Officially, seven of the 11 governors who sought reelection in the March 18 polls held across Nigeria in West Africa have been declared winners by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to return to office for another four-year term each.
They are Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State, Governor Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State and Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.
Also, five newcomers have won governorship elections in the country — Umo Eno in Akwa Ibom State, Umar Namadi in Jigawa State, Dikko Radda in Katsina State, and Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto in Sokoto State.
Of the 12, nine of them belong to the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), two are members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and one is a member of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was re-elected in Lagos State, polling a total of 762,134 votes to defeat Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party who scored 312,329 votes, followed by Abdul-Azeez Adediran aka Jandor with 62,449 votes.
He was declared the winner at 1:15 am on Monday morning, almost 48 hours after the electoral exercise commenced.
The election was marked by voter suppression, ethnic discrimination, political thuggery, and physical attacks on voters, electoral staff and security personnel alike.
Amid the reports, state Commissioner of Police Idowu Owohunwa had assured Lagosians that security personnel deployed for the election were responding promptly to the cases, saying “a lot of arrests” and “recoveries” had been made.
However, LP’s Rhodes-Vivour expressed disapproval of the electoral conduct in Lagos, describing the process as a slap on the face of democracy.
Abiodun of the APC was declared the winner by Prof Kayode Adebowale, the state returning officer in the state.
Abiodun polled 276,298 to defeat his closest rivals — Ladi Adebutu of the PDP who scored 262,383 as well as Biyi Otegbeye of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) who got 94,754 votes and who has the backing of former governor and serving APC senator, Ibikunle Amosun.
“That Abiodun Adedapo Oluseun of APC, having satisfied the requirements of the law is hereby declared the winner and is returned election,” Adebowale stated.
PDP’s Makinde defeated his challengers including Labour Party (LP)’s Akinwale Tayo as well as a serving senator, Teslim Folarin of the APC.
Makinde polled 563,756 votes to defeat his closest rival who scored 256,685 in the results of the 33 local governments in the South-West states.
Declaring Makinde as the winner, INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof Adebayo Simeon said, “That Makinde Oluseyi Abiodun of the PDP, having satisfied the requirement of the law is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected by the Returning Officer, Prof Adebayo Simeon on this day 19th of March 2023.”
Before Saturday, Makinde was the last of the PDP G5 or Integrity Group with an election. Already, Governors Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Samuel Ortom (Benue), who have been in office for eight years each, all lost their senatorial bid while Nyesom Wike (Rivers) who is also completing his second term as governor didn’t run for any elective post.
With the defeat of three of his comrades, all eyes were on Makinde before the March 18 poll. However, with his declaration as the winner by INEC, Makinde survived the defeat suffered by other G5 members.
APC’s AbdulRazaq polled 273,424 to defeat his closest opponents — Abdullah Yahman of the PDP who scored 155,490 and Hakeem Lawal of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) who got 18,922 votes.
APC’s Yahaya of Gombe State in North-East Nigeria scored 342,821 to defeat his close contender, Mohammed Jibrin Barde of the PDP, who scored 233,131.
Ahmed Mailantarki of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) came third with votes 19,861 while Keftin Amuga of the LP scored 1,753.
Announcing the result at the INEC headquarters in Damaturu, the State Returning Officer, Prof Umar Pate said Buni of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 317,113 to defeat his closest rival, Sheriff Abdullahi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 104,259.
PDP’s Eno polled 354,348 to defeat his closest rivals — Akanimo Udofia of the APC, who scored 129,602 votes and LP’s Uduakobong who got 4,746 votes.
Eno was declared the winner by INEC Returning Officer in the state, Prof Emmanuel Adigio.
Eno, a former Commissioner for Lands in Akwa Ibom, is the anointed candidate of the incumbent governor, Udom Emmanuel, whose two terms of eight years will end on May 29, 2023.
The deputy governor and former commissioner of finance in the North-West state scored 618,449 votes to defeat his closest rivals — Mustafa Lamido of the PDP who polled 368,726 and Aminu Ringim of the NNPP who got 37,156 votes.
Namadi will replace the incumbent, Abubakar Badaru of the APC whose two-term of eight years ends on May 29, 2023.
APC’s Dikko Radda, has been declared the winner in Katsina State, scoring 859,892 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Senator Yakubu Danmarke of the PDP, who polled a total of 486,620.
Radda will take over from two-term governor Aminu Bello Masari when he leaves office on May 29.
Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto of the APC was declared the winner in Sokoto State. He won with a total of 453,661 votes, defeating his closest rival, Saidu Umar of the PDP, who polled 404,632.
Incumbent governor Aminu Tambuwal, a PDP stalwart, will step down in two months after completing two terms.
Kabir scored 1,019,602 votes to defeat his closest contender, Nasir Gawuna of the APC who polled 890,705 votes.
“That Yusuf Kabir of NNPP having satisfied the requirement of the law is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected,” the Returning Officer, Prof Ahmad Ibrahim declared.
More Results Expected
Results of the other states are still being expected as INEC in some states has adjourned collation till Monday.
Governorship elections were held in 28 of Nigeria’s 36 states on Saturday. The governorship and state assembly elections were held a week later than initially scheduled after a court case forced INEC to move them forward.
Eight of the 36 states — Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Osun, and Ondo — have governorship elections “off-season” due to litigations and court judgements.
In alphabetical order, the 28 states where governorship elections were on March 18 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, Zamfara.
Of the 28 states, 11 serving governors sought reelection while 17 outgoing governors are in the final weeks of their constitutional two-term limits of eight years, having been sworn in on May 29, 2015.