Election 2015 is not all about the presidential one, though it is the most important. The governorship and state legislature polls scheduled for April 11 are, however, more important for many that dwell at the grass roots. The bandwagon effect, which the presidential poll is expected to trigger, will not happen in many states.
For the governorship contest, here are our predictions. Some 17 candidates are sure of victory; some 12 candidates are not so sure. Others are certain to lose:
SURE OF VICTORY
Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi
Enugu has remained a one-party state since 2007 when the leaders of APGA in the south-east sold the party to then incumbent governors in the zone. The only contest Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the PDP candidate, feared was between him and Senator Ayogu Eze who had asked the court to declare him the PDP candidate, after four or five aspirants conducted separate primaries. The court ruled in Ugwuanyi’s favour on March 2.
Akinwumi Dapo Ambode
It did not happen in 1999 or in 2003, 2007 or 2011: that the party ruling at the national level also produced a governor for Lagos State. It will not happen in 2015. Akinwumi Ambode of the APC will be elected governor of Lagos on April 11, with the backing of his predecessors Bola Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola.
Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai
This man did his homework well before running for governor of Kaduna State. He has both money and influence. The only challenge he will face is the governor and PDP candidate, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, who is not really popular.
Aminu Waziri Tambuwal
Nothing suggests there may be an upset in Sokoto governorship poll. The current speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, is sure of being voted the next governor of Sokoto State. He has the backing of the Sokoto kingmakers including the current governor.
Aminu Bello Masari
A major upset in the governorship poll is expected in Katsina State. A former speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Bello Masari, is the APC governorship candidate. The PDP candidate, Musa Nashuni, who is the incumbent governor’s choice, may not make it at a time a son of Katsina is the president-elect, and of the APC.
Abdullahi Umar Ganduje
Whoever receives the support of incumbent governor Rabiu Kwankwaso is sure of winning. Dr Abdullahi Ganduje of the APC is that man.
Emmanuel Udom Gabriel
(PDP, Akwa Ibom)
The contest at the primaries was all he worried about. No other party is strong enough in Akwa Ibom to challenge the PDP candidate, Emmanuel Udom Gabriel.
Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar
It may be considered an upset, but it was an upset that brought outgoing governor Isa Yuguda to power in 2007. Yuguda later moved to the PDP and won again in 2011 under its platform. The candidate of another party (APC) is almost sure of defeating the governor’s candidate in the PDP. Mohammed Abubakar will win in Bauchi on April 11.
Were Boko Haram to vote at the April 11 polls in Borno State, the incumbent governor and APC candidate would not be re-elected. The terrorist group had slain Alhaji Gubio after the primary of 2011, thus paving the way for Kashim Shettima to be selected ANPP candidate. Shettima is perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the anti-terror battle now raging in the north-east. He will be returned governor by a landslide.
(PDP, Cross River)
So long as he holds the PDP coat-tail tightly, Ayade Benedict will be voted governor of Cross River State on April 11 – not by a landslide though.
Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa
Kingmakers of Delta State support the PDP candidate. The state is a safe place for every PDP candidate, if for the sake of the presidential candidate who is a son of the Niger Delta.
Abubakar Atiku Bagudu
He is not the former vice-president, who is from Adamawa State. The PDP has never won in Kebbi. This year, the majority of the state’s voters are rooting for the APC. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu is sure of victory.
The governor of Kwara State is sure of getting a second term, even as he has joined the APC.
Abiola Adeyemi Ajimobi
The incumbent governor will win, but victory won’t come easy. The PDP and LP candidates are formidable and each will cut substantial votes to be cast on April 11.The coat-tail of the APC will be Ajimobi’s saviour.
Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari
Zamfara will not go for a party other than the APC. So the APC governorship candidate, Abdulazeez Yari, is as good as the winner of the April 11 polls.
Ibikunle Oyelaja Amosun
Wherever the APC goes, Ogun goes. Governor Ibikunle Amosun is sure to return for a second term via the April 11 poll.
Abubakar Sani Bello
Umar Mohammed Nasko, the young PDP governorship candidate, was endorsed by outgoing governor Babangida Aliyu and others. But the governor’s party is a hard sell in Niger State. Nasko has lost, now that Jonathan did not win the presidential contest. APC candidate Abubakar Sani Bello is sure of victrory.
NOT SO SURE…
Okezie v. Ikpeazu
Although he has the backing of outgoing governor Theodore Orji, the PDP candidate has a strong opponent in the APGA candidate, Alex Otti. Either of them would win – neither by a landslide. A run-off should be expected.
Mohammed Umar Jibrilla
The incumbent governor of Adamawa is in the PDP whose candidate is former EFCC chairman Nuhu Ribadu. Neither Jibrilla nor Ribadu is sure of emerging victorious at the first ballot. But Jibrilla appears to be in the “right” party.
Prince Terhemen Tarzoor
This governorship candidate has the advantage of being in the outgoing governor’s party. Since Governor Suswan and PDP’s Jonathan have lost, Tarzoor is not likely to win. APC candidate in Benue, Ortom Samuel Ioraer, may win.
Nweze David Umahi
He is not the candidate of outgoing governor Martin Elechi, though he was/is his deputy. Governor Elechi’s supporters have since moved to the LP and other parties. Umahi will face a stiff contest with LP’s Edward Nkwegu Okereke. A run-off should be expected. Julius Ali Ucha of the APC will also get many votes.
Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo
Incumbent governor Dankwambo is popular in Gombe and may be re-elected. But maybe, just maybe… Anti-PDP sentiments are strong in Gombe as in some other northern states. The APC candidate Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya is equally formidable and stands a chance of winning the ballot on April 11.
Owelle Rochas Anayo Okorocha
Incumbency surely has an advantage. But the current governor of Imo State has no chance of benefitting from incumbency. He won election in 2011 under the APGA platform. He led a section of the party to the APC when three other parties were merging two years ago. Not very popular in Imo, Okorocha may be toppled by the APGA candidate in this year’s governorship poll, Emmanuel Iheanacho, or the PDP candidate, former governor Chukwuemeka Nkem Ihedioha.
Aminu Ibrahim Ringim
The fate of the PDP candidate and outgoing governor Sule Lamido’s anointed successor is quite uncertain. Likely to gather more votes is the APC candidate, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar. If rigging is curtailed, Ringim will stand no chance.
Umaru Tanko Al-Makura
Victory will not come easy for this incumbent governor and APC candidate. In a state divided by ethnic and religious crises like Nasarawa, anything could happen at the polls. Al-Makura will have to contend with PDP candidate Yusuf Mohammed Agabi and APGA candidate Labaran Maku.
Simon Bako Lalong
Plateau is the hotbed of controversy. Voters are likely to go the ethnic way. Rigging may be dangerous. Many would-be voters are already dead, thanks to ethnic militias operating in the state for the past six years. Either the APC candidate or the PDP candidate Gyang Nyam Shom Pwajok will win. One or two other parties are likely to run with chunks of the vote also.
Wike Ezenwo Nyesom
A candidate that is an enemy of an incumbent governor can only win with the help of external forces. This PDP candidate and former minister is backed by the presidency. The APC candidate , Dakuku Adol Peterside, stands a chance of winning, especially as his party’s presidential candidate has won. A run-off should be expected here.
Darius Dickson Ishaku
This man is almost certain to be elected governor on April 11. But mark the words “almost certain”. Religious and ethnic sentiments are strong in Taraba. He is running against a woman: Aisha Jummai Alhassan of the APC. Either of them could win.
Gaidam has two major advantages: he is the incumbent governor and he is in the APC. Had he performed well in his first term and had Boko haram not happened, the contest of April 11 would have been a walkover for Gaidam. He won’t say that loud; the PDP candidate, Adamu Maina Waziri, is listening! The people will decide their fate.
CERTAIN TO LOSE…
Anybody whose name has not been mentioned above is, likely, an also-ran candidate. They are many — more than 200 of them in this year’s contest. Some in LP, APGA, SDP and PPA may get large votes, but they will stand no chance of being elected.