Have you decided who gets your vote for governor during the 2023 elections?
There is reasonably less fanfare for governorship than the presidential elections, but we can’t overemphasise governors' more profound influence on our lives. It’s their responsibility to provide infrastructure and an environment that ensures our quality of living. The provision of public primary and secondary school education for our children and the regulation of private schools lies in their hands. Sanitation, water, and roads are also part of their duties, as the federal powers can only do so much.
The top political parties dominate Nigeria’s state leadership, with the APC and PDP accounting for 100% of all elected positions in the 2019 elections.
Likewise, men represent 100% of currently elected governors and 94% of gubernatorial candidates at the 2023 elections, while female governorship candidates account for 6%. This is compared to Kenyans that elected seven female governors last year, up from three in 2017.
Regarding age, most of Nigeria’s governors are above 50 years. With the average age of 55 for Nigeria’s leading parties’ candidates, both parties account for most of the older candidates vying for the governorship in the 2023 general elections.
So zooming in on gubernatorial races, this article will provide three major insights (3Ts) on Nigeria's governors using the Stears Elections database from 2015, 2019 and 2023. As we will see shortly, Nigeria’s governors and upcoming gubernatorial candidates are mostly affiliated with two parties; they are too male and, finally, too old.
Let’s start with the first T.