New Governors Emerge As Some Old Ones Cling To Their Seats
The announcements of the results of the governorship election held in 29 states of the federation on Saturday, March 9, 2019, have continued across the country.
While the poll in a few states has been declared inconclusive for various reasons, there have been upsets in some places, as well as predicted outcomes in others.
In Kwara State, the declaration of Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the governorship election in the state, has not only ended the reign of the PDP government there but effectively uprooted the Saraki political structure from the state, at least for the next four years.
Mr. Abdulrasaq polled 331,546 votes to beat his closest rival, Razak Atunwa of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who secured 114,754 votes to emerge second.
The PDP in the Kwara State appears to have taken the defeat in its strides, with Senator Bukola Saraki, the PDP governorship candidate, Rasaq Atunwa, and the serving state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, congratulating the winner of the election.
Perhaps, the emergence of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the next governor of Lagos may not have come as a surprise to many, given the political dynamics in the state.
What may appear as a surprise is the margin of defeat suffered by his opponent in the race.
Mr. Sanwo-Olu won the election in what could be described as a landslide, having polled a total of 739,445 votes to beat his closest rival Mr. Jimmy Agbaje of the PDP who polled a total of 206,141 votes, with a difference of 533,304 votes.
Notwithstanding, Mr. Agbaje has also congratulated his APC counterpart.
Ogun State proved to be a state to watch with keen interest in the run-up to the governorship election owing to the intrigue and drama that characterized the state’s politics and campaigns.
Many had thought the APC candidate, Dapo Abiodun, would come out of the fray with a bloody nose, in the face of the controversy that surrounded his emergence as the party’s governorship candidate in the state, and the subsequent defection of some members of the party to the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) supported by the incumbent, Ibikunle Amosun.
The APC candidate, however, emerged victorious having polled 241,670 to defeat his closed opponent, Adekunle Akinlade of the APM who scored 222,153 votes.
The PDP has demonstrated that Enugu State, and indeed the South East geo-political zone, remains one of its strongholds in the country and may not prepare yet to let it slip from its grip.
The incumbent governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has been re-elected to pilot the affairs of the state for another four years, having beaten his closest opponent in the race by the wide margin of 439,512. He scored a total of 449,935 votes against 10,423 votes polled by Mr. Ayogu Eze of the APC.
Like in Enugu State, the PDP remains in control of Abia State, with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu being declared the winner of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
The Returning Officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the state, Professor Damian Ozurumba, said he secured 261,127 votes, more than double the 99, 574 votes his closest rival, Uche Ogah of the All Progressives Congress (APC) polled.
The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Dr. Alex Otti finished third, with 64,366 votes.
The states in the North West zone also remain in the firm grip of the APC. One of them is Jigawa State under Governor Badaru Abubakar who has been re-elected for another four years.
The governor who contested the election on the platform of the APC was declared the winner on Sunday, having polled a total of 810,933 votes to defeat his closest rival from the PDP, Aminu Ringim, who got 288,356 votes.
In Niger State, Abubakar Bello, also of the APC has been re-elected, governor.
He polled 526,412 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Umar Nasko of the PDP who polled a total of 298,065 votes.
The Returning Officer, Professor Angela Miri, announced the result in Minna, the state capital, saying Governor Bello was declared the winner and returned elected having polled the highest votes in the election.
Although the opposition PDP described the result as unacceptable, the results showed that the APC won all the 25 local government areas in the governorship election.
Majority of the voters in Gombe State decided on Saturday to switch their loyalty to the APC as they voted to have Muhammad Yahaya of the APC emerge winner of the governorship election in the state.
The influence of a sitting PDP governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo, was not enough to swing the election against Yahaya, as he scored 364,179 while PDP’s candidate, Senator Bayero Nadafa, scored 222,868.
The PDP seems to have made up for its loss of Ekiti State to the APC in the South West in the governorship election in 2018.
Oyo State returned to the fold of the opposition PDP, which was in control of the state before Governor Abiola Ajimobi led the APC to victory in the state in 2011.
PDP’s governorship candidate, Seyi Makinde won the election with 515,621 votes to defeat his closest rival, APC’s Bayo Adelabu who scored 357,982 votes, ending APC’s eight-year dominance of Oyo politics.