Following the conduct of ongoing party primaries in about 30 states of the federation, the political coast for the 2019 Governorship contest is becoming clearer as contenders are now been separated from pretenders.
From available results in states where party primaries have been held and results announced, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appear to been presenting formidable candidates that may be major contenders for the seats in the affected states.
Even though the conduct was peaceful, there are still disagreements and realignments in some states that are yet to conduct their primaries.
While political parties are absolving the pressure of implosion, the tension is now being shifted to various political parties on who will emerge governor come 2019.
Candidates have emerged in over 19 states.
However, the conduct, ideas, manifestos, and campaign strategies of the contestants are likely to determine who win the election.
LEADERSHIP unveiled some of the candidates in the states and what will work for them as Nigeria enters the campaign period.
Even though the electorates are getting wiser on a daily basis, campaign issues and past records of the candidates will play a vital role.
In Kaduna State, governor Nasir el-Rufai of the APC will square it up with Hon Isa Ashiru Kudan of the PDP.
Both candidates know themselves quite well, both having contested for the APC ticket in 2014.
The governor was a lone aspirant in the APC in the just concluded primary before emerging unopposed. Ashiru, on the other hand, faced about 11 aspirants in the PDP but two later stepped down.
Ashiru recorded a resounding victory in the primary election polling 1,330 votes to defeat his closed rival, Sen Suleiman Hunkuyi, who polled 564 and Sani Sidi who came third with 560 votes.
Former governor of the state, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero came forth with 36 votes, while Shuaibu Idris Mikati, came fifth with 16 votes.
With the successful conduct of the primary election by the major political parties in Kaduna State, the battle line has been drawn for Kaduna people to elect who govern them after the 2019 general elections.
In Nasarawa State, Engr Abdullahi A Sule of the APC will run against Hon. David Ombugadu of the PDP. Whereas both candidates are contesting the governorship election for the first time, Sule is a businessman who works with a multi-billion dollars company.
Ombugadu is a young House of Representatives member who entered the race with so much vigor.
While Sule defeated the likes of Ahmed Wadada in the APC, Ombugadu defeated many people in the PDP including Barr. Solomon Ewuga, a former deputy governor and Minister from the State.
Even though the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) is yet to present a candidate, the contest will be largely among Sule of the APC, Ombugadu of the PDP and a former deputy governor and Information Minister, Mr. Labaran Maku of APGA.
In Plateau State, governor Simon Lalong of the APC will contest against a serving Senator and former Minister of FCT, Gen. Jeremiah Useni (rtd.) of the PDP.
Both candidates are experienced. having served the state and the nation in different capacities. Both candidates will seek to convince Plateau State voters on areas they have comparative advantage.
In Kebbi State, incumbent governor Abubakar Bagudu of the APC will have to face Sen Isa Galaudu of the PDP. Galaudu emerged as the PDP flag-bearer after polling 1,072 votes to defeat his closed rival, Umar Tafida, who polled 720 votes.
In Akwa Ibom State, the APC has elected the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) managing director, Nsima Ekere, to face incumbent governor Udom Emmanuel of the PDP.
Even though there are mixed feelings about the defection of a former governor of the state, Godswill Akpabio, to the APC, the opposition party will have a lot of work to do in selling their candidate during the campaigns.
In Borno State, the governor’s anointed, Prof Babagana Umara Zulum picked the APC ticket while Mohammed Imam picked that of the PDP.
Even though the candidates are also contesting for the Borno State governorship election for the first time, it was gathered that with the emergence of Imam as the PDP flag-bearer, the APC will have to work 10 times harder than what happened in 2015.
It was gathered that while some of the candidates that stood for the primary in the APC may likely work for Imam because of his anticidence, the APC will have to work hard to avoid implosion.
If the changing eight-year circle of election in Borno State is something that will count in the 2019 contest, the APC led government must device proper means of marketing its candidate who is also seen by others as a good material.
“We have confidence in the Borno PDP candidate because our people want change. I can assure you that with what is happening in Borno State, many will be surprised about what will happen in 2019”, Kudla Satumari said while speaking on the changing narratives in the state.
In Ebonyi State, Governor David Umahi of the PDP will contest against the Senate’s Vice Chairman on Appropriation, Sonni Ogbuoji of the APC.
Ogbuoji, who represents Ebonyi South in the Senate got 785 votes to defeat several aspirants including Prof. Bernard Odoh who had 519 votes.
In Imo state, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, emerged PDP governorship candidate.
He polled a total of 1,723 votes to defeat the Senator representing Imo East senatorial zone, Samuel Anyanwu, who came second with a total of 1,282 votes.
Ihedioha lost to Rochas Okorocha in the 2015 governorship contest but he is now waiting for the yet-to-be agreed candidate of the APC.
In Cross River State, Prof Ayade is to face Sen. John Owan-Enoh in 2019.
Even though the ‘digital’ governor is said to have performed well, it is left to the people of Cross River State to decide who becomes their next governor after the 2019 general elections.
Owan-Enoh represents Cross River State Central Senatorial District in the Senate.
In Adamawa, the former acting governor of the State, Alhaji Ahmadu Fintiri of the PDP is now waiting whether to face governor Umar Jibrilla Bindow, president Muhammadu Buhari’s in-law or Modi.
Even though the politics of Adamawa State is said to be interesting following alignment and realignments, the National leadership of the APC could not conduct the primary election on Sunday because of some contentious issues.
The primary election for the APC which was earlier said will be indirect, has now changed to direct and will take place this Thursday.
Even though many said Governor Bindow has performed well in the last three years and should be given a second term ticket by the APC, some influential stakeholders in the party see otherwise. They have vowed to engage anti-party activity if Bindow picks the APC ticket.
In Bauchi State, immediate past minister of the FCT, Sen. Bala Mohammed of the PDP will now face governor Mohammed Abubakar of the APC.
Abubakar, under his watch, several aides including his deputy left the cabinet. He has also faced several crises in his party that made some lawmakers in the state, including Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, to leave the APC.
With the emergence of Bala Mohammed, popularly known as Kauran Bauchi as the PDP flag-bearer, the APC has a lot of work to do.
In Benue State, governor Samuel Ortom emerged the candidate of the PDP. Ortom will face serious opposition from the APC, a party he left and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), another political party making inroads in the state.
In Delta State, governor Ifeanyi Okowa as been returned as the PDP candidate but the parallel primaries of the APC in the state has produced Great Ogboru and Prof. Pat Utomi.
In Abia State, governor Okezie Ikpeazu of the PDP is to face a candidate from the factions of the APC, Chief Ikechi Emenike. Whatever happens, pundits say Ikpeazu has less tension in the coming election having won the heart of his people.
In Jigawa, Malam Aminu Ringim of the PDP is to face incumbent governor Muhammad Badaru of the APC.
Badaru, popularly called ‘Mr Calculator’ had a landslide victory in the APC primary election but will have to contend with Ringim’s threat.
Pundits also say that the Sule Lamido factor, a two-term governor of the state seeking to be president will play a key role.
In Kano State, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of the APC is ready to battle with the Kwankwasiya movement.
Ganduje polled 2,740,847 votes in the primary election, a result that showed he has a wide acceptance amongst APC members in the state.
In Enugu, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwanyi has been returned by the PDP for the 2019 election. He is said to be battle ready for the APC candidate.
In Niger State, again, PDP presented young Umar Nasko who will slug it out with current governor Sani Abubakar. The Niger State electorates will still determine their faith in 2019.
In Ogun State, a member of the House of Representatives, Ladi Adebutu picked the PDP ticket to face the ruling APC.
In Oyo State, PDP has presented Engr Seyi Makinde for the election. He awaits the APC candidate.
In Rivers State, the crisis within the APC has already given governor Nyesom Wike of the PDP an edge over others.
Even though the PDP conducted a peaceful election on Sunday in Rivers State with Wike emerging as candidate, APC conducted a rancorous exercise with it State secretariat set in flames.
In Sokoto, while Alhaji Manir Dan-Iya picked the ticket of the PDP, governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal’s deputy, Ahmad Aliyu has picked that of the APC.
Tambuwal who left the APC, is seeking to be president under the platform of the PDP.
Sokoto State has been passing through some serious political calculation in recent times but the electorates will determine who govern them after the 2019 general election.
In Taraba State, governor Darius Ishaku of the PDP quest to go for a second term received a boost following the defection of his close rival in the 2015 governorship election in the state, Aisha Alhassan from the APC to ADC.
The decampment has created a serious vacuum for the APC to fill in Taraba State.
In Kwara State, a House of Representatives member, Rasaq Atunwa, has emerged the PDP candidate.
Atunwa emerged after Bolaji Abdullahi and others stepped down from the race. He will face an APC candidate who the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed will play a key role in presenting.
In Kastina State, governor Aminu Masari of the APC will contest against a younger PDP candidate, Lado Danmarke.
Even though it is not the first time Lado is contesting, incumbency factor and the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari hails from Katsina State may likely be a factor on who becomes the next governor of the state.
Since the election of Buhari won’t be conducted the same day with that of governorship, pundits say Lado is gaining wide acceptance from the electorates.
In Yobe State, the governor’s anointed, who is also the National Secretary of the APC, Mr. Mai Mala Buni is the candidate of the party.
PDP has not made inroad in Yobe despite having influential people in their party in the past. Pundits say there is no sign for a change in the 2019 general elections.
For Bayelsa, Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, Kogi Anambra and Edo states, the tenure of the incumbent governors won’t end on May 29th 2019.
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