Non-Indigenes in Lagos Gubernatorial Tourney

The April 11 gubernatorial election is one to watch out for in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub and metropolis as political parties scramble for votes in their bid to win this keenly contested election. Over ten gubernatorial aspirants are billed to slug it out for the governorship of this former capital of Nigeria. Lagos has over five million registered voters which is the highest number of registered voters in the 2015 elections. However, two major candidates are more visible in the Lagos political scene. They are : Akinwunmi Ambode of the All Progressives Congress and Jimi Agbaje of the People’s Democratic Party.

It really is not going to be dessert, as various factors which weren’t as pronounced in previous elections have now gained momentum enough to tilt contending political parties. One major factor being the massive percentage of votes “non indigenes”
wield. T
his has sent politicians soliciting for the votes of  this block who now seem more visible as electioneering campaigns go on especially as the initially alleged refusal to give non indigenes PVC has abated.Campaign posters of the major candidates in traditional wear of a certain non indigenous block can be seen pasted in public spaces.

The success of some non indigenes in winning House of Representatives seats in Lagos was reported in Thisday newspapers (online) of April 1 2015. Oshodi/ Isolo federal constituency II was won by Mr Tony Nwulu under the platform of the PDP. Mrs Rita Orji, who hails from Imo state won  Ajeromi/Ifelodun federal constituency while Oghene Egboh who hails from Delta state won the house of representatives seat for Amuwo Odofin federal constituency , both winning under the platform of the PDP. Various socio-cultural groups of non indigenes have also began to endorse preferred candidates. A visit of the APC team to the popular Ladipo spare parts market was reported in a national daily.

This however does not mean that native south westerners are sidelined in political campaigns. Politicians also pay attention to this block as they are also stakeholders in the polity. Furthermore, the metropolitan status of Lagos would make reliance on solely southwestern support a gamble. Hence the need to enhance support base by aligning with non indigenes.

The Lagos gubernatorial elections is really interesting as major aspirants are very close in terms of support. The polls are indeed well contested.

Favour Nwoke.

Favour Nwoke is a 300 level Law student in the Faculty of Law. She is a Columnist on the LSS Blog.

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