The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18 poll in Oyo State, Seyi Makinde has been declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The incumbent Governor defeated his challengers including Labour Party (LP)’s Akinwale Tayo as well as a serving senator, Teslim Folarin of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Makinde polled 563,756 votes to defeat his closest rival who scored 256,685.
In his declaration of Makinde as winner, INEC’s Returning Officer in the state, Prof Adebayo Simeon said, “That Makinde Oluseyi Abiodun of the PDP, having satisfied the requirement of the law is hereby declared the winner and is returned elected by the Returning Officer, Prof Adebayo Simeon on this day 19th of March 2023.”
With the declaration, Makinde is now the second Governor to serve for two terms in the state.
The first governor to serve for two terms was late Abiola Ajimobi who governed the state between 2011 and 2019.
It is worthy to note that, Makinde is the last of the PDP G5 or Integrity Group with an election. Already, Governors Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), and Samuel Ortom (Benue), who have been in office for eight years each, all lost their senatorial bid while Nyesom Wike (Rivers) who is also completing his second term as Governor didn’t run for any elective post.
With the defeat of three of his comrades, all eyes were on Makinde in the March 18 poll. With his declaration as the winner by INEC, Makinde survived the defeat suffered by other G5 members.
Governorship elections were held in 28 of Nigeria’s 36 states on Saturday. The governorship and state assembly elections were held a week later than initially scheduled after a court case forced INEC to move them forward.
Eight of the 36 states — Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Osun, and Ondo — have governorship elections “off-season” due to litigations and court judgements.
In alphabetical order, the 28 states where governorship elections were on March 18 are Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara.
Of the 28 states, 11 serving Governors including Makinde sought reelection while 17 outgoing Governors are in the final weeks of their constitutional two-term limits of eight years, having been sworn in on May 29, 2015.