Ahead of the governorship and state assembly elections on March 18, 2023, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, has issued a directive restricting all vehicular movement on roads, waterways, and other forms of transportation from 12 am to 6 pm on election day.
However, those on essential services, such as officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), electoral observers, accredited media and observers, and emergency responders, are exempted. The directive does not affect the Federal Capital Territory, where no election will be conducted.
The IGP also reiterated the ban on all security aides to VIPs and escorts accompanying their principals and politicians to polling booths and collation centres. Additionally, state-established and privately-owned security outfits are barred from participating in election security management. The IGP urged all citizens to be law-abiding during and after the elections, and assured Nigerians that all necessary security arrangements have been put in place to ensure that they exercise their franchise unhindered.
During the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections, significant violence was recorded, especially in states like Lagos, Kano, Rivers, Bayelsa, amongst others, with reports of ballot box snatching, voter harassment, and intimidation. With the conduct of the presidential and legislative polls, and the legal tussles that followed the results announced by Nigeria’s electoral body, the battlegrounds have shifted to the states as Nigerians head to the polls again to elect a new set of governors and state assembly members.
Eighteen political parties have fielded candidates for the elections, which will hold in 28 out of the 36 states of the Federation, with the governorship elections of eight states (Anambra, Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Kogi, Osun, and Ondo) held off-season due to litigations and court judgments.
However, elections for members of state legislature will hold in all 36 states of the Federation, with thousands of candidates competing for 993 State Houses of Assembly seats, according to statistics by INEC. The 28 states where governorship elections will hold on March 18, 2023, in alphabetical order, are Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe, and Zamfara.