According to results so far announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the Saturday, 18th March governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections, seven governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) succeeded with their reelection bids.
Generally, the results declared so far show that the APC has won more states across the country, thereby reasserting itself in power.
The election that witnessed the participation of 18 political parties was a keenly contested one between four leading parties which include the ruling All Progressives Congress, the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the emerging third force – Labour Party (LP), and the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
Coincidentally, just like we have seven outgoing governors who lost senatorial seats (Ikpeazu of Abia, Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Ben Ayade (Cross River) and Abubakar Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi), seven governors of the APC fold who secured reelection bid have also been recorded.
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The APC governors who got reelected include Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Abdullahi Sule of Nasawara, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, and Mai Mala Buni of Yobe.
Zulum, who will be completing his first term in office by 29th May, was elected in the 2019 general election to succeed Senator Kashim Shettima, who is now vice president-elect.
Born 25th August 1969, in Mafa Local Government Area of Borno State, governor Zulum is a Professor of Agriculture Engineering.
He polled 545, 543 votes to defeat his closest rival, Mohammed Jajari of the PDP, who polled 82, 147 votes, according to INEC’s state returning officer for the election, Jude Rabo, who made the declaration in Maiduguri, the state capital on Monday afternoon.
Zulum has had a fair share of battles with Boko Haram insurgents who had once overrun a substantial part of the northeast state. He had survived not less than three assassination attempts by the terrorists who attacked his convoy on highways.
Yahaya, succeeded Ibrahim Hassan Dakwambo in the Gombe State 2019 gubernatorial elections.
He was a Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development under former Governor Muhammed Danjuma Goje.
Yahaya, an engineer and businessman, was born on 26th December 1959 in Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
He scored 342,821 votes to defeat his close contender, Mohammed Jibrin Barde of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 233,131 votes.
Ahmed Mailantarki of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) came third with 19,861 votes while Keftin Amuga of the Labour Party (LP) scored 1,753.
Abdullahi Sule succeeded Umaru Tanko Al-Makura in the 2019 elections and was sworn in on 29th May of the same year.
Born on 9th October 1961, Sule, who is a professional accountant and businessman, joined politics in 2003 after some decades of career in the private sector.
He polled 347, 209 votes to beat his closest challenger, David Ombugadu, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who got 283, 016 votes, as announced by Ishaya Tanko, the Nasarawa State returning officer for the election. “Abdullahi Sule of APC, having satisfied the requirements of the law and scored the highest number of votes in the election, is hereby declared the winner and returned elected,” Tanko said at the state collation centre.
The result of the contest was similar to that of the 2019 election where Sule had 327,229 votes against the PDP’s Ombugadu who garnered 184,281 votes.
The governor won the election to serve a second term of another four years in Kwara State with a total of 273,424 votes.
He defeated his main rival, Yaman Abdullahi of the Peoples Democratic Party who scored 155,490 votes in the election. He won in all 16 local government areas in the north-central state.
AbdulRazaq, who joined politics in 1999, succeeded Abdulfatah Ahmed as governor in 2019 after three unsuccessful attempts in 2003, 2007 and 2011 under the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). He had also contested unsuccessfully for Kwara Central Senatorial District on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in both 2011 and 2015.
Sanwo-Olu was declared the winner of Saturday’s governorship by the Independent National Electoral Commission after polling 762,134 votes to beat other 15 political parties who contested in the race. He won in 19 of the state’s 20 local government areas.
However, his main challenger in the election, the Labour Party candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, who scored 312,329 votes, has vowed to challenge the outcome in court.
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Sanwo-Olu in his speech after the declaration extended an olive branch to all the contestants saying: “In the true spirit of sportsmanship, if you indeed believe that you want to serve this state, you have an opportunity with us and we will open our doors to listen and to give you a space in this government.”
The governor was first elected under the platform of the APC in 2019, succeeding Akinwunmi Ambode, who only had one term of four years (2015 to 2019).
Born on 25th June 1965, Sanwo-Olu, who has a BSc in Surveying and an MBA from the University of Lagos, has had a career that spans banking, and public service.
With his reelection, he will continue to steer the ship of the southwest state and commercial nerve centre of the country.
Abiodun scored 276,298 votes to emerge the winner of the keenly contested governorship election. 13 political parties took part in the electoral exercise.
As declared by the INEC State Returning Officer in the state, Kayode Adebowale, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ladi Adebutu, polled 262,383 votes to come second, thereby trailing the winner with 13,915 votes.
He won in 12 local government areas while Adebutu won in eight local government areas.
Abiodun was born on 29th May 1960 in Iperu Remo, Ogun State, to the royal family of Iperu.
He took over from former governor Ibikunle Amosun after his election in 2019.
Mai Mala Buni
Buni, who has been in office since 2019 after succeeding Ibrahim Geidam, secured his reelection bid after emerging as the winner of the last Saturday’s governorship election in Yobe State.
According to INEC’s state returning officer for the election, Prof Umaru Pate, who announced the result in Damaturu, the state capital on Sunday, Buni scored 317,113 votes to defeat his closest opponent, Sherif Abdullahi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored 124, 259 votes.
Born on 19th November 1967 in Buni Yadi in the northeastern state, Buni holds a Master’s degree in International relations from Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom.
He was the Caretaker Committee chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from 2020 until March 2022 when the party had its national convention that led to the emergence of Abdullahi Adamu as the substantive national chairman.