As the political landscape in Nigeria continues to evolve, the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Kogi State is poised to be a pivotal moment.
With 1.8 million registered voters set to cast their ballots on November 11, 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released crucial data outlining the scale and significance of this electoral event.
Key Electoral Figures
According to INEC, Kogi State boasts over two million registered voters, with 1.8 million individuals obtaining their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs). The election is scheduled to unfold across 3,508 polling units, spanning the 21 Local Government Areas (LGAs) that constitute the state. These LGAs encompass Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Bassa, Dekina, Ibaji, Idah, Igalamela/Odolu, Ijumu, Kabba-Bunu, Kogi, Lokoja, Mopamuro, Ofu, Ogori-Magongo, Okene, Okehi, Olamaboro, Omala, Yagba-East, and Yagba-West.
Dr. Gabriel Longpet, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, affirmed that the commission is fully prepared for the election, asserting a readiness level of 100%. This includes logistical arrangements, personnel training, and other essential preparations to ensure a smooth electoral process.
The Contenders: List of Gubernatorial Candidates
As anticipation builds, 18 candidates from various political parties are set to vie for the coveted position of Kogi State Governor.
Here’s an overview of some key candidates:
1. Usman Ododo – APC
Usman Ododo, popularly known as O.A.U, emerged as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate. Hailing from the Kogi Central Senatorial district, Ododo enjoys the support of the incumbent governor, Yahaya Bello.
2. Dino Melaye – PDP
Dino Melaye, often referred to as SDM, represents the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). A former senator from the Kogi West senatorial district, Melaye seeks to break new ground in a district yet to produce a governor since the state’s creation.
3. Muri Ajaka – SDP
Muri Ajaka, after losing at the APC primaries, secured the governorship ticket of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). Backed by the Igalas, one of the largest ethnic groups in Kogi State, Ajaka aims for a political resurgence.
4. Leke Abejide – ADC
Elder Leke Abejide, a serving lawmaker, represents the Africa Democratic Congress (ADC). Hailing from the same senatorial district as PDP’s Melaye, Abejide’s candidacy is poised to impact the electoral dynamics.
5. Adejo Okeme – LP
Adejo Okeme is the Labour Party’s (LP) candidate. While his party had a noteworthy outing in the February 2023 presidential polls, Okeme is perceived as a political lightweight in the state.
6. Fatima Suleiman – ZLP
Fatima Suleiman of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) is the sole female candidate in the race, bringing diversity to the gubernatorial contest at 48 years old.
- Musa Mubarak (NNPP)
- Muhammed Umar (BP)
- Onaji Frank (APP)
- Isah Dauda (APM)
- Ilonah Kingsley (APGA)
- Elukpo Julius (ADP)
- Buraimoh Olayinka (AA)