BBNaija: Governors Join The Race

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As the popular reality television show, Big Brother Naija draws to a close, state governments whose indigenes are participating in the reality television show have practically joined the contest and are making frantic efforts to mobilise votes for them to win the contest.
Five contestants survived the evictions since the commencement of the show in January, and made it to the final week. The five contestants, Efe, Tboss, Marvis, Debie-Rise and Bisola are from Delta, Edo, Rivers, Kogi and Bayelsa States respectively.
At the end of the show this Sunday, one winner is expected to emerge through votes by viewers for the coveted prize of N25 million and a brand new SUV.
Findings by us indicate that the top five contestants are receiving huge support from their respective state governments, all in a bid to help bolster their chances of eventually emerging ‘the last man standing’.
Report from Kogi state indicates that concerted efforts are being made by the governor Yahaya Bello-led government to provide all the needed support to its indigene, Debie-Rise.
Government officials said the state was determined to stand by Debie-Rise who hails from Okun area of Kogi state, stressing that series of support packages have been outlined including encouraging viewers to vote massively for her to ensure she brings the ultimate price home.
According to the senior special assistant on youth development to the governor, Alhaji Dukus Abuh, plans by the government to unfold a support agenda for Debie-Rise had reached an advanced stage.
Like Debie-Rise, Marvis, the contestant from Rivers state is receiving the support of the state government. The Rivers state governor, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike has declared support for Marvis.
The special assistant to the governor on electronic media, Simeon Nwakaudu, in a text message to LEADERSHIP in Port Harcourt, yesterday, confirmed that Marvis has the total support of the state government and urged the people of the state to support the housemate, who hails from Eleme area of the state.
The message reads: “Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike supports Marvis to emerge as the winner of the BBN.
“As a promoter of youth empowerment, Governor Wike believes in youths using their God-given talents to advance the course of development.
“That is why his administration has always embarked on programmes and projects that create opportunities for youths.
“The governor joins all other Rivers people, irrespective of party affiliation to drum up support for Marvis.”
Also, in a letter dated April 3, 2017 and signed by Mr. Micheal Ejiohuo, the permanent secretary, Rivers state ministry culture and tourism, the state government solicited for support from the public by asking the people of rivers state to vote for Marvis.
Similarly, the Senator representing Rivers South-East senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe and the member representing Eleme Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Josiah John Olu, have declared their support for Marvis.
Abe, who declared his support for the female BBN housemate on his official Facebook page, said, “I must confess, I have not kept up with developments in the Big Brother house. In fact, I never tuned in to the Big Brother show. I used to be a big fan of the reality show in times past.
“I have been getting very positive vibes from the Big Brother house and several friends called me to ask if I have voted for Marvis. When my big sister​ who is the registrar of one our foremost universities called to say I should not only vote but I should make sure I ask my friends to vote Marvis, I took a deep breath at that point and I went to look for Marvis.
“I was impressed. I want to appeal to all lovers of talent, creativity, and progress to cast a vote for Marvis.  Trust me you will not regret it. She is from my constituency and she is good. Your vote will help push Marvis to victory.”
Also writing on his official Facebook page, Olu said, “My Name is Josiah John Olu. I represent Eleme and I just voted for MARVIS and I think you should too. And yes she is my Niece. Blood. #Obari is Involved.”
Reports from Delta state indicate that the state government has also identified with Efe Ejeba, who is from the state and has been mobilising votes for him.
Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, described the contestant as an epitome of exemplary conduct.
The governor said the state is proud of the conduct and behaviour of Efe in the competition as he has remained out of controversy throughout the duration of the show, making it to the final week.
In a statement issued in Asaba on Wednesday, by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, Governor Okowa lauded Efe for being a good ambassador of Delta State, adding that the state government will continue to support talented Deltans to achieve their dreams.
“As a state we are very delighted that our son Efe is in the finals of the #BBNaija competition. We are glad that he is relating very well with the house mates and has survived all the evictions and avoided controversies in the house,” he said.
“He has portrayed the Delta character of being a true patriot and a worthy ambassador of the state. As a state, we have continued to support talents in sports, creative entertainment and even in business and it is our hope that Efe will make us proud again.
“On behalf of the first family of Delta State, we urge Deltans and indeed Nigerians to support Efe to clinch the prize money. Beyond the prize money, he has displayed leadership traits that have distinguished him as a role model,” the Governor emphasised.
The member representing Okpe state constituency in the Delta state House of Assembly, Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, also declared support for Efe.
He wrote on his Facebook page: “I am very proud of this young talented Deltan and a proud son of Okpe Kingdom who is doing well at the Big Brother Naija Reality TV show. Let’s support our very own to win the prize money. SMS Vote Efe to 32052. He advised fans who want to genuinely vote for Efe to drop their phones numbers on comment box to credit an undisclosed amount for airtime credit.
“Those who want to genuinely vote for Efe can drop their phone number on comment box as I will direct my aide to credit their lines with token recharge cards.”
For Edo born Tboss, even though the state has yet to declare its support for her, other politicians from the state have been rooting for her. One of them is Hon Omosede Igbendion, representing Ovia North and Ovia South constituency of Edo state in House of Representatives.
Igbinedion who has been campaigning for her on her Facebook and Instagram pages wrote: “SUPPORT MADE IN EDO. SUPPORT TBOSS. I do not watch Big Brother, however, I am a woman, and will back up a woman any time, more so if she is from Edo.”
Though it is unclear if the Bayelsa State government is mobilising support for Bisola, billboards with pictures and messages soliciting votes for the talented contestant have been erected at major points in Yenagoa, the state capital.
Bisola is said to be from Ogun State but her mother reportedly hails from Bayelsa state.
Some officials of the government who spoke  yesterday, claimed that the campaign for Bisola was launched by some individuals, adding that attempts were made to get the government involved but it had no hand in the campaign as speculated.
Following the eviction of Bobai Bally Balat a native of Kaduna State and son of the late Senator Isaiah Balat last Sunday, some Nigerians took to the social media to question the integrity of the results of the voting system. In a Facebook post, Fattyma Kiyawa a supporter of Bally wrote “Bally? Hmmmm Partiality. From 30% last week to 23% this week, did he lose his fans? BBN Ojoro.’’ This is despite assurances by the organisers of the show that all voting results are verified by independent auditors.
Interestingly despite the minor internal disagreements among northerners, northerners from all walks of life, irrespective of creed or tribe, rooted for Bally, a fellow northerner from southern Kaduna. From Sokoto, to Adamawa, northerners quickly closed ranks and voted to keep the native of southern Kaduna in the house. From far away Jigawa, to Adamawa state, supporters like Fattyma Kiyawa and Zayad Ayuba Tumba canvassed support for their fellow northerner, Bally. Our correspondent spoke with Mr. Zayad Ayuba Tumba who said he used his personal funds to vote for Bally and called his family members and friends to ensure they also voted for the contestant from Zangon Kataf Local government area of Kaduna.
To some extent this also goes to show the fault-lines in Nigeria as the support base of the contestants are beginning to take an ethnic colouration.

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