The postponement of the governorship and National Assembly elections earlier scheduled to hold tomorrow has provided an opportunity for state governors seeking reelection or who have preferred successors to engage in last minute campaigns.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had postponed the governorship and state house of assembly elections scheduled for tomorrow to Saturday March 18.
It said following the ruling by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (EPT) on the reconfiguration of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) used for the February 25 Presidential election, it met to assess its impact on its preparations for the governorship exercise.
According to LEADERSHIP Friday checks across the states revealed that the state governors have availed themselves of the seven days provided by the postponement to further woo the electorate with promotions, jobs and intervention programmes, all in a bid to entice the voters.
It was learnt that the governors and their political parties are still enveloped in palpable fear in the aftermath of upsets recorded by opposition parties, especially the Labour Party (LP), in the February 25, 2023 presidential and National Assembly polls.
In states like Lagos, Delta, Kano, Kaduna, Gombe, Nasarawa and Katsina where the ruling parties performed abysmally, the state governors have intensified efforts to change the tide in the next elections.
In Cross River, Enugu, Plateau Abia, Benue, Taraba and Kebbi States, the governors who are rounding up their second term in office and hitherto planned to retire to the Senate got the shock of their lives, as they were roundly defeated in the senatorial elections in their respective senatorial district.
As a result of the upsets recorded in the last presidential and National Assembly elections, the governors had in the past few days showered the citizens with incentives ranging from promotions and sudden jobs.
In Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, yesterday announced his administration’s implementation of outstanding promotion in the state civil service and fulfill the promise of employing 10,000 youths into the service.
To make true his promise, the governor said he has forwarded the list of members of the Civil Service Commission immediately to the State House of Assembly for screening, because they will oversee the process to fruition.
Wike spoke yesterday when he received on courtesy visit a delegation led by the chairman of the Rivers State branch of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Alex Agwanwor, and the chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), Emechete Chuku, at Government House, Port Harcourt.
He accused the former NLC Chairman in the state, Beatrice Itubo of peddling lies against his administration that pensioners are owed 15 months of entitlements.
The governor said: “We have been paying pension and gratuities every month. Not less than three point something billion Naira is set aside for that purpose, including payment of benefits.
“In fact, the former Accountant General of the State told me yesterday that those of 2016 and 2017 have cleared, but you hear her (Beatrice Itubo) go to say that we have not paid for 15 months. That is unfair.
“It has never happened in this state which built a secretariat for NLC and TUC to at the same time be anti-labour.”
Wike noted that Itubo was also involved in other antagonistic activities that totally destroyed the cordial relationship that once existed between workers and the State government.
The governor warned Rivers workers against supporting Tonye Cole, the Rivers All Progressives Congress (APC) who in connivance with the former minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, sold Rivers assets and are currently facing prosecution over $50 million proceeds from that sale.