With the successful completion of Ekiti State gubernatorial elections in June 2022, Nigerians, exclusively the residents of Osun State will go to the polls on Saturday 16th July 2022 to elect the next governor of the state. Osun State is another one of the six states in Nigeria whose electoral calendar is off the regular governorship timetable. The other five states in this category include Anambra State, Edo State, Ekiti State, Imo State and Ondo State. 

What we learnt from the Ekiti State election
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the candidate of the All-Progressive Congress (APC), Abiodun Oyebanji, the winner of the Ekiti State governorship election with 187,057 votes. But like every other election, the opposition party and other critics cried foul play. Political stakeholders, civil society organizations and election observers in the country can confirm the Ekiti State election was less violent than expected, possibly due to the heavy presence of security forces. 

  • The strong pointers of the election were the implementation of some new technologies, including electronic transmission of results, improvement on the BVAS system and better handling of election logistics. 

State of play 
Nigeria’s two dominant parties, the All-Progressive Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) who are leading contenders in the race, have representations in the forthcoming election in the person of Governor Gboyega Oyetola and Ademola Adeleke, respectively. Other parties in the race include Yusuf Lasun of the Labour Party, Oyegoke Omigbodun of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and Akin Ogunbiyi of the Accord Party. 

  • While Governor Gboyega Oyetola of APC can Bank on his influence as governor and the dominance of his party, APC, as Nigeria’s ruling party, Ademola Adeleke of PDP is also a strong contender having lost the 2018 governorship election by less than a thousand votes. 
  • Also, factors such as catalogues of litigations and educational eligibility seem to be in Mr. Adeleke’s favour. 
  • The other gubernatorial candidates, in the opinion of many, would have to pull off an unexpected strategy to emerge a winner on Saturday, irrespective of their previously held positions. 

What they are saying 

  • INEC has assured voters that the commission would do everything possible for the election to be conclusive at the first ballot following the inconclusiveness of the state’s election in 2018. The commission disclosed that it is deploying five National Commissioners and 12 Resident Electoral Commissioners to supervise the election.
  • The Inspector General of Police, Baba Akali, announced that the force will be deploying 21,000 operatives to ensure compliance of the electoral process. 

What to watch 

  • Would APC and PDP exert their dominance as Nigeria’s leading political parties by clinching first and second place? 
  • Would the Labour Party gain as much recognition as it is gaining online?
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