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G-5 states and the presidential election




Voting in the five states governed by members of the Integrity Group (G5 governors) is not expected to follow the same pattern tomorrow.

The G5 governors, who are Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members, opted out of the party’s presidential campaign, insisting that the national chairman Sen. Iyorchia Ayu, must step down as a condition to support the candidate, Atiku Abubakar, tomorrow’s election. They have insisted on power shift to the South or a southerner should be the national chairman.

The governors are Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Okezie Ipkeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuayi (Enugu) and Samuel Ortom (Benue).

Their decision not to campaign for Atiku left the five states up for grab by other candidates.


In Oyo State, Makinde’s refusal to campaign for Atiku will most likely tilt the outcome of the election more in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Other leading presidential candidates are Atiku (PDP), Peter Obi (LP) and Rabiu Kwankwanso (NNPP).

As residents cast the ballot in the presidential election, the following factors will most likely shape voting patterns.

APC’s strength

The APC is still strong in Oyo State. The structure is still intact despite the aggrieved members that defected to Accord after controversial primaries. The new leader and governorship candidate, Sen. Teslim Folarin, has succeeded in bringing many back into the fold.

The party has been using the structure to campaign for the presidential candidate across the nooks and crannies of the state. This factor will surely earn Tinubu a lot of votes across the state.

Tinubu’s emergence

Since the formation of the APC in 2014, Tinubu has been leading the party in Southwest Nigeria. Now that he emerged the presidential candidates, even the aggrieved members who defected to Accord have vowed to vote for him as they believe in his leadership and ability to turn Nigeria around.

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Makinde’s open arms to Tinubu

While Makinde did not officially receive Atiku in Ibadan during his campaign, he received Tinubu and extolled his virtues, saying he has demonstrated capacity and paid his dues in Nigerian politics. The warm reception has been interpreted by his followers as being positive to his aspiration. He has always been saying at campaign grounds: “Vote for all our Senate and House of Representatives candidates. But for presidency, vote for unity, equity and inclusiveness.” Hence, most of Makinde’s supporters will vote for the APC candidate.

Ethnic loyalty

The fact that Tinubu is the only Yoruba among the top four candidates is a factor that will fetch him thousands of votes in Oyo State. A lot of Nigerians see his emergence as aligning with power rotation between Northern and South. Many believe that the presidency should come to the South for the purpose of unity and equity.

However, a PDP chieftain and one of the coordinators of Atiku-for-president campaign, Hazeem Gbolarumi, assured that Atiku will win. He said the level of work undertaken by the campaign team was such that no other candidate can defeat Atiku in Oyo State.

The crowd that received Tinubu in Ibadan for his campaign last Thursday gave a good signal for victory. The crowd endured eight hours of scorching sun to catch a glimpse of the APC candidate.

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Atiku will likely come second because of the factor of power rotation and division in the PDP. While Atiku has only few vote canvassers, Tinubu has them in large number, in Oyo State. The above factors will most likely weaken Atiku’s chances despite the fact that PDP is well rooted in the state.

Sen. Soji Akanbi, who is a major campaigner for Tinubu, said: “We have done our best. We have educated our people on the fact that Tinubu is the best candidate in terms of capacity, ability and courage. He is also the most experienced. He is the round peg in round hole, sentiment apart. He is the only candidate that can take Nigeria out of the woods.”

Obi will likely come third because of millennials who see him as the symbol of the kind of new generation politicians needed to rebuild Nigeria.

The NNPP candidate Rabiu Kwankwanso is expected to come fourth in the election.


In Benue State, Ortom did not only refuse to campaign for Atiku, but has reportedly declared support for Obi. His choice was interpreted to be in furtherance of the campaign for power shift to the South.

With his endorsement for the LP candidate, Benue has become a battle ground for the APC, PDP and LP candidates, given the strength of both APC and PDP in the state. Obi is now the third force that can not be wished away in the state.


The PDP is still very popular in Abia, despite Ikpeazu’s position. The party has governed the state from 1999. The first governor, Sen. Orji Uzo Kalu, who defected to the APC and won his senatorial seat. He has been pulling a lot of strings for the party in the state.

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Considering ethnic loyalty, LP’s Obi is expected to pull weight while core PDP members and supporters will stick with Atiku as a matter of party loyalty.

Besides, the governor has not campaigned against Atiku.


The same factors that play out in Abia will also determine voting patterns in Enugu State. Both Atiku and Obi are expected to take the lead given the factors highlighted above. But the influence of a former governor Sen. Chimaroke Nnamani, and others who has declared support for Tinubu can not be wished away.


Voting patterns in Rivers may surprise many Nigerians. Wike, who is leading the G5, has reportedly directed his supporters to vote for Tinubu of APC. Though observers hold that his directive will not bring a substantial change to the vote patterns, Nigerians are likely to see Atiku, Tinubu and Obi share the votes. In fact, APC is expected to poll higher number of votes this time unlike in 2019.

Wike opened his door to the three presidential candidates that went to campaign in the state. Atiku never went to Rivers for campaign.

The G5 position is sure to mar Atiku’s chances of clear victory in the five states, thereby threatening his overall victory in the election. After Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Kastina and Rivers, Oyo State ranks next in voting strength. In fact, both Rivers and Oyo states recorded between 700,000 and 800,000 votes for both APC and PDP candidates in the 2019 election.


Yusuf Abba: Kwankwaso’s PA, son-in-law who will be governor of Kano





Yusuf Kabir Abba was declared the winner of the 2023 governorship election in Kano state on Monday. The flagbearer of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) beat his arc-rival, Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to claim victory in the state.

From personal assistant to governor-elect — who is Yusuf Abba, the man who will become Kano governor?

Abba was born in the year Nigeria became a republic, in 1963. He was born on January 5, 1963 in Gaya LGA of Kano state. He would later attend Sumaila primary school and government secondary school Lautai in the old Kano state.

His secondary education was in Gumel LGA, which is now in Jigawa State. Upon graduation from government secondary school in 1980, he went on to the federal polytechnic, Mubi, where he obtained his national diploma in civil engineering in 1985.

He went on to specialise in water resources/environmental engineering in 1989 at Kaduna Polytechnic. Upon graduation, he served in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at Kaduna Environmental Protection Agency from 1989 to 1990.

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QUICK FACT: On May 29, 2023, he will become the second Water Engineer to be governor of Kano state in the fourth republic.


Abba might be the first personal assistant (PA) to a fourth republic governor to become governor. Abba served as PA to Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the NNPP, while he was governor of Kano state from 1999 to 2003.

He also served in the same capacity and also as special assistant to Kwankwaso, in his role as minister of defence in the Olusegun Obasanjo cabinet from 2003 to 2007.

In a 2019 interview with Daily Trust, Abba said he served as PA to Kwankwaso for 12 years, from 1999 to 2011. In 2011, he served in Kwankwaso’s government as a private secretary to the government and was later appointed commissioner for works, housing and transport.

Abba has been with Kwankwaso for 37 years, serving in different capacities.

“Kwankwaso is my leader. I worked with Kwankwaso even when I was in the civil service in the state. I worked under him and have been with him for almost 33 years,” Abba said in 2019.

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“In all these years, he has been over and above me so I know him to be my leader, my oga! So people shouldn’t be surprised if I give him the utmost respect and utmost trust. I was his PA during his first tenure from 1999 to 2011”.


In 2014, Kwankwaso supported his deputy, Abdullahi Ganduje, in becoming the governor of Kano state. In a few months after the election, both men fell out. Ganduje launched what became a clear attack on Kwankwaso and the Kwankwasiyya movement.

By 2019, Kwankwaso mobilised against Ganduje and supported Yusuf Abba in unseating Ganduje. Abba went on to win the election in the first round, but his victory was not to be as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared a supplementary election in 28 of 44 local government areas in the state.

Following the conduct of the supplementary poll, Ganduje was declared the winner with less than 9,000 votes ahead of Abba, who had initially won with over 26,000 votes.

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Abba, who is also married to Kwankwaso’s niece, moved with Kwankwaso to the New Nigeria Peoples Party, where they both became flagbearers for presidential and gubernatorial elections. Both men won the elections in the state, but Kwankwaso lost the presidential poll.

As Kwankwaso’s loyalist and son-in-law, Abba will be putting an end to Ganduje’s reign in the state, with expectations that he would be avenging the Kwankwasiyya movement.

He has however said he will not be tied to Kwankwaso’s apron, but be a man for himself, stating that he will only take advice from the former governor.

“He will never interfere in my work. Secondly, if he interferes, in terms of advice, I know that where I go correctly he will encourage me to put in more and where I go wrong he will correct me and tell me what to do. But as far as issues of governance are concerned, believe me, sincerely he is not going to interfere,” he had said.

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APC’s Reverend Father Alia wins Benue guber election





Hyacinth Alia, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has won the Benue state governorship election.

Alia, a reverend father, garnered 473,933 votes to defeat Titus Uba, the candidate of the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP), who polled 223,913 votes, to be declared the winner on Monday.

Herman Hembe of the Labour Party (LP) scored 41,881 votes.

Faruk Kuta, vice chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, and the returning officer of the Benue state gubernatorial election, announced the results on Monday at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation centre in Makurdi, the state’s capital.

Out of the 23 LGAs in Benue, Alia secured 17, while Uba clinched four and Hembe got one.

TheCable had reported how elections were rescheduled in Kwande LGA over following a mix-up of ballot papers on Saturday.

However, Kuta, said Alia was declared the winner in line with the electoral act and the INEC guidelines.

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The law provides for a winner to be declared if the margin of lead of the candidate surpasses the number of registered voters or those who have collected their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) in an LGA.

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Breaking: APC’s Otu wins Cross River governorship election





The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Senator Bassey Otu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the governorship election in Cross River State.

He defeated Sandy Ojang Onor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party.

Otu polled 258,619 votes to emerge winner of the election, while Onor of the PDP scored 179, 636 votes to come second, while Labour Party’s candidate polled 5,957 votes.

Eleven political parties contested the election in Cross River State.

See full results below:

Total registered voters: 1, 766,460

Total Voters Accredited: 466, 294

APC: 258,619

PDP: 179, 636

LP: 5,957

Valid Vote: 451, 933

Rejected votes: 8923

Total valid votes: 460826

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