Meet The 7 Strong Governorship candidates in Imo, Akwa Ibom and Kaduna - AMEBO FEEDS BLOG

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Saturday, 9 March 2019

Meet The 7 Strong Governorship candidates in Imo, Akwa Ibom and Kaduna

Two weeks after the February 23 Presidential and National Assembly elections, Nigerians will once again troop to the polls to elect governors and legislators in state Houses of Assembly across the country on Saturday, March 9, 2019.


While governorship election will take place in 29 states, legislative elections will take place in all 36 states as well as Area Council election in the Federal Capital Terriroty (FCT).


While the elections are being contested by 1,158 governorship candidates across the country, many of them are billed as keen contests between only a few candidates in each state.

Imo State

Senator Hope Uzodinma, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is a two-term legislative representative of the Imo West Senatorial district of Imo State. The lawmaker first won a seat in the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly in 2011 before winning re-election in 2015, both times on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He dumped the PDP to join the APC in April 2018, describing his move as a quest for an enabling environment that gives room for equal participation.

Senator Hope Uzodinma is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo State

Uzodinma's emergence as the flag-bearer of the APC for the March 9 election has attracted national attention as it invoked the anger of incumbent governor, Rochas Okorocha, who wields great influence in the party. The governor had tried to ensure his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, emerged the party's candidate, but his failure has resulted in the governor declaring war on Uzodinma and the party's national leadership.

The 2019 election is not the first time that Uzodinma, a businessman who was involved in oil and gas and marine operations, is contesting in the Imo State governorship election. He contested in the 2003 governorship election on the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and lost. The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Nigeria Customs Service also lost in the PDP's primary election for the 2007 governorship election.

Other than his troubles with Okorocha, Uzodinma was arrested in November 2018 on allegations of contract fraud to the tune of $12.5 million. He allegedly received the sum for the dredging of Calabar channel from the Nigerian Ports Authority, but failed to execute the contract. He dismissed the allegations as the manifestation of a political witchhunt.

Ihedioha Emeka is the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Imo State [PUO Reports]

Like Uzodinma, the PDP's candidate, Ihedioha Emeka, is an experienced lawmaker who's served in different roles at the Federal House of Representatives. The 53-year-old was first elected to the lower chamber of the National Assembly as the representative of Aboh-Mbasie-Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency of Imo State in 2003. He won re-election in 2007 and was elected Chief Whip before winning re-election again in 2011 and was elected Deputy Speaker of the House. He contested in the 2015 governorship election and lost to Okorocha with a margin of over 90,000 votes.

He's served as Chairman of the House Committee on Marine Transport and later as Chairman of the House Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa.

Uche Nwosu is the governorship candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) in Imo State

Despite his impressive CV, Uche Nwosu's most noticeable achievement is that he's Okorocha's son-in-law, as he's married to his daughter, Uloma. The candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) was involved in a long drawn out conflict with the APC over the party's governorship ticket which he believed he won. He left the party last year after it stuck with its decision to put Uzodinma on the ballot.

The Urban and Regional Planning graduate served as the Director of Transport in the Students' Union Government (SUG) of the Imo State University.

When he won his first term as governor, Okorocha appointed Nwosu as Deputy Chief Of Staff (Operations) in 2011, and later as a Commissioner for Lands, Survey and

Urban Planning. He was then appointed Chief of Staff when Okorocha won his second term in 2015, a role he filled till he resigned last year to focus on his campaign to replace his father-in-law who has publicly gone against his own party to campaign for him.

There are a total of 70 candidates contesting in Saturday's election.

Akwa Ibom

Nsima Ekere is known in Akwa Ibom as the man with the shortest tenure as deputy governor in the state's history after he suddenly resigned in October 2012 after only 17 months and two days in office, due to a falling out with then-governor, Godswill Akpabio.

Nsima Ekere is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State

He is now the governorship candidate of the APC for the 2019 governorship election, with Akpabio's full support as the two have both dumped the PDP in the years that followed his departure from the Akwa Ibom Government House.

Before he left the PDP, Ekere attempted but failed to win the party's ticket to contest in the 2015 governorship election, a ticket that was eventually won by Udom Emmanuel, his main opponent in Saturday's election.

The Estate Management graduate was the Principal Partner at Ekere and Associates, a firm of estate valuers and real estate development consultants.

Before his brief stint in the Government House, Ekere served as the Executive Chairman of Akwa Ibom Investment & Industrial Promotion Council (AKIIPOC), the investments and industrial promotions' arm of the Akwa Ibom State Government and also served simultaneously as Chairman of Ibom Power Company, the independent power generating company owned by the state government.

President Muhammadu Buhari also appointed him the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2016, a role he resigned from earlier this year.

The one man that's standing in the way of Ekere's quest to return to the Akwa Ibom Government House, this time as the governor, is the man that currently occupies the building, Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Governor Udom Emmanuel is the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom

The Chartered Accountant served in several roles at Zenith Bank Plc, from chief financial officer, to group head of Income Optimization, Financial Control & Strategic Planning Department, to General Manager, to head of Telecommunications Sector, Income Optimization and Financial & Strategic Planning Group, and also as Executive Director.

He was also an audit manager of Price Waterhouse Coopers and worked with Diamond Bank Limited from where he moved to Zenith.

The corporate strategist left the private sector when he was appointed the Secretary to the State Government of Akwa Ibom State, a position that eventually propelled him to win the 2015 governorship election with the full backing of Akpabio who's now committed to ensuring he doesnt't return for a second term.

The duo of Ekere and Emmanuel will battle 43 other candidates to be elected at the polls on Saturday.

Kaduna

Nasir El-Rufai is one of Nigeria's well-known governors after he shot to national prominence as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory between 2003 and 2007.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai is the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna

In 1982, the Quantity Surveying graduate established a Quantity Surveying and Project Management Consulting firm, with three other partners, to handle building and civil engineering projects in the country.

In 1999 he was appointed the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises and the Secretary of the National Council of Privatisation where he led the privatisation of many government-owned companies alongside then-vice president, Atiku Abubakar.

With him as the FCT Minister, the capital became the first municipality in Nigeria with a computerised land register and information system.

Known for his trademark abrasive style, the 59-year-old APC candidate is a controversial figure, but is still considered a huge favourite to win a second term despite a first term that's considered a mixed bag.

Isa Ashiru is the governorship candidate of the Peopeles Democratic Party (PDP)in Kaduna [Premium Times]

To win re-election on Saturday, El-Rufai will have to beat the PDP's Isa Ashiru, a man he beat to the APC's ticket in 2015.

Ashiru previously worked at the Ministry of Finance between 1980 and 1982 before he went on to work with the Kaduna State Board of Internal Revenue and then at the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

He was later elected into the Kaduna State House of Assembly as the representative of Kudan constituency between 1999 and 2003. He then won election into the Federal House of Representation in 2007 and was re-elected in 2011.

The two front runners will contest against 36 other candidates on Saturday.

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