Today, Nigerians will go to the polls to pick governors in 28 of the country’s 36 states, as well as 993 representatives for state houses of assembly.
A court order compelled the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to hold the governorship and state assembly elections one week earlier than originally scheduled.
Due to lawsuits and court decisions, eight of the 36 states, namely Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Osun, and Ondo, hold their governorship elections during the off-season.
Today, elections for governor will be held in the following 28 states: 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 incumbent governors are running for re-election, while seventeen are in the final weeks of their constitutionally mandated two-term limits of eight years, having been inaugurated on May 29, 2015.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the APC is running for re-election in the South West zone alongside 15 other candidates, including the LP’s Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and the PDP’s Olajide Adediran, also known as Jandor.
Similarly, Governor Dapo Abiodun is competing with 12 others for a second term, including the PDP’s Ladi Adebutu and the African Democratic Congress’s Biyi Otegbeye (ADC).
In addition, the governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, is running for re-election among 15 other candidates, including the LP’s Akinwale Tayo and an incumbent senator from the APC, Teslim Folarin.
PDP candidate Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State also seeks reelection (North East). He is running alongside 14 other candidates, including Senator Aishatu Dahiru of the APC, also known as Binani, Dr. Umar Ardo of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and Mustapha Madawaki of the Labour Party (LP).
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State (North East) is also running for re-election under the PDP banner. He is competing with thirteen other candidates, including Senator Halliru Jika of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, Nigeria’s most recent Chief of Air Staff, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum is also running for reelection in the North East geopolitical region. In addition to Zulum, eleven other candidates are running on the APC ticket, including PDP’s Mohammed Jajari and LP’s Goni Abdullahi.
Governor Muhammad Inuwa of Gombe State, who is running for re-election on the APC ticket, will face off against 13 other candidates, including the PDP’s Muhammed Barde and the LP’s Amuga Esau.
Governor Mai Mala Buni, who previously served as interim national chairman of the APC, is also running for re-election as governor of Yobe State. He is running alongside ten other candidates, including Shariff Abdullahi of the PDP and Umar Garba of the NNPP.
In the North West, Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle is running for re-election alongside PDP’s Daud Lawal, LP’s Ahmed Yahuza, and 11 others.
In the North Central region, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State is running for re-election on the APC platform alongside PDP’s Abdullahi Yaman, LP’s Abubakar Kabir, and eleven others.
In Nasarawa, APC Governor Abdullahi Sule is competing against 13 other candidates, including the LP’s Ewuga Joseph and the Social SDP’s Mohammed Alfa.
In 17 additional states, where the current governors have completed their two-year terms, it is likely that new governors will be elected. Delta, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, and Taraba are the states.
Nine of the seventeen departing governors contested the February 25 senatorial election, but seven were unsuccessful in their quest to go to the Senate. They are Asiku Bagudu (Benue), Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Simon Lalong (Plateau), and Ben Ayade (Cross River) (Kebbi).