seeking reelection on the platform of the APC, may not find it that easy in today’s gubernatorial elections in the state. Inuwa will be slugging it out at the polls with 13 others, including PDP’s Muhammed Barde and LP’s Amuga Esau. An array of forces in the state are bent on sending Governor Inuwa out of the Gombe Government House at the end of today’s election in the state. Can he survive their plot? Gombe voters are in the best position to answer that question today.

Yobe State’s Governor Mai Mala Buni, who is also a former caretaker chairman of the APC, is seeking a fresh term in office as governor. He is contesting for the coveted seat alongside 10 other candidates, including PDP’s Shariff Abdullahi and NNPP’s Umar Garba. Will Buni have a smooth ride back to Yobe Government House at the end of today? The answer lies with the voters in the state.

Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State is also seeking re-election for another four-year term on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party. But 14 other candidates, including Labour Party’s Mustapha Madawaki and All Progressives Congress’ Senator Aishatu Dahiru, popularly known as Binani, are determined to kick him out of the Adamawa Government House in today’s gubernatorial poll in the state. Will the voters in the state allow them to achieve their objective? The ultimate decision remains that of the electorate in the state.

Bauchi State’s Governor Bala Mohammed, is also seeking reelection under the PDP umbrella. He’ll be fighting for the coveted seat against 13 other candidates, including Senator Halliru Jika of the New Nigerian People’s Party and APC’s Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, the immediate past Chief of Air Staff. Today’s gubernatorial election in the state promises to be interesting as many other interested forces will be exerting their influence on the voters in the state against incumbent Governor Mohammed. But will the electorate in the state succumb to their pressure to kick out Governor Mohammed? The answer remains a guess.

In Zamfara State, Governor Bello Matawalle is fighting to retain his seat against PDP’s Dauda Lawal, LP’s Ahmed Yahuza and 11 others. The electorate has the final decision to take on the incumbent governor today.

The electorate will also determine who becomes the new governors in the 17 other states as they go to the polls today in Abia, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, and Taraba.

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