Hello Guv’nor.

October 28, 2019

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12 -03  – 2019

This is Zikoko’s Game of Votes Weekly Dispatch. We share the most important things leading up to the 2019 General Elections, and why they matter. 5pm. Every Monday or Tuesday. Stay woke. 

And that’s about as wide as my GOT vocabulary stretches.
Now that my Sundays have freed up, please feel free to shoot me an email on boyin@bigcabal.com. Let me know what you think we should try out, over here at Zikoko. This is purely for work, and definitely not to keep me company now that I have -0 things to keep me occupied over the weekend.


On March 9th, 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states headed to polling units to make their choice from candidates contesting the gubernatorial elections. The 7 states left out — Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Kogi, Ondo, Osun had the whole day to get crunk and disorderly, owing to their elections being carried out before-hand or off-season.
The FCT is also excluded from the gubernatorial election narrative, being governed by a minister appointed by the President. Lucky them.
Uncharacteristically excluded from the elections however, was Rivers State. The widespread electoral violence plaguing the area caused INEC to suspend polling indefinitely. Yikes.
Meanwhile, House of Assembly elections held in all states, with Area Council elections carried out in the FCT.

So Who Won?

A number of incumbent governors like Alhaji Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa State, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, Benedict Ayade of Cross Rivers, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State. Abubakar Bello of Niger State and Nasir El Rufai of kaduna State, were notable winners in the gubernatorial elections.

Newcomers however include: Abdulrahman Abdulrazak of Kwara APC, who defeated his PDP counterpart — Abdulrazak Atunwa. Seyi Makinde of the PDP also won the Oyo governorship seat, likewise Dapo Abiodun of the APC who won the Ogun State governorship election. Babajide Sanwo-Olu also emerged victorious in the Lagos State gubernatorial elections. Commemorating with him was no other than the outgoing governor of the state – Akinwunmi Ambode, who put out a statement to that effect. While that was awfully big of him, let it be known — we ain’t forget.

Notable winners of the House of Assembly elections include Desmond Elliot of the Surulere Constituency, who returns to the Lagos State House of Assembly. Tragically, Mr Ezekiel Afon, a lawmaker representing Penganca Constituency of Plateau State, lost his life to a brief illness, after winning the re-election to the State House of Assembly.

Fantastic Victories And Where To Find Them.

March 9th’s elections also recorded victories that sounded so good to be true, they just might have been. The APC for instance, recorded a 100% victory in the Lagos State House of Assembly elections, giving all representative positions and the Speaker of the House seat, to the APC.
House opposition? Where?

Toeing the same line is the Niger State Governor- Abubakar Bello of the PDP — whose supposed popularity saw him winning 25/25 of the Local Government Areas in his state. Leaving his challenger — Umar Nasko’s campaigning ego — considerably bruised.

Much Interesting. Not suspicious at all.


Now, this may be up for debate  but there is definitely something wrong somewhere, when a country’s citizens appear to be more concerned voting for a BBN finalist, than they are choosing leaders to govern their actual lives for the next couple of years.
A paltry 34.75% of the registered voters turned out to vote in the presidential elections, bringing the figures to the lowest turn-out the country has witnessed in the last twenty years. And if that isn’t worrying enough, these figures dipped even further in the gubernatorial elections, leaving a worrying foreshadowing for elections to come.
But what caused this consecutive dip in voter turn-out? Did the mindless violence and obvious rigging of the presidential elections have a part to play? Perhaps Saraki’s point of military presence deterring voters, holds sway? It could just be many caught wind of the sinister activities of the day and chose to stay put. And who can blame them? Imo State recorded the killing of a party agent and the destruction of ballot papers by its youth on March 9th.
Six INEC staff were kidnapped and then released in Kogi State. While Ogbomosho was raided by thugs who stole printed ballot papers and boxes to name a few.

As it currently stands, this apathy might be here to stay, unless INEC can somehow find a way to incorporate diary sessions or a shower-hour into the electoral process. I’d sincerely suggest a more efficient process, sure to encourage faith in the voting process before anything desperate is considered, however.

If Only Atiku Won A State For Every Candidate That Tried To Convince Him To Accept The Results…

The Forum of Presidential Candidates and Political Parties for Good Governance (try saying FPCPPGG three times) — a forum that is apparently legit  and was not made up last week, like I wrongly assumed — has through its 36 candidates, beckoned Atiku Abubakar to accept defeat and resist contesting the election results in a court of law.

Giving no real reason for their appeal in a statement read by its chairman, Mr. Shittu Kabir — they simply stated that Abubakar was capable of promoting peace in the nation, without having to hold any political office.

Then they went further to age-shame him; saying: “at his age, he should avoid any action… to fan the embers of discord.” Shady.

But Atiku has bigger fish to fry than this group with its impossible to remember acronym. His lawyer — Tanimu Turaki (who heads his challenge of the election results) was on March 4th detained by the EFCC after being invited to sign a bail document for his son-in-law  —  Babalade Abdullahi, who had also been arrested 3 weeks prior. They have since been released, but their arrests can be interpreted as attempts to intimidate Abubakar into dropping any case against the election results. Tactics which have no place in a democracy we supposedly practice.

Yobe PDP And The Case of Post-Loss Clarity.

In an unsurprising, yet embarrassing moment of post-loss clarity — some supporters and officials of the People’s Democratic Party, Yobe State, on March 5th defected to the APC and announced their regret in voting Atiku for the presidency.

Why exactly they regret their choice is unclear, ditto the virtues of the APC that spurred their defection t. But hey, none of that matters right? They’re in the ruling party, and all sins are forgiven.

Bonus news: to crown off Atiku’s not very nice week, the candidate of the National Rescue Movement — Mr Usman Ibrahim Alhaji, is dragging Atiku’s wealthy self, together with Buhari, to court for spending over ₦ 1 billion in the elections. Wonder what gave it away?

Remi Tinubu, WYD Babes?

On March 9th, Mrs. Tinubu was outed as a casual purveyor of tribalism. This information didn’t come courtesy a leaked tape, or a grainy recording, but from the senator herself.

In full view of a press team, a whole Senator of the FRN, let it be known that she didn’t trust Igbo people.

While addressing a crowd gathered outside of her home and polling unit, Mrs. Tinubu, as seen in this video, approached a handicapped man, but not without first derisively asking if he was Igbo. She then proceeded to ask the very personal question of his choice in the presidential election, before surmising that Igbo people couldn’t be trusted when he gave her the answer she was looking to hear.

Her flippancy in stoking the fires of tribalism that have had nightmarish repercussions on our nation’s history is unbecoming, to say the least, and worryingly inciting at most. Do better.

Another Tragedy

The life of Honourable Temitope Olatoye AKA Sugar, was cut short by unknown assailants while returning from casting his vote in the gubernatorial elections.

He was a member of the Federal House of Representatives, although he lost his seat in the February 23 elections.

He is yet another precious life lost to the violence that mars Nigerian elections, year in and out.


Abdullahi Ganduje has bought himself, maybe a few more months of diplomatic immunity from prosecution for this embarrassing affair, as the gubernatorial elections held in Kano State have been declared inconclusive by INEC. The reason? A high number of invalidated votes in different parts of the state.

This doesn’t sit right for a number of VERY OBVIOUS reasons:

  1. Ganduje was very clearly going to lose this thing. Of the 44 local governments in Kano State, he was trailing behind his opponent — Abba Kabir- Yusuf, who had 1,014,353 votes, to Ganduje’s 987,819 from 43 LGAS.
  2. His Deputy was well aware of this and attempted to disrupt collation in the last LGA — Nasarawa. This led to him being placed under arrest, because only a lock and key could have kept his itchy fingers from rigging apparently. Side-note: these guys take DIY to new levels. Collecting bribes, disrupting a collation process, they do it all, and without a lot of outside help too.
  3. And if that wasn’t enough drama, the result sheet of the Nasarawa election was torn by “suspected thugs”. Sure.

Also invalidated were the elections held in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Kano, Plateau and Sokoto States. And as a little FYI, an election is only invalidated when the number of canceled votes, can affect the outcome of the elections. Like say 100 votes were canceled and the vote margin/difference between the 2 leading parties is 99; then the results have to be invalidated, as all the canceled votes could maybe have been in favour of the losing party, giving him the upper hand.

The supplementary elections are expected to be carried out within 21 days of the initial March 9th polls.


Yay! You made it to the end, fr fr.


This was fun. Check out the very first dispatch here, and marvel at how many punctuation errors I could pack into such a little newsletter.

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