- Nine days to Kogi governorship election, the top political parties are engaging in final battle
- The INEC said that 23 parties would contest the election
- Legit.ng's research revealed that the election would be keenly contested among five top political parties
Less than two weeks to the conduct of governorship election holding in Kogi on Saturday, November 16, political horse-trading has become intense and all the parties, especially the leading ones claim to have people’s support to win the election.
In this article, Legit.ng examines the intrigues and political power play among the real contenders in the race who are willing to occupy the Lugard House for the next four years.
From the information obtained from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Kogi governorship election would be contested among 23 candidates. But based on their party’s presence, candidate’s political wit and acceptance by the people; pundits posit that the real contest would be among top five candidates in the state.
Out of the 23 parties contesting the election, five parties are considered to be strong and the real contenders for the most exalted seat in the state. They are: All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Accord Party (AP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Legit.ng hereby presents the top five parties for the election, their candidates and their chances.
1. APC/Yahaya Bello
The All Progressives Congress is the ruling party in the state. The party’s candidate for the election, Yahaya Bello, is the incumbent governor of the state and he is pursuing his second term ambition.
It is believed that though he enjoys the power of incumbency which may perhaps, be among his strengths, the candidate of PDP, Musa Wada, may spring a surprise.
Bello enjoys backing from the presidency, the big wigs of the party including the former governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the party’s national chairman and his colleagues from APC controlling states.
His recent endorsement by one of his arch political rivals, James Faleke, who was the running mate to the late Abubakar Audu, was a big boost for his re-election bid.
The historic political event was held on Thursday, October 24 at the Government House, Lokoja.
The Audu/Faleke group is one of the formidable political groups in the state. The event witnessed a large turnout of supporters of the late former governor of Kogi state, Abubakar Audu, who declared their support for Governor Bello’s re-election bid
Bello also enjoys the overwhelming influence of his new deputy, Edward Onoja.
But the political watchers posit that the battle between Bello and his former deputy, Simon Achuba, may negatively affect his chances at the poll. The impeached deputy governor will not leave any stone unturned to sabotage Bello’s effort to get re-elected given the way he was booted out of the Government House.
2. PDP/Musa Wada
The PDP is another party that has better chance to win the November 16 governorship election. In terms of the presence and candidate’s popularity in the state, PDP has what it takes to give APC a good fight.
Its candidate, Musa Wada, is the younger brother of the former governor of the state, Idris Wada. He is also a son-in-law to former governor Ibrahim Idris having married one of his daughters. This connection and family ties would undoubtedly swing more votes to his side during the election.
Wada who is from the majority Igala ethnic group boasts of the largest voting population in the state which is quite a boost to his political adventure.
Apart from being an Igala, Wada is also from Dekina local government area which has the largest voting strength amongst the 21 local government areas of the state.
However, Wada needs serious intervention and fence mending within his party if he must win the election. The first challenge he has to contend with is the fact that some of the party stalwarts are not in support of his candidature.
His brother, Ibrahim Wada and the Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, publicly rejected roles given to them to play ahead of the election. While Melaye rejected campaign director general’s role, Wada chose to take a back seat.
Unless something urgent is done to pacify the aggrieved members, the Musa Wada’s hope to govern the state may be dashed at the poll.
Accord Party (AP)’s governorship candidate for the election, Abdullahi Mohammed, is the major financier of the party. Before now, he had tried his luck and this will be his second attempt at the Kogi governorship elections 2019.
In 2015, he reached the stage of the primary election before losing out.
The candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Barr Natasha Akpoti , is said to have engaged in quite a number of commendable activities across the state even before she signified her intention to contest the election.
Akpoti, who is a lawyer and social activist, is a half caste – her late father was a medical doctor from Okene in Kogi central, while her mother is from Russia. Her gubernatorial ambition is making waves across the state and might just be a candidate to watch.
Akpoti is said to have the support of Ebira women and quite a handful of teeming supporters.
Shielkh Ibrahim, who was a former member of APC, is the candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for the November 16 election. He left the party over alleged injustice among the party’s hierarchy.
Wherever the pendulum swings on Saturday, November 16, the state would have new government in place, the real winner and losers would be unveiled
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that prominent chieftains of PDP in Kogi state on Wednesday, November 7, defected to the APC ahead of the governorship election in the state.
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