Forecast On Governorship Election In Nigeria

Forecast On Governorship Election In Nigeria

With the governorship election to be held across Nigeria on April 11, Saturday, see the forecasts regarding what results to expect from each state.

The victory of Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress candidate, on March 28 resulted in a number of defections from the Peoples Democratic Party and somehow altered the previous forecasts.

The report is based on the fresh analysis and projections provided by The Nation experts.

South West

The governorship polls are to be held in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states. The outcome of the competition will likely be determined by local issues and personalities. However, the Buhari factor could come into play as the people of the region are excited at the prospect of being in the same boat as the party that controls the centre.

Leadership adds with reference to some political pundits that the governorship election may not follow the victorious pattern for the APC, especially in Lagos, Oyo and Ogun.


Before the presidential election, Lagos was believed to be one of the safest states for the APC. The huge effort of President Goodluck Jonathan to win the hearts of the voters seems to have paid off, as by the time the dust settled, only 160,133 votes separated Buhari and Jonathan two weeks ago.

One of the surprises of the polls was the fact that the PDP won in some erstwhile APC strongholds like Oshodi-Isolo, Ajeromi Ifelodun, Amuwo-Odofin and Surulere. According to The Nation, Jonathan's strategy of targeting Igbos and South South indigenes worked well.

In order to neutralise that factor, the APC campaign machinery has gone into overdrive trying to woo Igbo voters. But all their efforts were thrown out of joint after the scandalous comment by Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos, who purportedly threatened Igbos with death unless they vote for APC's Akinwunmi Ambode.

Although the APC leaders stressed that their party would not discriminate against any group in the state, the PDP has sought to capitalise on the row to enhance the chances of its candidate, Jimi Agbaje.

Some analysts believe that by trying to set the Igbos against indigenes, the PDP has not played smart politics which could result in the outrage of locals. Just as a substantial number of Igbos live in Lagos, there are also a great number of settlers from the North who equally have their political preferences.

There is also an opinion that the Igbos are very pragmatic in their political behaviour outside their home territory. In the end, they would decide which side best favours their business and other interests.

Jimi Agbaje is said to be still battling serious issues within the PDP. The unresolved situation might affect his aspiration to govern Lagos.

An additional advantage for the APC is that it enjoys massive control over political structures in Lagos.

Verdict: APC will win.


Based on the outcome of the March 28 elections, observers have concluded that the support base of the PDP in the state is daily being depleted ahead of the governorship election, giving an impression that Gboyega Isiaka, the PDP governorship candidate, may soon be alone and fighting a lost battle.

Another thing that evidences against the PDP's success in the guber polls is that on Thursday, Otunba Osinubi, the party candidate for the House of Representatives for Ijebu Central Federal Constituency, defected to the APC and vowed to support Governor Ibekunle Amosun's re-election.

And finally, analysts say that the majority of Ogun people believe that Amosun has performed well in his first term.

Verdict: APC will win.


With the unimpressive performance of the PDP, APC's Governor Abiola Ajimobi is likely to stay in office for another term. It seems that only the Adebayo Alao Akala-led Labour Party (LP) is left to challenge the incumbent governor.

The APC is enjoying the support of all the first class monarchs of the state. Plus the massive support for the APC demonstrated by the people of Ibadan, with the party clinching all available positions, has rubbished all the previous calculations.

Verdict: APC will easily win.

South South

Jonathan won comfortably in the South South on March 28, BUT his loss could dampen the enthusiasm of his party men.


Here the PDP polled 414,863 against APC’s 28,368 votes. Therefore, it is almost certain that Senator Ben Ayade will become the new governor of the state.

Although it might be not that simple after Buhari's win, critics still say that Odey Ochicha, the APC's candidate, lacks political experience and has never won any election.

The Nation concludes that unless the unthinkable happens...

Verdict: PDP will win.


The APC in the state insisted that 953,304 votes scored by President Jonathan on March 28 were concocted. The party alleged serious irregularities and manipulations.

Umana Umana, the APC's governorship candidate, is from the Uyo district with the largest voting population in the state. He is also popular in the Oron, and five LGAs in Akwa Ibom south. His candidature is supported by the former governor Victor Attah and former petroleum minister Don Etiebet.

But he is up against formidable forces in the PDP, led by Governor Godswill Akpabio, and the PDP's candidate Udom Emmanuel. Akpabio is a major financer of the party, so he shouldn’t have challenges in spending to enable his anointed candidate win.

Verdict: Battleground.


One of the toughest competitions is expected in Rivers, between APC's Dakuku Peterside and PDP's Nyesom Wike.

Wike is supported by Patience Jonathan, the First Lady, but opposed by influential opinion leaders like former minister Chief Alabo Graham Douglas and Ijaw activist Annkio Briggs.

Analysts believe that the support by the Ikwerre and Ogoni nationalities for or against the two major candidates would go a long way to determine who wins.

Buhari's victory reportedly galvanised the members of the party to deliver the governorship seat for the APC on April 11; the opposite situation is observed in the PDP's camp.

Jonathan's victory is still a subject of controversy in the state. Based on the report, if the INEC and security agents are neutral, the APC may win by a slight margin.

Verdict: APC might win.


Senator Ifeanyi Okowa of the PDP is believed to be a confident favourite in this race.

A few factors are working in Okowa’s favour. First, two decades of political experience. Second, support of many political stakeholders in the state on account of the zoning formula, which favours the Delta North where he hails from. Third, long-lasting domination of the PDP in Delta's political landscape.

As for Olorogun Emerhor, the APC, the businessman turned politician, his aspiration is not helped by the party's lack of structures in the state. Unlike his major challenger, he lacks political experience.

Though many Deltans believe that Emerhor has what is required to take the state to the next level if elected governor, the division within the leadership of his ethnic group, many of whom are allegedly pro-PDP, may work against him at the polls.

Verdict: PDP will win.

South East

The unexpected claim by the PDP of ALL the National Assembly seats from the zone, coupled with the victory of APC’s Buhari at the presidential election, might generate an interesting development in the state.

Initially the PDP was the favourite, but Buhari's emergence as the president-elect may have changed the situation.


Governor Theodore Orji effectively controls the PDP party machinery. The party has dictated direction in the state for years.

The development altered tremendously during the preparations for this year’s governorship primaries as most opposition political parties fielded what a political commentator in Umuahia described as "equally strong governorship candidates, whose dynamism brought life to the opposition parties once despised in Umuahia Government House."

Another factor that helps the three parties, including the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and their candidates is zoning. They all come from the zone widely favoured to produce the next governor of the state.

Thus, there are three major contenders for the governorship seat.

While Ikpeazu’s PDP is confident to emerge the winner, Nyerere and Otti’s supporters believe that Buhari's victory has neutralized the political temperature in the state, creating a more level playing field.

Verdict: PDP will win.


Traditionally a PDP state. As it stands, supporters of the embattled Governor Martin Elechi, who moved to the Labour Party from where they have arguably taken the shine off the PDP at governorship campaigns, are major contenders to the Ebonyi governorship race.

Chief Edward Nkwegu, PDP's guber candidate, enjoys the support of Elechi and the former minister of health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, who lost the PDP ticket to the deputy governor, Dave Umahi, in very controversial circumstances.

Umahi, who is the governorship candidate of the ruling PDP, has, since his dramatic emergence, fought a brave battle with supporters of Elechi. While his supporters say he has done enough to be reckoned with as a major contender, others believe he and his party, the PDP, will be major casualties of the result of the presidential election and the emergence of the APC’s Buhari as the president-elect. This is because Umahi’s strength had been traced to his long connection to FCT Abuja and the Aso Rock. But with the imminent change of baton, it is doubtful if the deputy governor and the state PDP will still get the kind of backing many anticipated they would receive in order to win the governorship race.

Some reports have already alleged that the supporters of Elechi in Labour may find an alliance with the APC very attractive. If this happens, they may easily win the governorship election.

Verdict: PDP will win.


Since the dramatic reconciliation of the deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu-led faction of the PDP in Enugu State and that of Governor Sullivan Chime, its candidate Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has remained the top contender.

However, an active APC campaign accompanied by Buhari's win is threatening Ugwuanyi's victory.

The Nation exclusively learned that many grassroots political leaders in the state are now willing to work for the APC.

Verdict: PDP to win.


Imo state is an APC state, with Governor Rochas Okorocha flying the flag of his party for the governorship race.

Before his emergence, Imo had belonged to the PDP.

In the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission in the state, the PDP, besides winning the presidential race, cleared the National Assembly seats.

Okorocha insisted that the election was rigged.

With the emergence of APC’s Buhari as the president-elect, observers say the state elections in Imo will be different. Ikechukwu Anyanwu said, following March 28:

"We know we have long association with PDP and there are many influential politicians in the party, there is no doubt that APC, the ruling party, will do better in next week’s elections."

The governorship is a three-horse race between the APC, fielding Governor Rochas Okorocha, the PDP, fielding deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, and the APGA, fielding Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho.

Still, the victory will be apparently by the incumbent governor.

Verdict: APC will win.

North East

Ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency, the region is expected to vote for change, as it did at the presidential election.


The race in Adamawa has been turned on its head by a massive wave of defections this week from the ranks of the PDP.

With the backing of the Christian community, the SDP candidate, Marcus Gundiri, is set to give APC candidate, Jibrilla Bindow, a good fight. The APC in the state is also projecting a united front with the ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar now backing Bindow.

At the presidential election the APC polled 374,701 votes vs the PDP’s 251,664 votes.

But with the ruling party experiencing a massive uprising within its ranks against the Ribadu candidacy, the margin of its defeat could be wider on April 11 as momentum is clearly on the side of the APC.

Verdict: APC will win.


This state might make history by electing the first female governor, the APC’s Senator Aisha Jummai Alhassan. Some have said the APC candidate’s gender could work against her. But the counter argument is that Muri Emirate solidarity is a stronger factor that would neutralize any misgivings about electing a woman as the governor.

The competition with Darius Dickson Ishaku of the PDP is likely to be tough, based on the results of the presidential race.

Of great significance would be how the three senatorial districts vote on Saturday. Historically, the North and Central districts (Muri Emirate) tend to band together, while Taraba South which is made up of parts of the state that came from old Gongola and Benue-Plateau tends to go in a different direction. Alhassan is from Taraba North, while Ishaku is from Taraba South.

The challenge for the PDP is the division amongst its members in the South senatorial district. Some who allege that Ishaku was imposed as the party’s candidate would have preferred David Sabo-Kente – a former accountant at the National Assembly, Abuja.

Rather than lying low after losing the PDP ticket, Sabo-Kente went on to pick the gubernatorial ticket of the SDP and has vowed to stay in the race. The upshot is that these two rivals would split the votes in their stronghold – leaving Alhassan to sweep the Muri Emirate clean.

The are also rumours that after Jonathan's loss, many local PDP leaders are double-dealing behind the scenes by working for Alhassan.

Verdict: Too close to call.


The PDP's 86,085 votes compared to APC’s 931,598 votes has left other parties with little hope in the governorship poll.

Unless a miracle happens, the battle is over here.

Verdict: APC will win.


The battle for the soul of Gombe is between the incumbent governor and the PDP flag bearer, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, and Alhaji Muhammed Inuwa Yahaya of the APC, Leadership notes.

Recall the confident victory of the APC at the presidential election. Plus the Buhari phenomenon as a decisive factor. Thus...

Verdict: APC will win.


With APC’s huge votes of 473,543 in Borno state during the presidential election and PDP’s paltry 25,640 votes, it's clear what party is to emerge the winner.

Verdict: APC will win.


The outcome is also quite predictable: the incumbent Governor Ibrahim Gaidam (APC) will win. On the other hand, the PDP has been battling divisions within its ranks since it concluded its governorship primaries.

Verdict: APC will win.

North West

In general, the zone is mostly pro-Buhari, however the PDP controls the state governments in Kebbi, Jigawa, Katsina and Kaduna.


APC’s Sen. Atiku Bagudu is a favourite, with Gen. Sarkin Yaki Bello of the PDP being his closest challenger. Although the APC won confidently on March 28, they won't stop working hard before securing the victory on April 11.

Verdict: APC will win.


This is the home state of Buhari. The PDP's Musa Nashuni has almost no chance of defeating the APC's candidate, ex-Speaker Aminu Masari.

Verdict: APC will win.


Surprises are not coming from this state, after 1,903,999 votes (APC) vs 215,779 on March 28. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is sure to emerge the winner.

Verdict: APC will win.


Having lost the presidency on March 28, the only hope left for Vice President Namadi Sambo is to win the governorship slot for the PDP in Kaduna state. His political godson and incumbent governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, faces a Herculean electoral contest against the candidate of the APC, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the former minister of FCT.

Verdict: APC will win.


This is an APC stronghold. In the presidential election, the party floored the PDP with 612,202 to 144,833 votes. Nothing substantial may change during the governorship poll because the masses are still behind ex-Governor Sani Yerima and his political godson, Abdulaziz Yari. Since 1999, the PDP has not won the governorship election in Zamfara state.

Verdict: APC will win.


The competition is between Mohammed Badaru Abubakar (APC) and Mallam Aminu Ibrahim Ringim (PDP).

The race is a litmus test for the political survival of Governor Sule Lamido (PDP) who has developed Jigawa in an unprecedented manner in the last eight years. He was quoted as saying after the presidential polls:

"There is a tendency for bandwagon effect but it is up to us to work very hard."

Verdict: APC will win.


The APC remains the party to beat in the state.

The governorship contest is also a family affair in Sokoto where the leading candidate, Senator Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of the APC is pitched against his political mentor, Senator Abdalla Wali of the PDP.

Verdict: APC will win.

North Central

It's mostly a PDP-controlled region, excluding Kwara and Nasarawa. However, the party stronghold was devastated by 'Hurricane Buhari'.

The results this weekend may still be determined by a complex mix of ethnic and religious politics that is never far from the surface in this zone.


With the PDP losing two out of the three senatorial seats in the state, the governorship election could be slipping from its grasp.

The momentum is currently on the side of the APC. The top candidates are the ex-minister Samuel Ortom (APC) backed by Sen. George Akume, a former PDP national chairman, Sen. Barnabas Gemade and ex-minister Audu Ogbeh among others. Governor Suswam’s anointed candidate is Prince Terhemen Tarzor.

Verdict: APC will win.


After the presidential election, for the first time since 1999, the fortunes of the PDP in Plateau state dipped in the state pointing to the significance of the crack in its fold.

At the presidential ballot, the party secured 549,615 votes to defeat the APC which garnered 429,140 votes.

Motivated by the urge for a power shift, the people of Southern and Central Plateau have opted for the APC leaving only Plateau North in their opponents grasp.

Simon Lalong, the APC guber candidate, is from Southern Plateau and his deputy is from Plateau Central.

The PDP picked its candidate from Plateau North and the deputy from Plateau Central.

Verdict: Battleground.


With 16 governorship candidates in the state, the real competition will be between Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed (APC) and Senator Simeon Sule Ajibola (PDP).

A coronation is likely in the state going by the mood of voters at last Saturday’s presidential election where they voted massively for the APC with 302,146 votes compared to PDP’s 32,602.

The problems with the PDP in the state are a wrong choice of candidate; restriction of the political influence of its candidate, Ajibola, to only Kwara South Senatorial District; the recourse to religious and ethnic politics by Ajibola; abandonment by other PDP governorship aspirants except Prof Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem (the director of the Ajibola campaign organization) as well as the sudden loss of support from the centre and the PDP financier in the state, Hajiya Bola Shagaya.

Meanwhile, the APC demonstrated the ability to keep Kwara united; the strong platform of the late Wazirin of Ilorin, Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki; the political support from Sen. Gbemisola Saraki; the religious factor; and the bandwagon effect of Buhari’s victory.

Verdict: The state is 70-30 in favour of the APC.


Based on the March 28 outcome, the governorship elections in Nasarawa is an even fight between the APC candidate, Governor Umar Tanko Al-Makura, and PDP’s Yusuf Mohammed Igabi.

The factors to influence the results: ethnicity; religion; godfathers; coalition of forces and performance in office.

Verdict: Battleground.


The battle in Niger state is purely that of former army generals and officers whose children are contesting. The APC candidate, Abubakar Sani Bello, is the son of a former army chief and a key stakeholder in MTN, Col. Sani Bello (retd). The PDP candidate, Umar Mohammed Nasko, is a scion of Gen. Gado Nasko’s family.

After the humiliating defeat of Governor Babangida Aliyu in the Niger East Senatorial District election on March 28 and with APC polling 657,678 votes vs PDP’s 149,222 votes at the presidential polls, it is expected that...

Verdict: APC will win.


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Khadijah Thabit (Copyeditor) Khadijah Thabit is an editor with over 3 years of experience editing and managing contents such as articles, blogs, newsletters and social leads. She has a BA in English and Literary Studies from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Khadijah joined in September 2020 as a copyeditor and proofreader for the Human Interest, Current Affairs, Business, Sports and PR desks. As a grammar police, she develops her skills by reading novels and dictionaries. Email:

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