Outcome Of The Presidential Poll As Likely Factor In The Guber Poll
The 2015 presidential election has come and gone. The winner and the loser are known. For the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that has been in power in the last sixteen years, the outcome of the just concluded presidential poll was a disappointment and huge surprise.
The party for the first since 1999 lost the presidential seat to the opposition party All Progressives Congress (APC) in an unprecedented manner. Unprecedented in the sense that in some PDP-controlled states of Bauchi, Benue, Kogi, Niger, Adamawa, Gombe, Kebbi, Kaduna, Katsina and others, the party lost massively to the APC both in presidential and National Assembly elections.
The development has brought about defection and counter defection among members of the two political parties ahead of today’s governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
Many political observers are of the view that the outcome of the presidential poll may trigger a bandwagon effect in today’s poll especially in the Northeast, Northwest and North Central regions.
Obviously, the PDP governors, and stakeholders in the affected states knowing the implication of losing out completely in today’s poll, will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that their party wins.
The opposition party will also latch on its victory in the presidential poll to garner more votes in today’s governorship poll especially in Northeast, North Central and Northwest regions.
While it could be assumed that South South and Southeast zones are comfort zones of the PDP with the exception of Imo, Edo, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states, one cannot say unequivocally that there will be no upset in today’s poll.
Imo State Recent moves by the people of Owerri zone to produce a consensus candidate to take on Imo State Governor and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Owelle Rochas Okorocha in today failed as the candidate refused to step down for one another.
The Guardian learnt that since Buhari’s victory in the presidential poll was announced, the political atmosphere in the state has been calm as the ruling PDP appeared to be in state of quandary.
It was learnt that the party governorship candidate and deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha has been trying to galvanise support for the party ahead of today’s poll.
It was alleged that some of the PDP chieftains in the state which included two former governors of the state had recently met with Governor Rochas Okorocha at the state government house ahead of the today’s contest.
It was disclosed that the governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha; Accord Party Candidate, Ken Ojiri; United Progressives Party, (UPP), Candidate, Osmond Ukanacho and Capt Emmanuel Iheanacho of the All Progressive Grand Alliance—all from Owerri Senatorial Zone— met at the instance of elder statesman, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu in Owerri recently where they discussed on the possibility of fielding a consensus candidate from Owerri Zone to contest against Governor Okorocha from Orlu Senatorial zone.
Since then each of them has however failed to agree to step down for any one of them. It was alleged that two PDP governorship aspirants, Chief Jerry Chukwueke and Barr Bethel Nzimako alongside the leader of Owerri Zone Political Leaders Forum, OZOPOLF, Chief Charles Amadi, his secretary Barrister Kingsley Ononuju have joined the APC.
A PDP source who pleaded anonymity disclosed to The Guardian that ahead of today’s poll, many PDP chieftains in the state will join APC overtly or covertly. “We cannot afford to play opposition politics.
Our party’s loss of the Presidency to the APC has dampened our morale. I know what I am saying it is not easy to be in opposition. PDP will not recover from the loss soon.
It is a difficult task and we least expect it now. We thought President Jonathan would win landslide,’ the source said.
Also of political advantage to the APC in the state is the recent visit to the state by the President-Elect, General Muhammed Buhari (rtd), where he urged the people to support Okorocha’s reelection bid. Many believed that Buhari’s visit to the state to campaign for Okorocha and meet with Igbo leaders in his party is a moral booster for the today’s governorship poll.
Kwara State Since the conclusion of the presidential election which APC won in the state, there has massive defection from the PDP to the APC.
The development appears to weakening the little strength of the PDP in the state before now. Some of the defectors had in a letter dated April 6, 2015 and addressed to the state’s chairman of APC, Alhaji Ishola Balogun-Fulani, described their voyage in the opposition party as a disaster.
It could be recalled that few days to the presidential election, a prominent PDP leader in the state, Senator Gbemisola Saraki had directed her followers to vote for the APC.
The PDP Women Leader in the state, Hajia Nimota Ibrahim had also resigned her position to join the APC just before the election. Latest defectors include Rev. Bunmi Olusona, Engineer Adebayo Ajimoti, Alhaji Gobir Mohammed, Alhaji Dele Sarkinwa, Dr. Mohammed Potun, Funso Agaka, Alhaji Nasiru Ubandawaki, Engineer Yunus Abdullahi and Mr. Dada Abiodun.
The former PDP leaders traced their decision to defect to a recent meeting they held with the APC leader in the state, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and their realisation that the PDP is peopled by those who do not have the interest of the state at heart.
They described their decision to join the PDP and abandoned the progressive platform as a result of “ignorance” lamenting that what they found in the PDP was best described as belonging to a “generation of vipers”.
Investigation reveals that PDP in the state has always witness some intra party crisis due to some rivalries and differences among its leaders.
Niger State With APC overwhelming victory in presidential and national assembly elections in Niger State, it appears the coast is clear for the party to repeat the same feat in the governorship election.
In the last few days, the APC governorship candidate in the state Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello has been receiving many defectors from the PDP to the APC in the state.
Many political observers are of the view that the outcome of the presidential poll may trigger a bandwagon effect in today’s poll especially in the Northeast, Northwest and North Central regions. Obviously, the PDP governors, and stakeholders in the affected states knowing the implication of losing out completely in today’s poll, will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that their party wins. The opposition party will also latch on its victory in the presidential poll to garner more votes in today’s governorship poll especially in Northeast, North Central and Northwest regions.
Some local government chairmen, members of state assembly and special advisers recently defected formerly at a ceremony held at Gidan Matasa Minna and introduced by a chieftain of APC in the state Alhaji Abubakar Magaji.
Among those who were announced to have joined the APC were a special adviser to Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu on Fiscal Responsibility Alhaji Usman Mohammed, Dr. Saba, a special adviser, Hon Abdullahi Musa, former member House of Representatives, Ahaji Nma Kolo, a former PDP chairman Chanchaga local government and director general Youth Mobilisation to Governor Aliyu, Alhaji Yahaya Emilugi, Mr Paul Jiya as well as Manko Mohammed.
Speaking at the event the Niger state deputy governor, Hon Musa Ibeto who is the leader of the party in the state said all members no matter when they joined have equal rights. He stated that the new members should not engage in acts that made them to abandon the PDP, which was injustice and lack of fairness saying that APC is a party that is deep rooted in fairness and justice.
It would be recall that Ibeto and majority of House of Assembly members have defected en masse to the APC weeks before the presidential election. A situation that made the governor, Alhaji Muazu Babangida Aliyu to hurriedly and undemocratically ask the Speaker of the House of Assembly to take over as his deputy.
Aliyu was also defeated in the senatorial election by David Umaru of the APC.
Aliyu has not relented in the battle to ensure that PDP wins today’s election, but obviously the APC is strong and formidable in the state.
Bauchi State With the trio of Governor Isa Yuguda, PDP national chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, and Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Senator Bala Mohammed, all indigenes of Bauchi and leaders of PDP in the state, the APC presidential candidate, General Muhammed Buhari (rtd) won President Jonathan of PDP in a landslide victory in the just concluded presidential poll in the state.
It could be recall that before the presidential poll, it was disclosed that there has been battle of supremacy in the party between Senator Mohammed and Governor Yuguda.
Their differences came to fore during President Jonathan’s campaign tour to the state where he was pelted with sachet of pure water by some alleged APC thugs. It was governor Yuguda who disclosed that they were not APC thugs as alleged, but were sponsored by Senator Mohammed to humiliate him and make President Jonathan feel that he is not in control of the state.
Recently the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bauchi State has alleged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is intimidating traditional rulers and stakeholders to vote against APC in the forthcoming gubernatorial election or lose their titles.
The APC therefore urged traditional rulers not to allow such threats to derail them from doing the right thing noting that it was only an empty threat. The allegation was made by the APC gubernatorial candidate in the state, Barr Mohammed Abubakar, when he was participating in a debate organised by the Nigerian Union of Journalists tagged ‘Bauchi Decides’.
He commended the people of Bauchi for coming out en masse to vote for Gen Mohammadu Buhari of the APC at the just concluded presidential election assuring that their efforts would not be in vain. Barr Abubakar assured the citizens that if elected, his government would focus on rebuilding the battered economy of the state by ensuring that the solid minerals that abound in the state are utilised effectively to better the lives of the citizenry.
He added that his priority would be to put an end to the corruption that is eating deep into the fabrics of the state, adding that he would ensure that the youth are motivated to work positively by rehabilitating as well as counseling them on dangers of drug abuse.
He added that jobs are out there for the youth but they must be in the right state of mind to be able to work.