Nigerian politicians have begun to debate the 2027 general elections, with each working tirelessly to secure their space in the future. However, some governors who are in their first term may lose out in the scheme of the 2027 permutations as time goes by.

This is due to the fact that many of these first-time governors began their first year in office with battles rather than building alliances and structures for their political careers. Some of the battles these governors are fighting have existing structures that determine election outcomes in their state……CONTINUE READING

A careful analysis of the development showed that some governors began their first year in office fighting their godfathers without them having any political structure to fall back on, while others fought first-class monarchs, which may eventually turn the people against them.

Some of the governors in this category are Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto, Siminalayi Fubara, Uba Sani, Hyacinth Alia, and Abba Kabir Yusuf, to mention a few. Below are the reasons the above-mentioned governors may not have their way to the governor’s offices in their states.

Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto of Sokoto state

The governor of Sokoto state is one of the first-term governors in Nigeria who may not win in 2027 if tries to contest for the second term. Barely one year in office, the governor deposed about 15 emirs in the state for different offences, a development that may cost him his second-term aspiration.

A few months later, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) raised the alarm that the governor was plotting to depose the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar. Though the government denied the allegation, a bill in the State House of Assembly passed the second reading.

If the bill is passed into law, the Sultan would be stripped of some power, including the appointments of kingmakers and district heads, without the governor’s input. While this move may be considered constitutional because of the legislation it passed through, it can cost the governor his second term because Sokoto state and the position of the Sultan are religious sensitives.

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The Punch also reported that a political source in the state disclosed that the governor and his supporters never hid the impression of deposing the Sultan from their campaigns. The source stated that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) campaigned with a “new government, new sultan.”

In an interview with Legit.ng, Okanlawon Gaffar, a public commentator, called for respect for traditional stools in the country.

He lamented:

“We can’t say this is fair or not, the principle that has been exhibited is also the fact that our traditional system is now a mockery of its glory. This does not mean that our traditional system should be above the law principle.

Rivers Governor Siminalayi Fubara

Governor Fubara of Rivers state is one of the first-time governors who may not secure re-election come 2027 due to his rift with his political godfather, Nyesom Wike, who is now the minister of the Federal Capital Territory.

Fubara’s rift with Wike started barely three months into the beginning of his administration as Rivers governor, which was not considered fair enough by many political observers.

However, there are insinuations that President Tinubu is supporting Fubara, which was why he appeared to have an edge above Wike.

Aisha Yesufu, a public commentator, in a tweet, posited that Tinubu would rather ensure that the FCT minister was stripped of his power in Rivers state so that he could become a proper errand boy at his disposal.

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But Tinubu once publicly promised Wike that he would not let him down at the commissioning of a project in Abuja. Thus, with federal and presidential backing, Wike may defeat Fubara or plot his removal before the end of his tenure.

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Also, an analyst, Okanlawon Gaffar, in an exclusive interview with Legit.ng, posited that Wike is more experienced. Based on his antecedent as governor of Rivers state, he knew how to win as a political godfather and how he could be defeated as one.

Gaffar said: “Wike’s position as a godfather, especially in the sense that he has passed through this before. He fought his godfather too to become the governor of Rivers state, so he understands how this game is played. I also believe that he understands how it can be lost and how it can be won.”

Another factor that should not be overlooked is Wike’s astuteness in politics. He has been active in politics since 1999. His membership in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and retention of a ministerial position in the All Progressives Congress (APC) government are testaments to his astuteness.

Though Governor Fubara recently hinted at leaving the PDP, saying the party has failed him, Wike currently appears to have the hold of the PDP and APC in Rivers. It is not yet certain if Fubara has the strong political structure to form his political party or join a small party and believe he can defeat Wike in an election.

Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano

Yusuf of Kano is another first-time governor who may not secure his second term via popular votes if the controversy surrounding the removal of the Kano emir is not resolved as soon as possible.

Although his predecessor and current national chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Ganduje, was widely faulted for deposing Muhammadu Sanusi, he (Yusuf) was also being blamed for correcting Ganduje’s wrong with another wrong.

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Come 2027, the people of the state may be looking for a governor who will stabilise the emirship, especially now that it is being considered the reason why other governors have resorted to removing first-class traditional rulers, particularly the Sultan of Sokoto.

Governor Sani of Kaduna

Uba Sani is another first-time governor currently fighting his predecessor, Nasir El-Rufai, through the state House of Assembly. Unlike Fubara, Sani has a political structure as a former senator and appears to have the majority of the assembly members on his side.

However, the immediate past governor of the state appeared to be gaining the people’s sympathy, and this may grow beyond expectation to orchestrate his removal.

There are indications that El-Rufai would also work to clear his name, and the first step was his dragging the state assembly to court over lack of fair hearing in the N432 billion corruption allegation levelled against him and his administration by the lawmakers.

If El-Rufai wins at the Kaduna State High Court, it will boost his efforts to prevent the governor from securing a second-term victory in the state.

Reverend Father Hyacinth Alia

The governor of Benue state, Hyacinth Alia, may also not return to office come 2023 if he cannot secure the support of the secretary to the government of the federation, George Akume, who currently has the party structure under his control.

Alia did not have any political structure before his emergence as the APC governorship candidate in the 2023 election. Though he may use his position to build bridges and form structures ahead of 2027, the support and structure of Akure should not be overlooked.

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