Nigeria News

Ahead of Governorship Polls

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Nigeria News takes a look at the preparation ahead of today’s governorship elections.

The patronage is high at the motor parks. Nigerians are set to elect their governors. It has been four years of expectations. There is voter’s apprehension in many of the states.

Seven of the 36 states are not going to participate in today’s election. They are Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Kogi, Anambra and Edo.

They had their elections off-seasons due to previous litigations that staggered the polls’ timetable in those periods.

However, the 29 other states are set to for the election. As at Friday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) began the movement of election materials across the country.

In Akwa Ibom, one of the INEC offices was razed by fire with the card readers burnt. However, the commission said that it would get card readers from neighbouring states to conduct the election in Akwa Ibom. There was no report that any other materials got burnt except the card readers.

The Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi said that the commission is ready to conduct a credible election. He also noted that the INEC had provided space for the physically challenged voters to cast their ballot.

In Lagos, the state government has allayed the threat of hooligans who may want to disrupt the election or intimidate the electorate.

While the political campaigns have stopped since Thursday, social media ranting has continued. Millions of Nigerians are making cases for their candidates. In Rivers, there is no candidate for APC. The state Governor, Nyesom Wike may have a walk over.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has deployed a high number of law enforcement agents and soldiers to maintain peace during the election. All is set as the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar also released a video clip via his twitter handle calling on Nigerians to vote for the party governorship candidates.

The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not support the use of soldiers during election, saying it is a strategy by the ruling party to intimidate voters.

During the week, the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has a meeting with party members, including canvassers and mobilisers to touch the nooks and crannies of Lagos.

While speaking at the party secretariat at ACME road, Ogba, Tinubu promised to present gifts to the voters mobilisers if APC eventually wins on Saturday.

For the Lagos PDP governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje, Saturday election may be the last he would contest if he fails to win. The perennial candidate has failed to find the formula that can outwit the political logic of Tinubu and his clouts.

No doubt, Agbaje had done a lot in terms of the campaign, the overwhelming financial capacity of those behind the APC candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is a burden for Lagos PDP.

Sanwo-Olu’s public rating was low in the early stage of his campaign but he had suddenly found his voice, using the right language to address issues that are crucial to Lagosians.

He has concentrated more on how he will tackle the problem of traffic and transportation, education and health.

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