In this excerpt from a piece written by ALEXANDER OKERE, we take a look at how things are looking out for Atiku and Buhari ahead of the polls which begins in a few hours time.
The election in Kwara State will definitely be a battle between the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who are both struggling to gain political control of the state. Although the PDP lost Kwara to the APC in the 2015 presidential election, it regained power when Saraki and Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed defected from the ruling party to the opposition.
The presidential poll will surely put to the test the reported popularity of the two leaders and their ability to deliver the state to their respective candidates.
In Benue, Buhari’s popularity may not have a significant effect on the voters, going by the criticisms against his administration over insecurity in the region. Governor Samuel Ortom, who won his first term in office under the APC, joined the opposition PDP last July. Analysts believe it will be easy for Atiku to ride on the alleged failure of the APC to protect the lives and property of the residents against attacks by bandits.
Plateau and Kogi
Plateau and Kogi states have one thing in common – the two major political parties won one of the states by a narrow margin. While the PDP had 549,615 votes as against the APC’s 429,140 votes, the latter won in Kogi by polling 264,851 votes as against PDP’s 149,987. Both states are under the control of the ruling APC but they remain battles grounds with the possibility of the winner coming from any of the parties.
Nasarawa had been under the PDP from 1999 till 2011 when the incumbent Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura emerged on the platform of the APC. Pundits are of the view that the PDP lost in the state in 2015 through protest votes and the Northern factor in favour of Buhari. Now that the major candidates are of the Northern extraction and are Muslims, a repeat of the 2015 win may not be easy to achieve.
The opposition PDP in Niger State believes it will have an edge over its rival in the election, hinging its strength on the alleged poor performance of the APC government in the area of physical infrastructure. But the ruling party maintains that Buhari remains the candidate to beat at the polls because he had endeared himself to the residents, especially farmers who benefitted from his administration’s agricultural programmes. Although the APC has incumbency power on its side, the influence of the opposition cannot be wished away easily.
Let us know what your thoughts are on his article in the comment section below.
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