New Telegraph

Party Primaries: Govs battle for 2nd term tickets

…move to fix allies in states Assembly, NASS

As political parties in Nigeria begin their primary elections to elect standard-bearers for the 2023 general election, 11 incumbent governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are battling to win the tickets of their respective parties.

The states that their governors are seeking re-election are Ogun, Lagos, Oyo, Nasarawa, Kwara, Zamfara, Bauchi, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa and Gombe. New Telegraph learnt that some of the governors are already sure of winning their parties’ tickets, while uncertainty surrounds the fate of others. It was further learnt that most of the governors would be elected by the parties based on their performance in the last three years. For instance, Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos), AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq (Kwara), Babagana Zulum (Borno) and Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) are running unopposed for the tickets of the respective states.

Sources in the states said that some of these unopposed governors are also positioning their allies and loyalists to occupy the states and National Assembly seats of their respective states to enable them consolidate control of party structures. In Lagos, Governor Sanwo- Olu, unlike his predecessor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has been assured of a second term by the All Progressives Congress (APC) highest decision making organ in the state, Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC). The announcement by the GAC ended the uncertainty that the governor may not seek re-election.

However, the organised system in Lagos APC and the presence of the GAC would not allow Sanwo-Olu to determine those who would represent the National Assembly and state legislature. In Kwara, New Telegraph learnt that Governor Abdul- Razaq has successfully asserted himself as the leader of the ruling APC in the state. As a result, he is the sole aspirant for the governorship ticket of the party in the state. Besides the Sanwo-Olu and AbdulRazaq, the governors of Ogun, Oyo, Yobe, Adamawa and Zamfara governors are facing stiffer contests in their respective states over the calibre of individu- als, who have indicated interest in their parties’ ticket.

In Ogun State, the outcome of the October 16, 2021 state congress is an indication that the party is not united. Some chieftains believe that the party is more divided than it was in the build-up to the 2019 general election based on recent happenings. While political watchers of Zamfara State are of the opinion that the second term bid of Governor Bello Matawalle may hit a deadlock, sources in the state said some chieftains of the party who are interested in contesting for the office of the governor are not comfortable with his defection to the party. Speaking on the development, Secretary-General of the Conference of Nigeria Political parties (CNPP), Chief Willy Ezugwu, told New Telegraph that the governors will always win the ticket of their parties because party structures are under their control.

He added that corrupting in the system will make it possible for the governors to have their way. But a Lagos-based Civil Society Organisation (CSO), the Centre for Public Accountability (CPA) told New Telegraph that Governor Sanwo-Olu deserves a second term ticket from his party.

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