Suspense as Lagos, Delta, and 26 other cities vote today for governors and assembly members


Nigerians will go to the polls to elect governors in 28 of the country’s 36 states today, as well as 993 lawmakers who will represent constituencies in the state houses of assembly.

The governorship and state assembly elections are being held a week later than initially scheduled after a court judgement forced the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to move it forward.

Eight of the 36 states, namely, Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Osun and Ondo, have their governorship elections off-season due to litigations and court judgements.

The 28 states where governorship elections will hold today are Delta, Lagos Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Borno and Cross River.

Others are Ebonyi, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.

Eleven serving governors are seeking re-election while 17 outgoing ones are in the final weeks of their constitutional two-term limits of eight years, having been sworn in on May 29, 2015.

11 governors seeking re-election

Those seeking re-election in the South West zone are, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the APC, who will be slugging it out with 15 co-contestants, including LP’s Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and PDP’s Olajide Adediran, also known as Jandor.

Similarly, Governor Dapo Abiodun is in the race for a second term bid with 12 others, including PDP’s Ladi Adebutu, as well as Biyi Otegbeye of the African Democratic Congress (ADC).

Also, the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde is seeking re-election with 15 others, including LP’s Akinwale Tayo, as well as a serving senator, Teslim Folarin of the APC.

Also seeking re-election is Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State of the PDP (North East). He is in the race alongside 14 other candidates, including APC’s Senator Aishatu Dahiru, popularly known as Binani; Dr Umar Ardo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Labour Party’s (LP) Mustapha Madawaki.

Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State (North East) is also seeking re-election on the platform of the PDP. He is in the contest with 13 other candidates, including Senator Halliru Jika of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), as well as APC’s candidate, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, Nigeria’s immediate past Chief of Air Staff.

Also seeking re-election in the North East geopolitical zone is Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State. Zulum is contesting on the platform of the ruling APC, alongside 11 others, including PDP’s Mohammed Jajari and LP’s Goni Abdullahi.

Still in the North East, Governor Muhammad Inuwa of Gombe State, who is seeking re-election on the platform of the APC, will be slugging it out with 13 others, including PDP’s Muhammed Barde and LP’s Amuga Esau.

Governor Mai Mala Buni, who served as caretaker national chairman of the APC, is also seeking another term as governor of Yobe State. He is in the race alongside 10 other candidates like PDP’s Shariff Abdullahi and NNPP’s Umar Garba.

In the North West, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State is in the race seeking re-election with PDP’s Dauda Lawal, LP’s Ahmed Yahuza and 11 others.

In the North Central, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State is seeking a return to office on APC platform with PDP’s Abdullahi Yaman, LP’s Abubakar Kabir and 11 others.

In Nasarawa, Governor Abdullahi Sule of the APC is in the race with 13 others, including LP’s Ewuga Joseph and Mohammed Alfa of the Social SDP.

States where new governors will emerge

Fresh governors are certain to emerge in 17 other states, where the governors have served out their two terms. The states are Delta, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto and Taraba.

Of the 17 outgoing governors, 9 contested in the senatorial election of February 25, but seven failed in their bids to move over to the Senate. They are: Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi).

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