The Governorship and State House of Assembly elections were held nationwide last week. While the election has come and gone, mixed feelings and concerns surround the electoral process, especially the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, and the role played by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Before the election, many governors held high hopes and were optimistic about clinching victory for themselves, for those who participated as candidates, or they would produce their successors.
However, the results declared by the electoral commission in some States threw up surprises and shocks.
At least seven outgoing governors failed in their bid to cross over to Nigeria’s Senate after their two-term tenure of eight years.
The outgoing governors lost their respective senatorial districts’ election during the February 25 National Assembly elections.
Meanwhile, some governors suffered double losses as they could not produce successors in their respective States.
Governor Simon Lalong lost the bid to clinch the Plateau South Senatorial District slot.
Lalong lost to Rtd AVM Bali Ninkap Napoleon of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the National Assembly elections. While announcing the results, the Returning Officer, Professor Meshak Goyit, declared that Bali Napoleon of the PDP scored 148,844 votes to defeat Governor Lalong of APC with 91,674 votes.
As if the loss wasn’t enough, the governorship candidate of the PDP in the State, Caleb Mutfwang, defeated Lalong’s candidate, Nentawe Yilwatda of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
On Monday, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Delta State, Ovie Omo-Agege, lost the governorship seat to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Sheriff Oborevwori.
Omo-Agege polled a total of 240,229 votes, while his counterpart in the PDP polled, Oborevwori scored 360,234 total votes. Omo-Agege won in only 4 local governments out of 25 local government areas in the state.
This is despite the fact he is the current deputy senate president and the senator representing the Delta Central Senatorial District.
The Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom suffered a double loss. Ortom first lost the senatorial election to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Titus Zam, who incidentally was his former Special Adviser on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
Zam polled 143,151 votes to defeat Ortom, who scored 106,882, while the Labour Party candidate, Mike Gbillah, polled 51,950.
Meanwhile, Ortom suffered another loss as Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia, a Catholic priest of the All Progressives Congress, APC, defeated his candidate, Titus Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The INEC Returning Officer, Prof. Faruk Kuta, said the APC candidate polled 473,933 votes to defeat his closest rival, Titus Uba of the Peoples Democratic Party, who scored 223,914 votes.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi lost his senatorial bid to the Labour Party, LP, candidate for the Enugu North Senatorial District election, Okechukwu Ezea.
The Returning Officer for the poll, Chukwuemeka Ubaka, announced the result at the collation centre of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nsukka Local Government Area headquarters.
Ezea, the LP candidate, polled 104,492 votes to defeat Ugwuanyi of the PDP, who came second with 46,948 votes. Ugwuanyi may still suffer another loss as his favoured candidate, Peter Mbah, is on the verge of being defeated by Chijioke Edoga of the Labour Party, LP. A result from one of the Local Governments in the States is still under review by the INEC.
Enyinnaya Abaribe of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) handed Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, a defeat when he emerged winner of the senatorial election for the Abia South District. According to INEC, Abaribe got the highest number of votes in the election, having scored 49,903 votes. The Labour Party (LP) candidate, Chinedu Onyeizu, scored 43,903, while Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of the Peoples Democratic Party scored 28,422 votes to come third.
Before the election results were announced, there were protests in the state over alleged moves by the authority to alter the original results.
Ikpeazu’s favoured candidate in the State governorship election, Okey Ahiwe, is also still on the verge of losing to Alex Otti of the Labour Party, LP. The results collated from the 16 local Governments showed Otti is leading with 172,246 votes, while his main challenger, Ahiwe, polled 78,628 votes. The difference in the margin between the LP and the PDP candidates stands at 93,618 votes.
As of the time of filing in this report, the result from Obingwa LG is under review by the INEC.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s candidate, Saidu Umar, lost the States governorship election to Ahmed Aliyu of the All Progressives Congress, APC. Aliyu polled the highest number of votes and was declared the winner of the governorship election.
The State Collation Officer, Bichi Amaya’u, who announced the result in Sokoto on Sunday, said Aliyu polled 453,661 votes to defeat his closest rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Saidu Umar, who polled 404,632.
Aliyu, an ally of a former governor of Sokoto State and sitting senator, Aliyu Wamakko, was the deputy to Governor Aminu Tambuwal during his first tenure between 2015 and 2019.
Darius Ishaku of Taraba State is a two-term PDP governor. However, he lost his senatorial ambition. Ishaku contested to represent Taraba South Senatorial District in the Senate. The governor lost to his counterpart in the All Progressives Congress, APC, David Jimkuta, who polled 85,415 to defeat him as he scored 45,708 votes.
Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade also suffered defeat in his bid to return to the Senate after completing his second tenure as governor. Ayade was a Senator from 2011 to 2015. He had hoped to return to the role as senator representing Cross River North but the incumbent, Jarigbe Agom-Jarigbe, defeated him. Agom-Jarigbe of the PDP got 76,145 votes, while Ayade polled 56,595 votes.
Kebbi State governor, Atiku Bagudu, lost his bid to represent Kebbi Central Senatorial District in the Senate. Bagudu of the APC lost to Senator Adamu Aliero of the PDP.
The Returning Officer, Abbas Bazata, declared Adamu Aliero, the winner, having polled 126,588 votes as against Bagudu’s 92,389 votes.
Despite his fierce opposition to the second-term bid of the Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Bello, the erstwhile Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, lost his home local government area, Bogoro LGA, to the governor. Governor Mohammed was the flagbearer of the PDP, while Dogara backed the immediate Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar (retd) of the APC.