The long car convoys on the road. Market women dancing to welcome the gubernatorial aspirants. Students promising to mobilise others for the candidate. Door to door campaign and enlistment. Facebook adverts. Social media status updates. All sorts of campaign stunts and strategies. For the Oyo gubernatorial election, using the Freedom of Information Act (2011) data shows that given previous trends, only about 368,000 votes may determine which of the 42 gubernatorial aspirants will be sworn in at the liberty stadium, Ibadan come May 29th2019.

What this translates to in basic arithmetic is that any candidate who can average 11,000 votes in each of the 33 local government areas in the state will have a closer prospect at calling the shot from Agodi House- the state government secretariat. This includes the current standing in Nigeria’s 5thmost populous state which has 49 thriving political parties out of the country’s 91. 

Winning Pattern 

The fate of who becomes governor will rest mainly on a number of factors- religion, senatorial zone, grassroot support, last minute coalitions, party financing etc. The fulcrum is not currently well placed on the brilliance of manifestoes and or plans of the candidates. Our findings revealed the total number of votes scored by the winners of the elections who were later sworn in as governor.

  • 1999 Election- Data not available from INEC
  • 2003 Election – Data not available from INEC
  • 2007 Election – 357,972votes scored by Mr. Alao Akala (PDP) 
  • 2011 Election – 420,852votes scored by Mr. Abiola Ajimobi (ACN)
  • 2015 Election – 327,310votes scored by Mr. Abiola Ajimobi (APC)
  • 2019 Elections – ???

Source: Response to Onelife Initiative’s FOI request filed to INEC

Number of Aspirants (on the ballot sheet) from 2007-2019

The number of gubernatorial hopefuls represented on the ballot papers in the state has been consistent until 2019 when the number more than doubled.

Election Years No of Aspirants
2007 15
2011 15
2015 12
2019 42

Voting Pattern 

With Nigeria’s population now put at 198,000,000; a guestimate of Oyo State population will be about 8,000,000. According to the Independent National Electoral Commission, Oyo state has 2,934, 107 registered voters for the 2019 general elections- the 2ndhighest in the southwest region and the 6thhighest in the county.

The voting pattern in Oyo State over the last 8 years reveals the following figures – 

Election years Registered voters Total Votes Cast Void Votes Number of Valid Votes % of Total Votes Cast for Winners Votes Acquired by winning candidate 
2007 1,793,475[1] 855,264 42,195 813,069 44.0 357,972
2011 2,003,285 1,167,242 42,152 1,125,090 36.1 420,852
2015 2,416,016 2   914,465[3]​   327,310​

Source: FOI report from INEC. (See reference to these figures below)​

[2]Manual compilation based on FOI

[3]Manual computation based on FOI

% of Total Votes Cast for Winners​

Election Year​ % of Total Votes for Winners​
2007​ 44.03​
2011​ 36.10​
2015​ 35.79​

This data puts the average number of valid votes obtained over the last eight years at 950,874. While the average percentage of winning votes is 38.69% Using this data and taking into consideration other variables such as number of aspirants, number of registered voters, number of unclaimed PVC, one can reasonably project that the winning candidate in the 2019 gubernatorial election in Oyo State will need about 368,000 votes to win the election or a little less given the numbers of aspirants.

2007-2015: How the Top 3 Stood

In 2007, 2011, and 2015, the difference between the winner and the first runner-up were 118,783, 33,720, and 72,790 respectively.

Election Year​​ Winning vote First runner up Second runner up


239,189​ 146,670​


387,132​ 275,773​


254,520​ 184,111​

Source: FOI request from INEC

In the 2011 election, the candidate who emerged first runner up would have won the election if he had acquired the total void votes recorded- 42,152.

Election year

Registered voters ​ Total votes Cast​ No of voters who did not vote​


1,793,475​ 885,264​ 908,211​


2,651,842​ 1,161,242​ 1,490,600​


2,416,016​ Data not available from INEC​  


2,934,107​ ?​ ?​

Voter Apathy in Oyo State

The state has high prevalence of void votes and voter apathy. The disparity between registered voters and total votes cast in the last election are obvious.

Learning from Patterns in Nigeria’s 7 off-cycle elections 

Although the gubernatorial elections have been slated for 2ndof March 2019, 7 states in Nigeria will not be participating. The number of votes that led to the declaration of the incumbent as governor in these states shows an interesting trend. 

Across the 7 states, an average of 229, 603 is what the incumbent governors had.

  • Osun – with 255,505 votes Mr Gboyega Isiaka Oyetola became Governor of Osun in 2018
  • Ekiti – with 197,459 votes, Mr. Kayode Fayemi became Governor of Ekiti in 2018. 
  • Anambra –with 234,071votes Mr. Willie Obiano became the Governor of Anambra state in 2017
  • Bayelsa- with 134,998 votes Mr. Seriake Dickson became the Governor of Bayelsa state in 2016
  • Edo-with 319,483 votes Mr. Godwin Obaseki' became the Governor of Edo in 2016
  • Ondo- with 224,842 votes Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu became the Governor of Ondo State in 2016
  • Kogi- with 240,867 votes Mr. Yahaya Bello became the Governor of Edo state in 2015

Issues and Recommendation 

Strategies that can be adopted to gain more numbers include; 

  • Voided votes are sadly still a major concern. In 2011, the amount of void vote, if valid, was enough to tip the scale. Voter education is still key in this regard.
  • Having agents do ground work in canvassing for votes within communities (Get your name on the street however you can)
  •  For smaller political parties and youth aspirants seeking to disrupt the space, understanding the numbers can boost confidence and help shape their strategies.
  • No single candidate in Oyo state can safely say he or she will win the election, the vote count is what is final!
  • There is a large ‘not likely to vote crowd in Oyo state given the gap between registered voters and the total number of votes cast. It can change this pattern in future. Candidates willing to energise this ‘crowd’ can take the political space by surprise. It however also needs to be grassroot driven with representation in several wards. Politics in Oyo state is still driven locally.
  • INEC needs to make election related data readily available on its website for media houses, research and civil society organizations. It’s central to planning interventions. Data showing which local government areas had the highest number of voided votes may point at literacy level. Thus, aiding institutions like the National Orientation Agency, NGos, and other actors in the election value chain to know exactly where to focus void vote prevention.
  • #VotNotFight

Oyo Governorship Election 2019: The Candidates

The final names of the 42 gubernatorial aspirants contesting for the gubernatorial elections in the state was released on 31stJanuary, 2019 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This is in accordance with section 34 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). 3 of the aspirants are known names and re-contesting the election.

There are also relatively young people running this time including 34 years old Tolulope Adeyeye (APA) who is the youngest of the 42 candidates, other young aspirants include; Oladdunni Ariyo Olaitan (35, BNPP) Aderoju Ismail Balogun (35, MAJA)   

The list of aspirants also includes a 75-year-old who is hoping to be the legal occupant of Agodi House for the next 4 years starting May 29th2019. 

  1. Action Alliance (AAC) – Akinwale Laosun
  2. All Blending Party (APB)- Okemakinde Ramota Fumilayo
  3. Advanced Allied Party (AAP) – Rev. Adenike Morenikeji Victor-Tade
  4. Advanced Congress of Democrats (ACD)- Akande Taiwo Risikat
  5.  ACCORD – Saheed Adegboyega Ajadi
  6.  Alliance for Democracy (AD) – Oyedele (Hakeem) Oyebode Alao
  7.  African Democratic Congress (ADC) – Dele Ajadi
  8. . Action Democratic Party (ADP) – Christopher Adebayo Alao-Akala
  9.  All Grassroots Alliance (AGA) – David Oluwafemi Okunlola
  10.  Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) – Olabode Ayodele Johnson
  11. Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP)- Olalekan Oladotun Ayorinde
  12. African Peoples Alliance (APA) – Adedoyin Tolulope Adeyeye
  13.  All Progressive Congress (APC) – Adebayo Adelabu
  14.  Better Nigeria Progressive Party (BNPP) – Oladuni Ariyo Olaitan
  15.  Coalition for Change (C4C) – Omotosho Paul Adeboye
  16. Congress of patriots (COP)- Mayoress Abiodun Olayinka O
  17.  Democratic Alternative (DA) – Adegboyega Adelu
  18.  Democratic Peoples Congress (DPC) – Babatunde Oye Ademola
  19. Democratic Peoples Party (DPP) – Omoteleola Folake Florence
  20. Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria (GDPN) – Ladipo Oluwole
  21. Hope Democratic Party (HDP) – Tijani Ismail Akinboye
  22. Independent Democrats (ID) – Chief Oladapo Wasiu Atilola
  23. Justice Must Prevail Party (JMPP) – Ademola Babatunde Oye
  24. Kowa Party (KP) – Olaide Olayiwola
  25. Labour Party (LP) – Olatunji Adigun Sadiq
  26.  Mass Action Joint Alliance (MAJA) – Aderoju Ismail Balogun
  27. Modern Political Party (MPN) – Ojo Olayinka Kayode
  28. National Action Council (NAC) – Moshood Odelalu
  29. National Conscience Party (NCP) – Oloyade Michael Ayobami
  30. Nigeria Elements Progressive Party (NEPP)- Ayoade Belawu Adebola
  31.  National Interest Party (NIP) – Sarumi-Aliyu Bolanle Ashabi
  32. New Progressive Movement (NPM) – Edward Olufeyisayo Ladoye
  33. National Rescue Movement (NRM) – Yinusa Kazeem Ayandoye
  34. People for Democratic Chance (PDC) – Akande akin Sanyaolu
  35.  Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – Seyi Makinde
  36. Providence People’s Congress (PPC) – Taiwo Ibiyemi Otegbeye
  37. Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN) – Gbadamosi Basiru Alagbe
  38. Social Democratic Party (SDP) – Mobolaji Ayorinde
  39. Save Nigeria Congress (SNC) – Awolusi Olusegun Gaskin
  40.  Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) – Bamigboye Abiodun Emman
  41. United Progressive Party (UPP) – Rotimi Akande
  42.  Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) – Waheed A. Akanbi
Total Number of Candidates​ 42
Number of Male Candidates  36​​
Number of Female Candidates  6​​
Age of Oldest Candidate  75​​
Age of Youngest Candidate  34​​
Average age of Candidates  51​​
No of Candidates below 36 years  3​​

Other trends are captured below

Educational qualification of aspirants

Number of school certificate holders  10​​
Number of ND holders  5​​
Number of Bachelor degree holders  22​​
Number of Master degree holder  4​​
Number of PhD holders  1​​

Procedure for voting 

Voting at the polling unit will be as follows:

  1. At the polling unit, join the queue. An INEC official will check if you are at the correct polling unit and confirm that the PVC presented belongs to you.
  2.   An INEC official will confirm if your PVC is genuine using the card reader. You will be asked to place your finger on the card reader.
  3.  An INEC official will ask for your PVC and confirm you are listed in the Voters Register. Your name will be ticked and your finger will be inked to confirm you have voted. If your name is not found you cannot vote.
  4. The Presiding officer will stamp, sign and endorse your ballot paper. You will be given the ballot paper rolled with the printed side inwards and directed to the voting cubicle.
  5. Stain your finger with the ink given and mark the box for your preferred candidate/party. Roll the ballot paper in the manner you were given and flatten it.
  6. Leave the voting cubicle and drop the ballot paper in the ballot box in full view of people at the Polling Unit.
  7. Leave the Polling Unit or wait if you so choose, in an orderly and peaceful manner, to watch the process up to declaration of result.

N.B The result of each Polling Unit shall be pasted at the unit for everyone to see.

IMPORTANT: A voter living with a disability will be assisted to vote in the polling unit by a person chosen by him/her, other than a poll agent. Where available, visually impaired voters may use Assistive Tactile facilities. 

Extension of date for collection of PVC’s 

Owing to the numbers of PVC’s not yet collected at the close of the collection date, 8thFebruary, 2019. INEC has extended the collection period till the 11thFebruary, 2019. This is to ensure that the least number of people are disenfranchised from the electioneer process.

Election Tribunal:

Ahead of the 2019 elections, the new CJN,Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, has sworn in 250 members of the 2019 election tribunals. 

Electoral reform 

The president’s signage of the “Not too young to run” Bill has serviced to revise downward the age of aspirants contesting for elections in Nigeria.  The bill, popularly referred to as the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill reduces the age qualification for President from 40 to 35; Governor from 35 to 30; Senator from 35 to 30; House of Representatives membership from 30 to 25 and State House of Assembly membership from 30 to 25.The National Assembly had passed the bill last year, altering sections 65, 106, 131, 177 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.

The process

The Oyo state gubernatorial election brief was made possible from information gathered by Onelife Initiative through Freedom of Information requests to INEC Head office (Abuja), spanning a 4-month period.

About Onelife Initiative

Onelife Initiative for Human Development is a registered non-governmental organization, working in Nigeria, using positive youth development programming amongst other tools to make social change benefit young people in society. The organization was founded in 2014 and formally registered in 2016. Over the last four years we have carried out numerous projects across 19 states of the federation, including Oyo state which is our base of operation.

Our organization has three primary focal points namely;

  • Governance and Policy Advocacy
  • Enterprise Development,
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR),

Our interest in governance and policy advocacy stems from the understanding that societies rely on certain frameworks to function and government institutions regulate these. Through our governance and policy engagements, we keep government institutions on their toe by engaging with them using various strategies and interventions. Our activities on this desk include the following –

  • Voter and Civic Education
  • Freedom of Information Push and Advocacy
  • Campaigns for CRA Implementation & Advocacy
  • Youth Participation
  • Policy Briefs
  • Open Governance


Contact & Feedback

Address: 19 Soun Ajagugbade Avenue, Oyo state

Office line:08094232675

Facebook: @onelifeinitiative

Twitter: @onelifeng

You may also like

Read Next

For comments view this content on the regular site.