Chances of political parties in the governorship elections of Kogi, Imo, and Bayelsa

Busy Bee
Busy Bee November 10, 2023
Updated 2023/11/10 at 3:19 PM

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is set to conduct off-cycle governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo states on November 11.

Approximately five million registered voters in these three states will cast their votes, with 18 political parties vying for the governorship seats in each state.

These off-cycle elections are part of the eight-state off-cycle poll organized by INEC. Earlier this year, Nigeria held its general elections, resulting in the election of a new President and 28 governors, 17 of whom were newly elected, while nine were re-elected for a second and final term. The newly elected officials were inaugurated on May 29.

Even though these states didn’t participate fully in the general elections, they elected lawmakers to represent them in the National Assembly (comprising the Senate and the House of Representatives) and their respective House of Assembly members.

The current governor’s tenure in Imo state expires on January 14, 2024, while the governors of Kogi and Bayelsa states’ terms end on January 26, 2024, and February 13 of the same year.

The ICIR reported on the leading candidates in the three states competing for the governorship positions.

This report by The ICIR assesses the political parties’ chances of winning the governorship seats based on their performance in the National Assembly and State House of Assembly elections conducted in these states in February and March.

Results from the Lawmakers’ Elections:

Kogi State:

  • 1.9 million registered voters, with 1.8 million collecting their Permanent Voters Card (PVC).
  • 25 members of the state House of Assembly and nine National Assembly members were elected.
  • In the state House of Assembly, 22 candidates from the All Progressives Congress (APC), two from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and one from the African Democratic Congress (ADC) emerged victorious.
  • In the House of Representatives, the APC secured six seats, while the ADC and PDP won two and one seat(s) respectively.
  • The APC also won two Senate seats, with the PDP taking one.

Bayelsa State:

  • 1.1 million registered voters, with one million collecting their PVCs.
  • The state’s House of Assembly has 24 seats.
  • The PDP won 17 seats, the APC secured five, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) grabbed two.
  • In the House of Representatives, the PDP won all five seats, and in the Senate, the PDP secured three seats.

Imo State:

  • 2.3 million eligible voters with PVCs out of 2.4 million registered voters.
  • The APC won 25 seats in the state House of Assembly, while the PDP and Accord Party (AP) secured the remaining two.
  • In the House of Representatives, the PDP and APC both won four seats, with the Labour Party (LP) securing two.
  • The APC claimed two Senate seats, while the LP won one.

Projections:

Elected lawmakers are expected to campaign for their respective parties in their local government areas or senatorial districts. Parties with the highest number of lawmakers may have an advantage in the governorship election, provided that voting patterns remain consistent with the last general elections.

Using this as a benchmark, the total number of lawmakers in each state would be as follows: Kogi state has 37 lawmakers, Bayelsa state has 32, and Imo state has 40. The ICIR divided the total number of lawmakers by each political party.

The results indicate that the APC holds an 83.8 percent likelihood of winning the Kogi state election, surpassing 17 other political parties competing for the position. Similarly, in Imo state, the APC boasts a 77.5 percent chance of securing the governorship seat, surpassing 16 other candidates vying for the office.

Conversely, in Bayelsa, the PDP has a 78.1 percent probability of emerging victorious in the election, outshining 15 other candidates in the race.

‘Challenges Remain in Public Engagement’ Paul James, the Head of the Election Program at YIAGA Africa, observed that, based on the experiences and outcomes of the general elections, residents of the three states and INEC are approaching the elections with caution.

James also highlighted that his team received reports from the states indicating attacks on INEC staff during public events. He emphasized that such actions could undermine the integrity of the elections if left unchecked.

He stated, “We are beginning to observe varying levels of engagement and perceptions toward INEC in the states with off-cycle elections. In Imo state, for instance, there was a prevailing public perception that their votes were manipulated in the last elections, and the results released by INEC did not accurately represent their votes.”

However, James pointed out that the commission has been more actively engaging with voters in Bayelsa and Kogi. It’s worth noting that The ICIR previously reported on the challenges faced by voters during the last elections, including violent attacks that resulted in 28 fatalities.

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