Upsets likely as 28 states elect governors today
There is hope that the unexpected win by opposition parties in some states during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections may repeat itself in today’s governorship and state House of Assembly elections in most parts of the country, Saturday PUNCH can report.
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.
In states like Lagos, Abia, Oyo, Rivers, Enugu, Benue, Sokoto, Bauchi, Delta, Kano, Kaduna and Plateau, where opposition parties defeated the governing parties in the presidential election, our correspondents gathered that there was an uneasy calm among members of the ruling parties over who would win the governorship poll.
In Lagos State, where Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is seeking re-election on the platform of the governing All Progressives Congress, there are fears that the Labour Party’s Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour will give the incumbent a run for his money given the way the LP defeated the APC in the presidential election. Also, Olajide Adediran of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party is also a strong contender for the coveted seat. About 6.21 million voters with permanent voter cards are expected to determine the next governor of the state.
Lagos has been governed by the APC and its forbearers, the Alliance for Democracy, Action Congress and Action Congress of Nigeria since 1999, in addition to being the political base of the party’s presidential candidate and President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. In the presidential election, however, the LP scored 582,454 votes to trump the APC’s 572,606 votes and the PDP’s 75,750 votes. While the APC won the three senatorial seats, in the House of Representatives election, the LP won three seats, the APC won 20, while the PDP won one seat.
Following the presidential election, the 18 governorship candidates in the state embarked on aggressive last-minute campaigns to woo voters. Traditional rulers and community leaders in the 62 communities in the Eti-Osa Local Government Area had appealed to the residents to support the governor’s re-election.
The APC’s National Youth Leader, Dayo Israel, had after the presidential defeat said in a thread of tweets that he deleted later stated, “Nobody should do any one million march (nonsense) again. Focus on door-to-door. Party excos, youth leaders, councillors, leaders, we have 10 days to #SanwoAgain. Go and engage your neighbours, #deliveryourstreet, be humble, get off your high horse. Ise wa o (there is work to be done).
“Any appointee in Lagos who doesn’t deliver his ward on the 11th of March (before the poll was shifted to March 18) should not bother coming to Alausa on the 13th (20th). Everyone should drop their tinted car and start walking the street. Knock on your neighbour’s doors, beg those you need to beg, make peace. Deliver for #Sanwo-Olu.”
Speaking on the party’s chances, the spokesman for the APC in the state, Mr Seye Oladejo, in an interview with one of our correspondents, expressed confidence in Sanwo-Olu’s victory given the party’s performance in the last 24 years.
He stated, “The victory recorded by the LP on February 25 was a pyrrhic one. Some circumstances engendered that victory, but those circumstances will not play up anymore. It was more of a protest against the naira redesign that inflicted hardship on a lot of people and a whole lot of factors. All of these will not play up this Saturday and I can assure you, we will win the election convincingly.”
However, the LP spokesman in the state, Olubunmi Odesanya, said, “Our candidate is well positioned to win the election and we are very confident as the Labour Party. From the performance of Saturday, February 25, you can see that we were quite favoured by the electorate and by the grace of God, we will win Lagos again.”
Similarly, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Mr Hakeem Amode, told Saturday PUNCH, “Dr Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran has put himself out to the people of Lagos as a better choice by physically visiting every nook and cranny, and meeting with community leaders, who determine how people vote. When you consider the fact that people’s choices have shifted and the thoroughness of Jandor’s campaign, then you will know that he is the next governor. The APC stands no chance in this election.”
In Sokoto State, where Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s PDP scored 288,679 votes to narrowly defeat the opposition APC, which scored 285,444 votes during the presidential election, it is expected that the governorship election will be keenly contested between the two parties. Tambuwal will not be on the ballot.
The PDP candidate, Sa’idu Ubandoma, is the immediate past Secretary to the State Government, and is said to enjoy the support of another former governor, Attahiru Bafarawa, among others. The APC candidate, Ahmed Sokoto, a former commissioner and ex-deputy governor, was also the governorship candidate of the party in the 2019 election, which he narrowly lost by 342 votes to the incumbent. He also has the support of another former governor of the state, Aliyu Wamakko, among others.
The chieftains of the two parties in the state boasted that they will win the election, saying they had sold their programmes to the electorate.
In Oyo State, the race will be between Governor Seyi Makinde of the PDP and Teslim Folarin of the APC, while Adebayo Adelabu of the Accord Party has an outside chance of clinching the coveted seat.
Even though the state is governed by the PDP government, the APC won the presidential election with 449,884 votes against the ruling party’s 182,977 votes and the LP’s 99,110 votes. The APC also won the three senatorial seats and eight out of the 10 Reps seats declared, while the PDP won the remaining two.
There were insinuations that the governor worked for the APC’s victory given the conflict between the five aggrieved PDP governors, himself inclusive, and the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Akeem Olatunji, said in a telephone interview with Saturday PUNCH that the party lost the presidential election in the state because the governor was not carried along.
He stated, “The margin between Governor Makinde and whoever is facing him won’t be less than 450,000 votes. It’s going to be a tsunami, like the Tinubu tsunami. Don’t forget that many Obas and a lot of Tinubu support groups have also endorsed him (Makinde) based on his monumental achievements.”
The APC spokesman in the state, Adewale Sadare, said in an interview with Saturday PUNCH that the party would repeat its victory in the election, stating, “The governor has failed in the aspect of governance. What has he done well in Oyo State? He has not performed at all. Is it in the aspect of security, healthcare delivery or heap of refuse on our major streets? Makinde has done nothing but more harm to the state than good and we cannot afford to retain him.”
The governorship election in Abia State will also be interesting, Saturday PUNCH learnt. Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of the PDP is not on the ballot as he is rounding off his second term, but he is supporting the candidate of his party. However, there are fears that the party may not retain the state, given that the governor lost his senatorial bid to Eyinnaya Abaribe of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, while the LP scored 327,095 votes to trump the PDP’s 22,676 votes in the presidential election.
The race is predicted to be between Okey Ahiwe of the PDP and Alex Otti of the LP. The LP is said to be relying on the Peter Obi phenomenon, coupled with Otti’s record, while the PDP believes its penetration and about 24 years of being in power will work for it. However, Ikechi Emenike of the APC and Prof Greg Ibe of APGA are also strong contenders in the election. The APC won the Abia North Senatorial District, while APGA’s Abaribe won the Abia South Senatorial District seat.
Supporters of the respective candidates are boasting of victory in the election. The PDP Vice Chairman/Acting Publicity Secretary, Abraham Amah, who spoke to one of our correspondents, said, “Our party is now repositioned to win the governorship election.”
In Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara of the PDP, Tonye Cole of the APC and Magnus Abe of the Social Democratic Party are said to be the top contenders. Meanwhile, Beatrice Itubo of the LP is also said to be a contender, given the party’s performance in the presidential election.
While the incumbent governor, Nyesom Wike, is not on the ballot, the state has remained under the PDP leadership since 1999. However, given that in the presidential election, the APC scored 231,591 votes to trump the LP’s 175,071 votes and the PDP’s 88,468 votes following Wike’s support for the APC over disagreements with Atiku, there are apprehension as to whether the APC could replicate its victory or the PDP will assert its strength in the governorship and House of Assembly elections.
The Director, Media and Publicity of the PDP in the state, Ogbonna Nwuke, said, “We are not only ready for the election, we are sure of victory by the grace of God.”
Similarly, the spokesperson for the SDP candidate, Parry Benson, said the election would be a watershed in the politics of the state, stating, “The outcome will surprise many. No candidate received endorsements from various stakeholder groups like Senator Abe in this election. Rivers people have already spoken.”
There are also indications that the governorship election will be a strong contest between Peter Mbah of the PDP, Chijioke Edeoga of the LP, and Frank Nweke Jr of APGA.
Even though the state has also been governed by the PDP since 1999, the LP got 428,640 votes to trounce the PDP’s 15,749 votes in the presidential election. Similarly, the governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, of the PDP lost his senatorial bid to the LP’s Okey Ezea. He polled 46,948 votes against Ezea’s 104,492 votes.
Meanwhile, Nweke is also said to be a top contender for the seat, being a former Minister of Information.
The LP Chairman in the state, Mr Casmir Agbo, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said, “The Labour Party is highly delighted by the massive support from the good people of Enugu State. We don’t have silver or gold, but we have goodwill and we will deliver because our mandate is to deliver to the people what they have lost for 24 years.”
On the other hand, the Director of Communications and spokesman, Enugu PDP Campaign Council, Nana Ogbodo, said, “Peter Obi is not going to be on the next ballot and the election is going to be among our people, so there are no outsiders. Those who are thinking otherwise are daydreaming.”
After losing the presidential election to the APC, the PDP in Benue State expressed optimism that it would win the governorship election, being the party in power. The governor, Samuel Ortom, lost his senatorial bid to the candidate of the APC, Dr Titus Zam. He is one of the G-5 governors, and he openly endorsed Obi for the presidential election.
The contest is said to be between Titus Uba of the PDP, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia of the APC and Herman Hembe of the LP. Uba is the current Speaker of the state House of Assembly.
In the presidential election, the APC scored 310,468 votes to defeat the PDP, which scored 130,081 votes, and the LP got 30,837 votes. For the senatorial election, the APC won two seats, while the PDP got the other.
There are, however, apprehensions in the camps of the PDP and the APC over the likely outcome of the governorship election.
The Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Daniel Ihomou, told one of our correspondents, “The APC in the state is lucky to have a governorship candidate who has no stain in his career, he is loved by the people and he is someone the people are ready to give their mandate. Another factor working for us is the abysmal performance of the present administration.”
However, the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Bemgba Iortyom, said, “We are looking at our track record having been in power in the state since 1999 with a brief break between 2015 and 2018. We are responsible for more than 90 per cent of development in the state; we are not introducing ourselves but to renew our mandate and our past records in areas of security, infrastructure and social amenities.”
But the Publicity Secretary of the LP in the state, Kengkeng Ati, said, “We are the newest party in the state and the party to beat. We won the (presidential) election, but INEC messed up. However, we are going to reclaim our mandate. We are tired of crossing from the APC to the PDP as they are both responsible for the sorry state that Benue is.”
The state is presently under the PDP government led by Governor Bala Mohammed, who is seeking re-election, there are also fears in the state over whether the governor will win his re-election bid or he will lose to the APC.
In the presidential election, the PDP scored 426,607 votes to defeat the APC, which scored 316,694 votes. In the senatorial election, the APC won Bauchi South, while the PDP won Bauchi North and Central districts. However, some of the bigwigs in the PDP, like former Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, have expressed support for the APC candidate, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retd.), a former Chief of Air Staff.
One of our correspondents reports that while the PDP’s Mohammed has a strong chance of being re-elected, the APC is also strong and formidable in the state, noting that Mohammed’s predecessor was of the APC but lost his re-election in 2019. Findings, however, indicate that the election will be keenly contested between the APC and the PDP.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of the PDP will not be on the ballot as he rounds off his second term, but there are indications that the party may not have a smooth ride to victory as it has since 1999. The candidate of the party and Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, is said to have a strong chance. However, the candidate of the APC and Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, is also a strong contender.
In the presidential election, where Okowa was the running mate to Atiku Abubakar, the LP scored 341,886 votes to defeat the ruling PDP, which scored 161,600 votes, while the APC scored 90,183 votes. The outcome of the election is said to have turned Ken Pela of the Labour Party into another strong contender. But in the senatorial election, the APC won two seats, while the PDP won one seat.
Some analysts have said Delta State will be a state to watch in the election, given the intrigues at play. Many are also wondering how the silent disagreement between Okowa and his political godfather, James Ibori, would influence the outcome of the election. Both Okowa and Ibori disagreed over the PDP primary.
Meanwhile, elder statesman and indigene of the state, Chief Edwin Clark, on Monday said he would happily associate with whoever wins through a credible exercise. He spoke when the LP candidate visited him at his Abuja residence.
In Kano State, the race is said to be between Abba Yusuf of the New Nigeria People’s Party and Nasiru Gawuna of the APC. Gawuna is the current deputy governor of the state. Meanwhile, Sadiq Wali of the PDP is said to be the third contender.
In the presidential election, the NNPP scored 997,279 votes against the APC’s 517,341 votes, while the PDP scored 131,716 votes. Given that the APC is the governing party in the state, the NNPP has its strongest base in Kano, where the leader of the party and former governor of the state, Rabiu Kwankwaso, hails from and commands influence.
Findings showed that the odds against Gawuna included his inability to win his Gawuna ward in the Nassarawa Local Government Area in the presidential and National Assembly elections, while Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s son, Abba, also lost his bid to represent the Dawakin Tofa Federal Constituency.
For the NNPP, some analysts are of the view that the party won the presidential election because Kwankwaso was on the ballot, and that the incumbency factor may work for the APC. The state remains a place of interest. Also, for the PDP, the court battle between Wali and Mohammed Abacha over who was the authentic candidate of the party was said to have deprived Wali of enough time to campaign. The Supreme Court only recently affirmed his candidacy.
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In the 2019 election, the contest was hot between the PDP and the APC with the latter recording a narrow victory after a rerun.
In Kaduna State, the contest will also be an interesting one, given that there are four top contenders to succeed the APC’s Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
In the race are Senator Uba Sani of the APC, Isah Ashiru Kudan of the PDP; an in-law to the President, Sani Sha’aban, of the ADC; and Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi of the NNPP. Meanwhile, Jonathan Asake of the LP is also said to be a contender, even though he has a stronger influence in Southern Kaduna, being a former National President of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union.
Before the presidential election, many people had thought that the state would be an easy win for the APC, given the power of incumbency, but since the PDP won the state, the permutations seem to have changed. In the election, PDP got 554,360 votes to the APC’s 399,293 votes, while the LP scored 294,494 votes and the NNPP scored 92,969 votes.
While it is believed that Sani will ride on the achievement of El-Rufai, especially in the area of infrastructural development, some others are of the opinion that the APC would have to work extra hard because of the way insecurity festered during the governor’s tenure.
For the PDP, Southern Kaduna remains one of its strongholds, thus there are indications that the party and the LP might share the votes, even as Asake vowed not to collapse his party’s structure for the PDP.
Political pundits however believe the top two contenders are the APC’s Sani and the PDP’s Ashiru.
Sani, according to the spokesman for his campaign council, has performed well as a senator, coupled with his vast political experience that dates back to his activism days before the Fourth Republic.
However, in 2019, El-Rufai scored 1,045,427 votes to defeat Ashiru, who got 814,168 votes. The unity among the PDP chieftains in the state, former Vice-President Namadi Sambo and ex-governors Ahmed Makarfi and Ramalan Yero, is said to be a plus for Ashiru, who is also said to be a grass roots politician.
Cross River State
Prior to the presidential election, members of the APC in Cross River State were confident that the party would without much stress produce Governor Ben Ayade’s successor when he leaves office on May 29.
But since the governor lost his senatorial bid to the PDP candidate and the LP won in the presidential election, the outcome of the elections, according to analysts, has made Senator Bassey Otu of the APC, Senator Sandy Onor of the PDP and Ogar Osim of the LP top contenders in the race. Also, Usani Usani, a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and candidate of the Peoples Redemption Party, is said to be a top contender for the seat.
In the presidential election, the LP scored 179,917 votes against the APC’s 130,520 votes and the PDP’s 95,425 votes. In the senatorial election, the APC won two seats, while the PDP got one. In the House of Representatives election, the APC won six seats, while the PDP won two.
The state has been governed by the PDP since 1999 until May 20, 2021 when the governor, after winning his second term, joined the APC. The governor moved to the APC with some PDP henchmen and majority of the members of the state House of Assembly. However, the PDP still has a strong presence in the state. Analysts are also of the view that for a lesser-known LP to win the presidential election meant that the party could again spring surprises in the governorship poll.
A few days ago, however, opposition parties like APGA, APP, APM, NRM, ADP, BP, ADC, ZLP, AA and Accord Party said they had adopted the PDP candidate for the election. The chairman of the coalition, Mr Ntami Esege, spoke on behalf of the 10 parties.
Governor Dave Umahi will not be on the ballot for the governorship election, as he is rounding off his second term and has won the Ebonyi South Senatorial District seat, but the race is said to be between Francis Nwifuru of the APC and Ifeanyi Odii of the PDP.
In the presidential election, however, the LP won the state with 259,738 votes, while the governing APC got 42,402 votes and the PDP 13,503 votes. The state has been governed by the PDP since 1999 until the governor defected to the APC on November 10, 2020 barely two years after he won his second term. Regardless, the PDP is said to have a strong presence in the state.
Speaking on his party’s chances, the Director of Media and Publicity, Ebonyi PDP Governorship Campaign Council, Chief Abia Onyike, said the party would win the election if it was transparent.
He said, “We have always been very confident that in every open and transparent election, the PDP will win in Ebonyi State. And this was what transpired in the last election, but for the manipulation of the exercise. It’s going to be a landslide victory for the PDP.”
Also, the LP House of Representatives candidate for the Ebonyi/Ohaukwu Federal Constituency, Chibueze Agbo, mocked the APC for losing the election. He added, “The Labour Party is on the ground in Ebonyi State and our outing on February 25 was not poor, the manipulations here and there notwithstanding. This simply tells you that the government in power is not on the ground.”
But the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Strategy, Chooks Okoh, disagreed, saying the APC would be successful.
“Clearly, the APC worked for a landslide victory and they will get it by the grace of God. Moreover, their candidates are a product of equity and fairness and as such will elicit massive votes from all people with conscience,” he stated.
Akwa Ibom State
The state has been governed by the PDP since 1999, and hopes are high among supporters that the party will produce Governor Udom Emmanuel’s successor. The governor was the Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation. Meanwhile, in the presidential election, the PDP won the state with 214,012 votes, while the APC scored 160,620 votes and the LP got 132,683 votes.
While the PDP remains the party to beat in the state, the performances of the APC and the LP is said to have made them contenders for the coveted seat. The PDP has Umo Eno as its candidate, while the APC has Akanimo Udofia and the LP’s candidate is Uduakobong Peter Udo.
In Katsina State, the home state of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the contest is largely between the APC’s Dikko Umar Radda, the PDP’s Yakubu Damarke, and the NNPP’s Nura Khalid. Governor Aminu Masari is not on the ballot, but since the opposition PDP won the state during the presidential election, the dynamics seems to have changed. The PDP scored 489,045 votes, while the APC scored 482,283 votes. The NNPP came third with 69,386 votes.
Radda of the APC is said to stand a good chance, given that the party is in power. Also, no fewer than 10,000 political associates, loyalists and followers of former governor Ibrahim Shema defected to the APC and declared their support for his candidacy.
As part of its efforts to win the election, the PDP successfully won over the immediate past Secretary to the State Government, Muhammed Inuwa, to its side and appointed him the director-general of its campaign council.
For the NNPP, it boasts of having members that are experienced politicians in the state. The candidate also boasts of victory in the election.
In the state, there are 14 candidates but there seems to be top five contenders. They are incumbent governor, Inuwa Yahaya of the APC, Muhammad Barde of the PDP, the NNPP’s Khamisu Mailantarki, the LP’s Keftin Amuga, and Brigadier-General Nuhu Miller (retd.) of the Action Alliance.
Despite being governed by the APC, the PDP won the presidential election in the state with 319,123 votes, while the APC scored 146,977 votes. The LP scored 26,160 votes, while the NNPP got 10,520 votes. Some analysts argue that the race will be between the APC and the PDP.
Governor Dapo Abiodun of the APC is seeking re-election, but Oladipupo Adebutu of the PDP and Niyi Otegbeye of the African Democratic Congress are top contenders. The APC won the presidential election in the state with 341,554 votes, while the PDP scored 123,831 votes and the LP got 85,829 votes.
Ogun State has about 2.68 million registered voters, but 2.27 million PVCs were collected. While Abiodun is favoured to win his re-election, the PDP is also strong in the state, while Otegbeye, who dumped the APC over his displeasure with the way the primary was conducted, also has a chance, especially because he has the support of former governor Ibikunle Amosun.
Speaking on the chances of his principal, the ADC Campaign Council Media Director, Raheem Ajayi, said, “It is obvious that among the candidates, Otegbeye is the last man standing. The people of the state will support him because they have been yearning for good governance.”
Also, the media aide to the PDP candidate, Afolabi Orekoya, said, “Honourable Ladi Adebutu is popular in the three senatorial districts and is on his way to the Oke-Mosan Government House.”
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Kunle Somorin, said, “The grace of God and the goodwill and votes of the people will deliver Governor Dapo Abiodun. His records and achievements in the last 45 months are strong development pillars.”
In Kwara State, where the governing APC won the presidential election, the race is said to be between Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and Abdullahi Yaman of the PDP.
Despite the dissatisfaction of some members of the ‘O to ge’ movement that ensured the governor’s victory in 2019, and the exit of some of them from the party, he is the candidate to beat in the election.
In Niger State, where the governing APC scored 375,183 votes to defeat the PDP, which got 284,898 votes in the presidential poll, the contest is said to be between the APC’s Umar Bago and the PDP’s Isah Kantigi. Already, the LP and the NNPP in the state have adopted the APC’s Bago as their candidate.
In Taraba State, the race is between the PDP and the APC. In the presidential election, the PDP won with 189,017 votes, while the LP scored 146,315 votes, and the APC got 135,165 votes. Already, Governor Darius Ishaku of the PDP lost his senatorial bid to David Jimkuta of the APC. The state has been under the control of the PDP for years, but the race is said to be between Kefas Agbu of the PDP and Emmanuel David Kente of the APC.
In Borno State, where the governing APC scored 252,282 votes against the PDP’s 190,921 in the presidential election, the race is said to be between Governor Babagana Zulum and Mohammed Jajari of the PDP.
Also, in Yobe State where the governing APC lost with its 151,459 votes to the PDP’s 198,567 during the presidential election, the contest is also between Governor Mai Mala Buni and Shariff Abdullahi of the PDP.
In Plateau State, where the governing APC lost to the LP in the presidential election, there are fears that the APC may not be able to produce Governor Simon Lalong’s successor. Lalong, who was the director-general of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, lost his senatorial bid to Air Vice Marshal Napoleon Bali (retd.) of the PDP. In the presidential election, the LP scored 466,272 votes, while the APC came second with 307,195 votes and the PDP came third with 243,808 votes.
Thus, it is expected that the contest is between Caleb Mutfwang of the PDP, Nentawe Yilwatda of the APC and Patrick Dakum of the LP.
In Nasarawa State, where the governing APC lost to the LP in the presidential election and Governor Abdullahi Sule is seeking re-election, the election may be a contest between him and the candidate of the PDP, David Ombugadu.
Meanwhile, the candidates of the LP, Joseph Ewuga; Asha Manga of the Action Alliance, Musa Sambo of the National Rescue Movement, and the African Renaissance Party’s Muhammed Auwal have stepped down to support Ombugadu against Governor Sule.
In the presidential election, the LP scored 191,361 votes, the APC got 172,922 votes, while the PDP scored 147,093 votes.
In Adamawa State, Governor Umar Fintiri of the PDP is seeking re-election. His main challenger is Aishatu Binani of the APC. The PDP won the presidential election in the state with 417,611 votes against the APC’s 182,881 votes and the LP’s 105,648 votes.
The LP governorship candidate, Umar Mustapha, stepped down for Binani. He said in an interview with one of our correspondents that the alliance would help to defeat the governor.
Even though Adamawa is a PDP state, the alliance between the LP and the APC might present a challenge for the governor. Some people are however of the view that a female candidate, Binani, may find it difficult to win a governorship seat in northern Nigeria.
In Jigawa State, where the governing APC scored 421,390 votes to defeat the PDP, which got 386,587 votes, while the NNPP came a distant third with 98,234 votes in the presidential election, there are indications that the race may largely be between the APC and the PDP. The APC candidate, Umar Namadi, stands a good chance to succeed Governor Badaru Abubakar, while the PDP, which is equally strong in the state, has Mustapha Lamido as its candidate. The ADC had a few days ago expelled its candidate and expressed support for the PDP in the election.
In Zamfara State, Governor Bello Matawalle is seeking re-election. The governing APC scored 298,396 votes in the presidential election to trump the PDP’s 193,978 votes. The contest is said to mainly be between Matawalle and Dauda Lawal of the PDP.
In Kebbi State, the governing APC was defeated in the presidential election by the PDP, which polled 285,175 votes against the APC’s 248,088 votes. Governor Atiku Bagudu lost his senatorial election to former governor Adamu Aliero of the PDP. It is believed that the contest is between the APC’s Nasir Idris and the PDP’s Aminu Bande.