2019 Governorship Elections: Issues & Matters Arising! – Ishola Adebayo

March 8, 2019

If the outcome of the February 23 presidential and parliamentary elections would determine which political party carries the day in this Saturday’s governorship and house of assembly polls in most states, the ruling APC would have been basking in the euphoria in advance.

It will not be an understatement to describe the build-up to the 2019 general elections as the most interesting since the beginning of the Fourth Republic about 20 years ago, going by the allegations and counter-allegations by the major players, it is obvious that political calculations have not favoured any of the top contenders, as the pendulum may swing in any direction. This has generated tension and uncertainty in the polity across many states.

Experts in politics and observers of the nation’s democracy from 1999 till date have also regarded the current political dispensation as the most keenly contested based on the various factors that have indicated that the polls could be decided by the electorate, either in favour incumbents who are seeking re-election or the major opposition party in the country.

Only 29 States out of Nigeria’s 36, will be electing governors on Saturday, March 9. 2019. Seven of the states (namely; Osun, Ekiti, Edo, Anambra, Kogi, Ondo, Bayelsa and the Federal Capital Territory Abuja) won’t be voting for governors because their own elections took place “off season”. In these seven states, elections will be staggered.

In Ogun State this Saturday, 42 governorship candidates would be battling for 1,694,865 votes in the event voters agree to come out. However, observers have narrowed the contest to five top contenders including Dapo Abiodun of APC, Akinlade of APM; Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka of ADC, Buruji Kashamu of PDP and Dimeji Bankole of ADP.

In Rivers State, the removal of the APC from the ballot has given the PDP a seeming gift. But in Imo State, INEC released 67 governorship candidates including that of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Emeka Ihedioha, for Saturday's guber poll.

Generally, across states there are continuous discussions about the campaigns, including debates on which of the major political parties had the most turnout and sophisticated political campaign rallies and messages. The discussions also include claims and counter-claims by parties about pictures and videos of crowds during political campaigns especially across perceived battleground states.

As we are counting hours to the 9th March 2019 Governorship and House of Assembly elections, citizens’ expectations on the election is increasingly high. Citizens across various states are largely concerned about three major issues: peaceful elections, corruption especially in terms vote buying, and more importantly the use of fake news in misinforming citizens.

Active citizens, Go out & vote!!!