The Gubernatorial 2019 elections throughout Nigeria was an exercise that drew surprises, joy, violence and blood across the twenty-nine states where they were expected to be held along State Houses of Assembly elections on March 9th. In Nigeria, holding the office of the Governor was a powerful position because they dictate the list of Federal Ministers. They have legal immunity to arrest of any crime including financial.  Most of them spend state money for private social events not paying salary of civil servants. They become politically arrogant when their anointed successor is rejected at the primary election polls. They live flamboyant lives. The position is so attractive that many serving National Assembly members could kill to have the position. The attraction to that office is legion and could not all be written here. Hence, the focus on what we call ‘Guber election’. By 27th March, results of twenty seven states were available from the umpire, Independent National Electoral Commission. It was a period that many phrases were introduced into the political lexicon of Nigeria. We had “Inconclusive Election”; the figure abracadabra of votes cast is far more than expected votes; canceled votes are far more than expected votes etc. The inconclusive thing became a joke that colored the social atmosphere. Check out this carton. The March 9 elections and the various postponements saw the height of violence with thugs killing and burning houses. A serving member of the Federal House of Representative, Temitope Olatoye Sugar was shot in the head at Oluponna, a settlement via Ibadan the Oyo State Capital. He was confirmed dead same day at the University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan. Sitting Governor Ganduje of Kano announced that anybody who was shot or experienced any shooting should come forward and talk. In Rivers State, it was accusation and counter accusation between the State and Federal Government on the use of Federal and fake soldiers. Thugs and cult boys were allegedly arrested by the police. Elections were not held in seven states namely, Anambra; Balyesa; Edo; Ekiti; Kogi; Ondo and Osun because they recently held their gubernatorial elections or the term of the sitting Governor has not expired. State Houses of Assembly elections were however held in the states. Here are the two major winners from each state where elections were conducted, the parties, names and scores.
1.      Abia  
PDP     Okezie Ikpeazu 261127
APC    Uche Ogah 99574
2.      Adamawa
PDP     Ahmadu Fintiri 376552
APC    Jubrila Bindu 336386
3.      Akwa Ibom
PDP     Udom Emmanuel 520163
APC     Nsima Nkere 172244
4.      Bauchi
PDP     Bala Mohammed 472,966
APC    Mohammed Abubakar 468,436
5.      Benue  
PDP     Samuel Ortom 434473
APC    Emmanuel Jima 345155
6.      Borno
APC    Babagana Zullum 1175445
PDP     Mohammed Imam 66215
7.      Cross River
PDP    Ben Ayade 381484
APC   John Owen-Enoh 131161
8.      Delta
PDP     Ifeanyi Okowa 925274
APC    Great Ogboru 215038
9.      Ebonyi
PDP     David Umahi 393049
APC    Sonni Ogbuoji 135903
10.  Enugu
PDP     Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi 449935
APC     Ayogu Eze 10423
11.  Gombe
APC    Inuwa Yahaya 364179
PDP    Usman Nafada 222868
12.  Imo
PDP     Emeka Ihedioha 273404
AA       Uche Nwosu 190364
13.  Jigawa
APC    Mukhtar Shehu 810933
PDP     Bello Mutawalla 288356
14.  Kaduna
APC     Nasril ElRufai 1044710
PDP      Isah Asiru   814168
15.  Kano
PDP     Abba Yussuf 1024713
APC    Abdullahi Ganduje 1033695
16.  Katsina
APC    Aminu Masari 1178868
PDP    Yakubu Lado 488705
17.  Kebbi
APC    Abubakar Bagudu 673717
PDP     Isa Galaudu 102625
18.  Kwara
APC    AbdulRahaman AbdulRasak 331546
PDP     Rasak Atunwa 115310
19.  Lagos
APC    Babajide Sanwoolu 739445
PDP     Jimi Agbaje 206141
20.  Nasarawa
APC    Abdullahi Sule 327229
PDP     David Ombugadu 184259
  21.  Niger
APC     Abubakar Bello 526351
PDP      Umar Nasko 298056
22.  Ogun
APC    Dapo Abiodun 241670
APM   Adekunle Akinlade 222153
23.  Oyo  
PDP     Seyi Makinde 515621
APC    Bayo Adelabu 357982
24.  Plateau
APC    Simon Lalung 562109
PDP     Jeremiah Useni 559437
25.  Rivers (Undeclared) PDP     Nyesom Wike AAC    Biokpomabo Awara             173,859 886,264
26.  Sokoto
PDP     Aminu Tambuwal 512002
APC     Ahmed Aliyu 511660
27.  Taraba
PDP     Darius Ishaku 520433
APC     Sani Danladi 362735
28.  Yobe
APC    Mai Mala Buni 444013
PDP     Umar Damagun 95803
29.  Zamfara
APC    N/A 534541
PDP     N/A 189452
  Take a look at this.     INFOGRAPH: Governorship Elections: APC holds 15 states; PDP 11; three outstanding (FULL DETAILS)… [CREDIT: GEORGE KADUNA] The results presented are far more than the map presentation from Premium Times. APC holds 15 States; PDP 12. We were expecting Adamawa and Rivers States when Samuel Ogundipe released the report that contained this info graph.   There were interesting moments.
  1. Incumbent Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal of the PDP emerged from the Inconclusive brouhaha to win any 2019 Guber Election with the lowest score of 342. He escaped by the gap of the skin of the tooth.
  2. At a time, Babagana Zullum of APC in Borno looked good to emerge the highest vote scoring Governor with 1,109,230 until his compatriot Aminu Masari also of the APC but from the Home State of President Muhammadu Buhari – Katsina scored 1,178,868 votes.
  ZONAL BINOCULARS.
  1. NORTH WEST. It was hell on earth for the two main horses – APC and PDP. Kano was particularly thug invested with allegations that incumbent Governor who later won did vote buying and compromised some of the INEC officials. Ganduje became Mr. Gandudollars. Tambuwal who defected to PDP scored 512,002 to APC’s Ahmed Aliyu’s
511,660 and the difference of 342 votes. ElRufai of Kaduna knew that “the Christians hated me” especially over the numerous killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna of which the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) alleged his complicity and his stubborn choice of a Muslim female Deputy. Some alleged he brought Marabouts from India. He had to look for a church and plead that even Jesus thought of forgiveness. He won. That is Kaduna politics. Masari won by ‘Moon slide’ in Katsina; Bagudu in Kebbi and Mukhtar Shehu in Jigawa for APC to clear the zone.  
  1. NORTH EAST. PDP successfully pulled two upsets in this zone. Former FCT Minister, Bala Mohammed with a differential of 4,530 snatched victory from incumbent Governor, Mohammed Abubakar. That was Bauchi State. Ahmadu Finitiri with 32,116 differentials knocked out Governor Jibrila Bindo in Adamawa. The nests were not ruffled for APC in Yobe, Borno or Gombe which were fundamentally Buhari’s enclaves even before he joined APC. PDP took their traditional Taraba.
 
  1. NORTH CENTRAL. Two juggernauts fell like Iroko tree in this zone. Former FCT Minister, Lt. General Jeremiah Useni fingered in many things like the aborted handing over to MKO Abiola in 1993; the death of despotic Sanni Abacha and Senator Extra plenipotentiary being there for long; alleged coup specialist, Jerry boy could not muster political muscle with incumbent Simon Lalong in Plateau State. Jerry is from Langtan tagged the Military enclave of Nigeria because most of their sons held top military positions. He lost flatly.
Incumbent Senate President, Olusola Saraki losing his seat in Kwara State was previously near impossible until the Kwara people swept him off in an ‘O to ge’ (meaning enough of the Saraki dynasty). Saraki did not only lose hopelessly, his candidate for the Guber election, Rasak Atunwa lost in the same way to Abdulrahaman Abdulrasak. Saraki like others defected from APC to PDP and the electorate waited for them. Incumbent Governor, Samuel Ortom of Benue State engulfed in alleged several killings of Fulani Herdsmen of his people had several ‘head-on collision’ with the Federal Government. He emerged a cat with nine lives when he won at the polls.  
  1. SOUTH EAST. It was alleged that if not for the greed of Incumbent Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha APC would have retained that State. He slated his son in-law, Uche Nwosu for his seat while he went for the Senatorial. INEC had to seize his Certificate of Return because the Returning Officer emphasized that Okorocha was declared under duress. Electoral Juggernauts contested with Nwosu for the Guber seat. Former National Assembly Star, Emeka Ihedioha of PDP chalked 234,404 to win the seat. Nwosu with the influence of his father in-law placed a distant second with 190,364. Another former notable Senator, Ifeanyi Ararume of APGA placed third with 114,676 while the man everyone thought would win Hope Uzodinma of APC had his expected votes split by the Okorocha melee as he polled a dismal 96,458 votes. As reflected in the Presidential elections, most of the votes against Buhari were for PDP so the Governors retained their seats easily.
 
  1. SOUTH SOUTH. The battle grounds were Rivers and Akwa Ibom States. Former Governor, Godswill Akpabio who installed Udom Emmanuel and Minority Leader of the PDP in the Senate had defected to APC and had promised to deliver Akwa Ibom State. He shuttled Aso Villa with gaiety beating his chest for victory before elections. It was an amazing victory for Udom Emmanuel.
The Rivers Election was the toughest election ever of any named election in 2019. Blood flowed like water. Fake news took the social media. Money exchanged hands. Gangsterism confused the security chiefs. Fela Anikulapo sang of “Beast of no Nation egbekegbe and Rofo Rofo Fight”. They were the hall mark of Rivers Election. Who cares about the integrity of a State? Allegations of votes being conjured rented the air. There was a local government where votes casted were more than double of votes expected. INEC must have lost sleep. The Military promised to investigate allegations of brutalization by her officers but paraded fake soldiers allegedly on the errand of Nyesom Wike. The Rivers election brought into memory the ‘wetie’ politics of the South West in those days where houses or cars were torched and humans roasted like goats on the streets. Wike won! In other States ‘Gentleman’ Prof. Ben Ayade won Cross River without stress while Ifeanyi Okowa tagged Mr. Sports defeated the ever contesting Great Ogboru of APC. It was a PDP affair in this zone.  
  1. SOUTH WEST. The South West Guber elections started with intrigues from the Primary Elections. The primary elections are where each political party is mandatorily electing their candidates for the general gubernatorial election. Ogun State was laughable. The PDP which has been in main opposition was in confusion. Two main contenders were the son of the famous betting legend, Adebutu Keshington and the Dollar man, Buruji Kashamu who has a long running battle with the law over allegations that he is a drug baron and wanted in America. Atiku Abubakar the Presidential candidate of PDP clearly avoided him at the customary Presidential rally where the Guber candidates were presented. The party eventually didn’t do well at the elections. Then, there was this joker of former Governor, Gbenga Daniel who was Atiku’s Campaign Manager. He told his supporters to vote for APC candidate, Dapo Abiodun who eventually won the coveted seat. Incumbent Governor, Ibikunle Amosun of APC whose term had expired strolled to pick the Senatorial ticket of APC but used State resources to back another Party, APM. He had made a broadcast that in the Presidential election, all should vote Buhari of APC but the fox campaigned openly for APM’s Adekunle Akinlade which is clear evidence of anti-party activities. He would speak from Aso Villa standing with Buhari in the morning and in the afternoon walk the streets of Abeokuta with Akinlade. Top traditional leaders of the state were in one corner with the party’s Aso Ebi which is the common cloth sewn for an occasion in Yorubaland. Akinlade lost to Dapo Abiodun with a differential of 19,517. It was terrifying for Amosun to bear. He has promised to work till twelve midnight of May 28 but on May 29 at about 0900 hours, Abiodun would be sworn in As Ogun State Governor as required by law.
Oyo State that has been the political capital of the Yorubas known with a brand of politics they call ‘Monatan’, that is be diplomatic, trickiest or do not be straight. It was obvious that the personality of the incumbent Governor Ajimobi was going to be the Achilles’ heel for the reigning APC. He wanted to return to the Senate like Amosun of Ogun State but he had personality clashes with Students saying allegedly derogatory words to them and saying he is the “Constituted Authority” of Oyo State. He raised some Baales, which is District Heads to the status of king without the nod of the reigning Olubadan. He lost in court. He demolished Yinka Ayefele’s Radio Station. Ayefele is a popular but challenged Musician. The demolition adjudged to be a political move drew empathy from across the country that people openly rained courses on Ajimobi. He lost his Senatorial bid. So, they saw the victory of the new APC Governor as a continuation of the Ajimobi government for it was alleged that there were manipulations at the APC primaries. The emerging candidate was a Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigerian and grandson of an astute political lord of the old Western Region, Adegoke Adelabu alias PENKELEMESI. A word that came from his usual phrase: “What a Peculiar Mess?” which the Ibadan people turn to Penkelemessi. But Bayo Adedibu is a political novice who has not learnt the tricks of the rope. So Engineer Seyi Makinde of PDP, a fledgling politician used 157,369 differences in votes to floor Penkelemesi’s son. Lagos is the base of the APC political lord, Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT or Jagaban). Veteran contestant Jimi Agbaje had emerged candidate for PDP again. Tinubu had dribbled out the incumbent Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode and posted Babajide Sanwoolu. There was initial noise but not with Tinubu, a known game changer. Bats hang with their heads upside down and observe developments. Then the Igbos became a threat again. They went round telling each other not to vote APC. Tinubu played cards with them. Agbaje hallucinated victory rehearsing the victory dance but Sanwoolu scored 739,445 (75.65% of votes cast) as against 206,141 or whopping 533,304 differences in votes cast between Sanwoolu and Agbaje. Lagos hailed the Jagaban.   CLOSING GLEE. All the victorious Governors-elect have collected their Certificate of Returns and are waiting for their inauguration come May 29. However, the courts are littered with cases challenging about 25 of the 29 elections so conducted. Kogi State will have her elections according to INEC on November 2. The world is waiting for the grammatical gymnastics of legal pundits in the next few months.   *Written by Rev. Eniola Joseph Olatunji, HND Mass Communication (Ogun Poly); Master of Communications Arts MCA (University of Ibadan); Master of Divinity M.Div Baptist Theological Seminary, Kaduna. Former Radio Presenter/Producer/Editor with Ogun State Broadcasting Corporation (OGBC) and Radio Nigeria. Former News Editor, The Republic and Monitor Newspapers. Tel. +2348033114776. Email: eniolatunji@yahoo.com