As Nigerians go to polls on Saturday, these are the states you should watch out for the most.
Out of the 36 states of the federation, the March 18 governorship election will take place only in 28 states.
Depending on the decision of the majority of voters in those states, they will either produce new governors or retain the incumbents.
However, it will be interesting to see the outcome of the election in some of these states, because every political party is believed to have put its best foot forward to secure its access to political powers.
So, as Nigerians go to polls on Saturday, these are the states you should watch out for the most.
Lagos politics has taken a new dimension following the victory of the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in the state over Bola Tinubu, the undisputed godfather of Lagos politics. It was a shocking defeat that got the All Progressives Congress (APC) scampering for immediate solutions ahead of the forthcoming governorship election.
While the APC was finding answers to what hit them, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, and the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Abdul-Azeez Adediran (Jandor) had already hit the streets, telling Lagosians they are the better alternatives.
Unlike past elections, where the APC cruised to victory without shedding a bead of sweat, the PDP and the LP candidates are giving the ruling party a run for its money and making it sweat for the first time since 1999.
The governorship election in Kano will be a popularity contest between the outgoing governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, and the former governor of the state, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
The former governor is arguably the biggest politician in Kano, and the high number of votes he garnered in the state in the last presidential election was a testament that he’s a political god there.
The two men are indirectly in the race with Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, Ganduje’s deputy, flying the APC flag, and Abba Kabir Yusuf, a long-time Kwankwaso ally, represents the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).
In essence, the election may be a replay of the closely-fought 2019 governorship election between Ganduje and Yusuf, which the former won after a supplementary election.
The battle about who’ll succeed Nyesom Wike in Rivers state will be a tug of war between the APC, PDP and LP.
As one of the beneficiaries of the Obidient wave, the candidate of the Labour Party, Beatrice Itubo will go into the March 18 governorship election as a strong contender given the recent performance of Peter Obi in the state.
The cat-and-dog relationship between Rotimi Amaechi and Wike will determine how the election turns out as the two have already resumed their bickering to promote their candidates, Tonye Cole and Siminalayi Fubara respectively.
However, after Wike allegedly worked against his own party in the February 25 election, disgruntled PDP chieftains in the state are reportedly prepping to pay him back in his own coin by pitching their tents with the APC candidate.
Governor Seyi Makinde is seeking a second term in a state that takes pride in not serving a master twice, except for the late Abiola Ajimobi who was governor from 2011 to 2019.
With popular Ibadan politicians like the APC’s Teslim Folarin and Adebayo Adelabu of Accord (A) in the race, Makinde will have to slug it out with his opponents and his party chieftains who have accused him of anti-party activities.
The chieftains believe Makinde betrayed his party when he decided to support Tinubu of the APC against, Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of his party.
Will the PDP chieftains in Oyo pay him back in his own coin in the forthcoming election? That remains to be seen.
In the last election, the PDP lost all three senatorial elections to the APC, the LP and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
After losing its initial governorship candidate, Uchenna Ikonne, who died in January, the PDP was forced to present another candidate for the election.
As a result, Okey Ahaiwe, the immediate past Chief of Staff to the state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, emerged as the party’s governorship candidate.
However, the power of incumbency may not clear the coast for Ahaiwe as he has other popular candidates like Alex Otti of the LP and Ikechi Emenike of the APC to beat