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ICYM: Ripples Metrics… Road to off-cycle elections: What the numbers are in Kogi, Bayelsa, Imo states



Three states in Nigeria, with a combined estimated population of over 12 million people, would hold the first leg of the country’s off-cycle gubernatorial elections on November 11, 2023.

As voters in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi states look forward to electing governors who would lead them for the next four years, the major rivalry is between the 18 political parties trying to secure the governorship seat.

Nigeria’s two dominant political parties, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Congress (APC), according to RipplesMetics findings, have contended for the seat in the last 16 years and even more.

However, the 2023 off-cycle elections in the three states have seen the advent of other political candidates actively joining the rivalry.

This might not be unconnected to the development seen during the 2023 general election result bringing in candidates of other political parties as lawmakers in the national and state assemblies as well as governors.

Some of these political parties are the Labour Party (LP) and Action Peoples Party (APP) in Bayelsa State; the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Kogi State; and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and LP in Imo state.

As it stands, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that about 239,746 persons are yet to collect their Permanent Voters Cards in the three states.

According to the breakdown by the commission, there are 39,249 uncollected PVCs in Bayelsa, 101,003 in Imo and 99,494 in Kogi States.

INEC said that out of the 1,056,862 total registered voters in Bayelsa State, only 1,017,613 have collected their PVCs. Also, in Imo State, the number of registered voters is 2,419,922 out of which 2,318,919 have collected their PVCs.

While in Kogi State, out of 1,932,654 registered voters, 1,833,160 have collected their PVCs.

READ ALSO:RipplesMetric: 23 Nigerian states attracted zero capital inflow in one year

RipplesMetrics findings show that the top candidates of the 16 contestants in Bayelsa State are Diri Doye (PDP), Timipre Sylva (APC), Eradiri Udemgbmobova (LP) and Ogege Mercy (APP). There are 14 male constants and two female constants.

In Kogi State, of the 18 contestants, the top candidates are Dino Melaye (PDP), Ahmed Usman (APC), Suleiman Fatima (ZLP), Abejide Leke (ADC) and Kingsley Idoko (APGA). There are 17 male constants and one female constant.

While in Imo state, of the 17 male constants, the top contenders are Anyanwu Samuel (PDP), Hope Uzodinma (APC), Achonu Nneji (LP) and Odunzeh Uche (APM).

Meanwhile, a study by the Kimpact Development Initiative said that the three states might likely experience violence following findings of pre-election environment risk assessment.

“Recognising the wide-ranging implications of election security in Nigeria, this study explores the impact of the actions and activities of various state and non-state political actors on the electoral landscape in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States,” the report summary stated.

By James Odunayo

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