By Kamil Opeyemi, Halimah Olamide, Safiu Kehinde
Three weeks after the presidential and National Assembly elections, Nigerians are back at the polls today (Saturday March 18,2023) to elect governors at the state level.
Also to be voted for are members of the state legislature who are either seeking reelection or contesting to oust the incumbent.
Today’s poll was earlier stated for March 11 but was shifted by one week by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Today’s elections will only holding in 1,021 state constituencies comprising 28 governorship and 993 Assembly seats across the country.
States such as Kogi, Ekiti, Osun, Anambra, Bayelsa, Ondo, Imo and Anambra are off-season elections. Bayelsa and Kogi are expected to elect new governors in November this year.
Attentions are more focused on some states of the federation today than others. NPO Reported earlier that Lagos, Kano, Delta, Oyo, Ogun, Kaduna and more states to watch out for as the exercise and gladiators have more at stake in the states than others.
In Lagos, the battle to retain his seat by incumbent Babajide Sanwo-Olu has heightened tension in the face of the sudden rise of the Labour Party’s candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour as against the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Babajide Adediran (JANDOR). the Labour Party surprisingly defeated the All Progressive Congress in the last presidential election.
In Oyo, the incumbent Seyi Makinde, is up against senator Teslim Folarin of the APC. What appeared to be Makinde’s alleged agreement with the president-elect, Bola Tinubu appears to have collapsed with the APC pursuing the election with gusto.
Kaduna is another state to watch as outgoing Governor, Nasir el-Rufai is bent of ensuring election of his anointed candidate, Senator Uba Sani who is however confronted with the realty of the PDP’s candidate. The PDP defeated APC in the last presidential election.
The scenario will be the same in Kano as Governor Umaru Ganduje battles with the Kwankwaso phenomenon who won the presidential poll for his New Nigeria Peoples Party three weeks ago.
In Rivers, Governor Nyesom wike is poised to ensure that nothing happens to his candidate, Mr. Fubara as against the candidate of the APC, Tonye Cole and Mr. Magnus Abe of the Social Democratic Party.
Controversy as Lagos Highbrow Estate Residents Accuse INEC Officials of Relocating Polling Stations to Expressway
There is an ongoing controversy over an alleged sudden relocation of the polling units meant for the Victoria Garden City in the Lekki area of Lagos .
The estate popularly called VGC has thousands of registered voters.
An actress Omoni Oboli had taken to her twitter account Saturday morning to broadcast the refusal of the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission to come into the estate to set up for accreditation and voting.
NPO Reports however learned that the commission took the decision to move the voting process out of the estate to what was considered a safer place owing to what happened three weeks ago during the presidential and National Assembly elections.
A resident of the estate told the NPO Reports that INEC officials had to be escorted out of the estate due to harassment by some members of the estate who are sympathetic to the Labour Party.
The estate is home to many celebrities many of whom are sympathetic to the Labour Party.
LP Guber Candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour Casts Vote
The governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour has cast his vote at the his polling unit at PO 045 in Anifowoshe, Ikeja, Lagos State.
He completed both accreditation and voting a few minutes before 10:00 am.
Gbadebo is in the race alongside the incumbent governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran (Jandor) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Rhodes-Vivour has emerged as a popular candidate whose visions has resonated with the teeming youths who are the backbone behind the rise of the Labour Party.