Three days before the governorship and state assembly elections, governors have been dishing out last-minute incentives to woo voters, Daily Trust reports.
The governorship elections, according to the timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), would be conducted in 28 of the 36 states of the country. There will be no governorship elections in eight states – Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Ondo, and Osun – as they are now off-season.
Following the upsets recorded in the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections, governors seeking re-election and those working for the emergence of their anointed candidates have been releasing various incentives to stakeholders, in different guises.
During the February 25 elections, many governors failed to deliver their respective states to the candidates of their parties. This is just as seven governors – Abia, Benue, Kebbi, Cross River, Enugu, Plateau and Taraba – had their ambition to go to the Senate truncated. They were defeated at the poll. To reverse this trend, therefore, the affected governors have come up with methods to win the electorate over to their side ahead of Saturday’s elections.
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In Lagos, findings by the Daily Trust indicate that Sanwo-Olu and the APC have embarked on an aggressive house-to-house campaign in addition to tasking civil servants to join in the efforts to solicit votes for the party.
Also, the governor is said to be trying to woo Igbo voters in the state to reduce the effect of the ‘Obidient movement’ which made the APC lose the presidential election in the state.
In addition, the governor has ramped up the publication of his administration’s achievements on various platforms, both online and offline, in a bid to convince voters not to look elsewhere other than APC in Saturday’s election.
In addition, it was gathered yesterday that the Lagos State government decided to release impounded vehicles to their owners free of charge. The government said the decision was part of the palliatives offered to Lagosians to cushion the effect of the cash crunch across the country due to the naira redesign policy.
The Commissioner for Transport, Dr Frederick Oladehinde, who confirmed this, said the palliative measure ensured that vehicles impounded for minor traffic offences were returned to their owners with the fines waived.
Ortom lifts ban on motorcycles
In Benue, part of the moves adopted by Governor Samuel Ortom includes intensifying massive door-to-door campaigns across the state.
On Tuesday, he directed the lifting of the ban on motorcycles in the Sankera axis, comprising the Kastina-Ala, Ukum and Logo LGAs.
He said the directive was in consonance with the judgment of the High Court of Justice, Gboko, which had set aside the order of the Benue State Security Council that banned the use of motorcycles in the Sankera axis of the state as a way of curtailing the rate of crime in the area. But pundits believe that the directive was part of a last-minute strategy to curry favour with the electorate since the court judgement was delivered last year.
Uba Sani persuades voters with Buhari’s video clip
The APC in Kaduna is said to be under pressure ahead of the governorship election.
The Daily Trust findings revealed that after the defeat, the ruling party quickly reached out to President Muhammadu Buhari to call on the residents to support the party and its governorship candidate.
As a result, the president, in a short video clip obtained by Daily Trust, was seen appealing to the residents to vote for the ruling party.
The clip was aired on various private radio stations across the state, even as the supporters kept sharing it on their social media handles. Also, the APC has embarked on a door-to-door campaign urging its supporters to come out en masse and vote for their candidates.
Daily Trust also gathered that the Kaduna State deputy governor, who happened to be the running mate to Senator Uba Sani, Hadiza Balarabe Sabuwa, on Monday, provided empowerment to over a thousand women across the state.
Deep freezers and generating sets, among others, were given to the beneficiaries that were selected urging them to vote for the party on Saturday. This is in addition to free rides on commercial transportation systems for the public.
In Kano, the APC is facing stiff opposition from the NNPP. The opposition party won the presidential election and two senatorial seats in the state.
Thus, the APC has continued to reach out to different stakeholders to achieve victory in the governorship election.
This stakeholder engagement recently led to a strong insinuation that the governor might have reached an alliance with the candidate of the PDP, Sadiq Wali, to support his candidate, Nasir Gawuna. However, a top associate of Wali, Aminu Labaran Baba, said there was no truth in the claim, insisting that the PDP candidate had already denied the report.
Another move seen as aimed at wooing voters in Kano State is the freedom granted to 12 inmates who were on death row by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.
To woo the state civil servants for the gubernatorial election, the Kebbi State government has expanded and extended its palliative distribution. Before the presidential and National Assembly elections, palliatives were distributed to the state civil servants.
It has now been expanded to include workers in the 21 local government councils of the state.
Trucks loaded with assorted grains have been offloading rice, millet, maize and guinea corn at the cabinet office, in Birnin Kebbi, from where they were taken for distribution to the civil servants and other targeted people.
Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, who lost the presidential election in the state to the Labour Party and the three senatorial seats to the opposition, has commenced a series of meetings with party stakeholders across the 13 local government areas of the state.
Checks by Daily Trust indicated that the governor has continued to interface with various interest groups, including traditional rulers and community leaders in the state.
Our correspondent also reports that the governor has deployed his political appointees back to their various constituencies to woo voters.
Inuwa splashes N500m grants on business groups
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe State has intensified his campaign ahead of the polls to woo voters to re-elect him.
The governor could not deliver his polling unit to his party. Aside from his polling unit, the PDP defeated him in the ward and across the 11 local government areas of the state.
In what appears as a last-minute effort to get re-elected, Governor Yahaya has been hosting a series of interactive sessions with various interest groups across the state.
The governor first met with the Christian community, led by the executive of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
At the meeting, Governor Yahaya was said to have sought their forgiveness and appealed to them to support his re-election bid.
The governor also met with traders’ associations in the state. During the meeting, he flagged off the distribution of N500 million as support grants to the various business groups that attended the meeting.
He has also met with the drivers of heavy trucks, members of the Okada riders association, road transport workers union, Igbo community, students’ union and Islamic scholars, among others.
Buni approves N500m for teachers, 100 cars to NURTW
Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni recently approved an N500 million agricultural loan for 4,000 teachers across the state, a move seen as intended to woo voters as many of them are low-salary earners.
He also, lifted the ban on the use of motorcycles in seven LGAs of the state, 11 years after it was imposed as a result of Boko Haram attacks.
The state government also extended the commercial activities of tricycle (Keke NAPEP) operators from 6pm to 8pm across the 17 LGAs of the state. Also, the state government, through the Ministry of Wealth Creation, Empowerment and Employment Generation empowered 100 members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) with new Toyota Avensis cars.
In Katsina, a major move taken by the governor is the “realignment and adjustment” in which eight top government officials, including a commissioner, permanent secretaries and senior special assistants, who were accused of engaging in anti-party activities during the last elections, were relieved of their appointments.
By Fidelis Mac-Leva (Abuja) Abdullateef Aliyu (Lagos), Hope A. Emmanuel (Makurdi), Mohammed I. Yaba (Kaduna) Salim U. Ibrahim (Kano) Haruna Gimba (Gombe), Tijani Ibrahim (Katsina) & Habibu I. Gimba (Damaturu)