With less than 24 hours to the governorship and state Houses of Assembly elections, political parties and their candidates have put finishing touches to their campaigns while waiting for the D-day. There will not be governorship election in states like Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Anambra and Kogi state, but the battle for the control of the state Assemblies will be fierce in these states.

These elections as far as the South west is concerned would determine who controls the politics of the region beween the main political parties and the actors. Quite like in 2011 general elections which was a straight fight between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN),   tomorrow’s election will be fought by the PDP and  APC) and perhaps Accord Party in Oyo state. There is also Labour Party (LP), Accord Party (AP) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) all trying to gain recognition in the political process.

Oyo State

The battle for the governorship and the State House of Assembly will be between the five political parties represented by former Senate Leader, Senator TeslimFolarin, PDP;  incumbent governor AbiolaAjimobiAPC, Otunba Adebayo AlaoAkala LP,  Senator RashidiLadoja Accord Party and the youngest candidate of them all, Engineer SeyiMakinde would be flying the flag of the SDP.

The battle in Oyo would be a strong one because all the contestants are notable candidates who have been tested in one way or the order. What would even make the contest in the state to be interesting is the fact that since the Presidential and the National Assembly elections which the APC cleared, other political parties have returned to the drawing board to re-strategise because the result of that two elections rattled them, especially the Accord Party which believed it would win more seats now than in 2011 election, when it had four members in the House of Representatives. In today’s election, Accord would want to prove that it is still on ground and the party to beat. Before the March 28 elections, the party was tipped to clinch more seats but APC rattled all of them as it clinched the three senatorial seats and 12 out of the 14 members of the House or Representatives.

Although the battle would be strongly contested between Ladoja, Ajimobi and Akalawho is being speculated to be the spoiler, one other candidate to be watched is Makinde, who has been working round the Ibadan indigenes and elites who are planning to swing the votes of Ibadan in his favour, as they did for Ajimobi in 2011. But if the election takes the March 28, 2015 pattern, then Ajimobiis sure of coasting home to victory, while it is believed that no particular political party would have the majority control of the state House of Assembly.

Ogun State

This is another state in the South West where the election will be very tough as the Incumbent Governor IbikunleAmosun of the APC will be slugging it out with three other contestants from the SDP, PDP and the Labour Party. While Amosun is for the APC, GbengaNasilIsiaka is for the PDP while chief Akin Odunsi is for the SDP. These three contestants are very strong in the state but the battle would definitely be between Isiaka of the PDP and Governor Amosun. In the March 28, 2015 elections, it was the PDP and the APC that had good performance but the APC was able to beat the PDP with the result of the Presidential election and that of the House of Representatives.

Political observers who have been following the politics of Ogun state in the last two years believe that Governor Amosun would clinch a second term ticket, but with the latest movement by the former governor of the state, OtunbaGbenga Daniel who has his political son Isiaka in the race, Amosun will have to give a good fight for him to win the election.  He will contend with two factors and  three strong personalities of AremoOlusegunOsoba, Daniel, and the Senator-elect from the Ogun East senatorial zone, Prince BurujiKashamu, who have vowed to stop him.

The state Assembly would however be the combination of the three major political parties of the PDP, SDP and the APC. Right now no one is sure of the party that will have the majority.

Osun state

The state is expected to be dominated by the APC. Since the state is not having the governorship election, the APC has been very busy mobilizing for its members in today’s election. What happened in the Presidential election and the House of Representatives elections on March 28 is expected to play out today. As it happened in March, PDP is expected to have pockets of seats in the state Assembly, but from all indications, the APC will still dominate the Assembly.

Ondo state

This is the state which presently has PDP majority in the House of Assembly but that is being threatened with the present development in the state. The last movement of the former governorship candidate of the PDP, Chief OlusolaOke along with other notable leaders in the party is already threatening the existence of Governor OlusegunMimiko in the state. The in-fighting in PDP is now affecting the party and this reflected in the National Assembly and the Presidential election which showed clearly that Governor Mimiko has lost the control of the party he moved to from the Labour Party where he was respected and in full control. With the latest development, APC is likely to control the state House of Assembly.

Ekiti State

This is state in the South West which is presently boiling. The state Assembly is now divided along party lines of the PDP and the APC. Although it is believed that the PDP and the APC are the strongest political parties, the Labour Party is expected to have an inroad into today’s election. But the feeling in the state was that if the election is held, the battle would be between the PDP and the APC. As the present state Assembly is constituted, PDP has seven members while the APC has 19 members who are now battling to effect the impeachment of Governor AyodeleFayose. If these 19 legislators are staging a comeback in their respective constituencies and it was believed that if they all come back, then the Ekiti State House of Assembly would be dominated by the APC.

Lagos state

In Lagos state, there may be more consideration for the APC governorship candidate, AkinwunmiAmbode than the PDP governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje because of the strong political structure of the APC in Ikorodu, Somolu, Epe and its environs, majorly eastern part of the state. Although, Agbaje comes from Ikorodu and Ikorodu stakeholders have vowed not to vote for any candidate who does not come from their division this time around, but the APC is stronger than the PDP in the area so therefore there will be a serious battle for the PDP to have its way in the local government as handlers of APC in the area are strong mobilisers of the party in the area.
In Surulere, Lagos Island, Ebutte Meta and Yaba parts of the state, APC may also be favoured because of the influence of the former governor of the state, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who resides in the senatorial district and have strong control of the district politically. It will be recalled that this reflected in the result of the area at the presidential election as the former governor’s wife was able to win return seat to the Senate with comfortable score. Although, Ambode has serious contender to battle with over the votes from the district as Senator Obanikoro and Chief Bode George who are handlers of PDP in the state also reside in the Senatorial district, but Tinubu with his financial war chest and public goodwill in the district may influence votes in the area in favour of APC.
In Ojo, AmuwoOdofin, Ajeromi-Ifelodun and Alimosho area of Lagos West Senatorial district of the state, where there are a lot of Igbs/South-south speaking people, there are strong sympathy for the PDP among the electorates, as most of them vow not to cast their vote for the APC, perceiving PDP as the party through which their interest can be protected in the state. These sympathy feelings for the PDP by these set of voters in the areas would also affect the governorship election in the state as the people are as well ready to vote for the PDP governorship candidate in the state, Agbaje.
Agbaje may also enjoy swing votes from the electorates who are aggrieved by the inflammatory comments credited to the Oba of Lagos, Oba RilwanAkiolu that the Igbo may perish into the Lagoon if they fail to vote for Ambode.
Ebonyi State

Although Ebonyi is traditionally a PDP state, the sudden popularity of Labour Party with the people of Ebonyi North and Central Senatorial zones as well as Afikpo political bloc which in total constitutes 10 out of 13 local governments in the state, and its consequent backing by the incumbent Governor Martin Elechi as being speculated, means that the PDP has a real battle to fight.

However, while the Labour Party candidate, Edward Nkwegu has more support in the state and the calculation somewhat favours him; it is obvious that the PDP and its candidate, Engr. Dave Umahi who incidentally is the deputy governor have enough grounds to dismantle the Labour Party using other strategies. Here is a situation where PDP wins and Labour Party heads to court to dispute the outcome.

Likely Winner, PDP.

Rivers State

Rivers will witness a heated and close contest between NyesomWike of PDP and DakukuPeterside of APC. The PDP has the structure considering that Rivers is largely a PDP state, while the APC holds the power, Governor RotimiAmaechi having defected to the party.

Generally, one would have conveniently predicted victory for PDP before the presidential election, but the success of the APC in the election means that the state chapter of the party has been handed a morale booster and a lot of people now want to be in the ruling party. Again, the agitation by the riverine people to succeed Amaechi will help the APC’s cause. But overall, the PDP enjoys the backing of Abuja and a slight majority of Rivers people judging by the general mood of residents in the state, will most likely emerge victorious at the polls.

Too close to call.

Imo State

The state presents a keen contest between the incumbent Governor RochasOkorocha of the APC and Hon. EmekaIhedioha of the PDP.The governor will be relying on the power of incumbency and achievements in the state thus far to secure another four year term. His opponent,Ihedioha on the other hand, would be counting on the solid structure of the PDP to try to unseat the governor.

At the end of the day, Okorocha with executive might and the support of the people stands a better chance of winning the election.

Likely winner is APC.

Abia State

The PDP candidate, OkezieIkpeazu faces the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate, Alex Otti in a battle that may very well mark the end of PDP’s reign as the ruling party in the state.

One factor that has seen the PDP lose control of the state is the purported lack of performance by the incumbent Governor T.A Orji. The Governor is being accused of failing to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people and there is the fear that this poor state of affairs will continue with the PDP in power, thus APGA is seen as a viable alternative.

If the will of the people should determine the outcome, then Abia should be bracing up for life under APGA leadership.

Too close to call.

 

Delta State

In Delta, the Labour Party candidate, the ever present Chief Great OvedjeOgboru will give his PDP counterpart,IfeanyiOkowa a run for his money but when the chips are down, the PDP candidate wears the crown.

Delta is still largely a PDP state and there appears to be a muted consensus that it is high time Delta North were Okowa comes from, produce the governor, other zones having done so. The APC would have, perhaps posed a huge threat to the PDP in the state but its candidate, Mr.O’tegaEmerhor is reportedly not as popular with the people, especially in his own constituency.

Likely winner is PDP.

AkwaIbom State

This is certainly one of the hard core PDP states where the party commands overwhelming followership. But the cracks that emerged in the party’s primaries following accusations that Governor GodswillAkpabio handpicked the PDP candidate, Udom Emmanuel, which saw a number of high profile politicians decamping to the APC means that the party’s candidate, UmanaOkonUmana has a realistic chance. It is worthy of note that former Petroleum Minister, Don Etiebiet and former governor of the State, Obong Victor Attah are reportedly rooting for Umana following the duo’s squabble with Governor Akpabio.

However, the PDP’s popularity in the oil producing state has not waned to the extent of losing a governorship election to APC and Udom looks set to take the cap from Akpabio.

Likely winner is PDP.

Enugu State

For the coal city state, it would be safe to say that the governorship election is won and lost in the PDP primaries. The towering influence of the party in the state means that its candidate, Hon. IfeanyiUgwuanyi has only time separating him from the seat of governor. Although the resilient APC candidate, Bar. OkeyEzea will be hoping to cause an upset and the victory of MuhammaduBuhari will booster his morale, his effort appears too listless before the all powerful PDP.

Many in the state are already looking at what will happen with the PDP candidate after he must have won the election considering that Senator AyoguEze is still insisting he is the authentic candidate of the party and may attempt to claim his mandate through the court.

PDP will likely win the election.

Cross River

Just like in its neigbouring state of AkwaIbom, there are recriminations about the manner in which the PDP candidate, Senator Ben Ayade emerged in the primaries. The state governor, LiyelImoke is accused of handpicking him which led to a lot of party men feeling alienated. Again, following the emergence of Buhari in the presidential election, there seems to be an emerging argument by some thinkers in the state that the state would do better with an APC governor.

However, the PDP being the dominant party in the state will only have little trouble retaining power.

Likely winner is PDP.

Bayelsa State

There was much talk about President Goodluck Jonathan losing to Buhari in the Aso Rock Villa, but the home state of the outgoing president is certainly not tired of him and his party. To this effect, Governor Seriake Dickson will have a smooth ride back to power. Likely winner is PDP.

Kwara state

This state was once the stronghold of the PDP. However, the PDP lost Kwara state to the APC following the defection of former Governor BukolaSaraki and his followers. There are strong indications that factors, including incumbency, religion, party platform, popularity and achievements of the two major contestants would largely determine who emerges victorious on Saturday.
How the three senatorial zones are likely to vote: Kwara Central is dominated by Muslims, and as a result of that, Ahmed appears to be the favourite to win the zone.
The Central zone, which constitutes about 52 percent of the state’s voting strength, would very likely pitch its tent with the APC candidate in solidarity with Saraki, (an Ilorin indigene), who has effectively taken over his late father’s political empire.
Kwara North is like a sister to Kwara Central. Most political analysts believe that the 2015 election scenario in Kwara North would follow the voting pattern in the Central zone. Kwara South is the zone where Ahmed and Ajibola both hail from. Due to the fact that Christianity is the predominant religion there, it is not unlikely that there could be a split of votes between the two candidates in the area.
Religious factor might guarantee a slim victory for the APC candidate.
Nasarawa state
In this state, three heavy weights are battling for the number one seat. Gov. Tanko Al-Makura may be in for the battle of his political life as Yusuf Agabi of the PDP and LabaranMaku battle him for the seat. It is believed that Agabi is the one who made it possible for President Jonathan to win Nasarawa state in the presidential poll. As for Maku, one of his major undoing is his platform (APGA). Most political analysts are of the view that Maku lost the election when he was denied the PDP ticket. It is suffice to say that Al-makura of APC will emerge winner.
Benue state
The ruling party in Benue has been weakened due to mass defection of party bigwigs.
Though a PDP controlled state, the people of the state complain endlessly of non-payment of salaries which they say has been the bane of the government. The state is agrarian with a high dominance of civil servants who are more amongst the voting population. The burning desire of the residents of change was evident in the presidential election which the PDP lost.
According to most residents, the margin would even be wider this time around.
There is a saying that “a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” This will pave the way for Chief Samuel Orton of the APC to win the election.
Niger state
The governorship election here is a two horse race between the Umar Nasko, candidate of the PDP and AbubakarSani of the APC. Although APC won the presidential election in Niger state, the governorship election is a different ball game. The power brokers who supported Buhari for the presidential election are solidly behind the young Nasko.
From all indications, Nasko of the PDP may win with a slim margin against his APC challenger, AbubakarSani.

Plateau state
It would be recalled that Plateau is a state divided along religious lines and the governor who is a Christian and a member of the PDP will do everything within his powers to enable his successor, GyangPwajok win the election. Simon Lamong of the APC will not be a push over though because some members of the PDP who are aggrieved are leaning towards him due to their grievance with Jang for imposing Pwajok on the PDP.
The governorship election in Plateau is a tough call as both candidates have equal chances of capturing power. It is close to call.
Taraba state
For Hajia Aisha JumaiAlhassan the APC candidate, her status as a woman may be her undoing at the poll. Although she is running on a strong platform, many analysts are of the view that she would lose to Darius Ishaku of the PDP. Taraba is a predominantly Christian state where politics of religion also plays a big part in the electoral process. The religious factor will also work in favour of Ishaku.
Another thing going for Ishaku is that he has the backing of the influential TheophilusYakubuDanjuma.

Adamawa state
In Adamawa state, the APC candidate JibrillaBindow holds sway. The advantage he has over his main challenger, MalamNuhuRibadu is the flavor of MuhammaduBuhari’s victory. Buhari defeated Jonathan here and the people of Adamawa are still jubilating.
Borno state
Borno state has been an opposition state since the return to democratic rule in 1999. The dominance of APC in Borno will give Governor Shettima an edge over his main rival former governor, GamboLawan of the PDP. Lawan is no match for Governor Shettima due to his platform. From all indications, the incumbent APC governor of the state will return for his second and final term. Although Lawan is loved by the people of Borno state, his party is not loved by the people.

Yobe state
This is a stronghold of the opposition. Since the return of democracy in 1999, Yobe has never fallen into the hands of the PDP. Just like Borno, Yobe has remained the stronghold of opposition politics at all levels. The strong show by Ibrahim Geidam during the presidential poll is a clear indication that he will defeat his main challenger, AlhajiAdamuWaziri of the PDP. Geidam will be returned for a second term and Waziri of the PDP may have to try again in 2019.
Bauchi state
In this state, the PDP candidate is very weak compared to the APC candidate, Muhammad Abubakar. The APC has a cult-like following in the state due to the love they have for the President-elect, Gen. Buhari. The victory of Buhari in Bauchi has made most political analysts conclude that Bauchi is already a lost battle for the PDP despite having the likes of Governor Isa Yuguda, PDP chairman AdamuMuazu and Minister of the FCT, Bala Mohammed in its ranks.

Kano state

Here the Kwankwassiyya movement is well pronounced and with the Buhari clear victory, Kano will go for APC’s candidate, Dr UmaruGanduje. The PDP will find it extremely difficult to make any impact in Kano again.

Jigawa state

Despite Governor SuleLamido’s popularity, the PDP lost the presidential poll to APC. But the governorship will prove to be a different ball game as Lamido campaigned vigorously for his candidate. The election is too close to call.

Kaduna state

Kaduna is a tight race between incumbent governor Yero of the PDP and Nasir El-Rufai of the APC. Kaduna is Buhari’s abode is it is to be seen how he influences the voting pattern in this state. The APC cleared the presidential election here and might also win the governorship. Zamfara, Kebbi and Sokoto will go to APC. Speaker AminuTambuwal will surely be returned governor in Sokoto under APC. Gombe is too close to call, while Katsina will go to APC.