2015: Wada Remains The Man to Beat by Abu Micheal

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With elections now over and newly-elected leaders about to take office, it is safe to say, given the rancorous, indecorous campaigns, Nigeria won in an election in which its people, for the higher sake of their country, simply voted for change. The main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) recorded an impressive performance with its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari defeating incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In the April 11 governorship and House of Assembly elections, the APC also floored the PDP, retaining all of its states and taking over a few others from the PDP, according to results released so far. Beyond the victory of one candidate and his party, and despite incidents of violence, the vote bore a semblance of fairness and a reflection of the people’s free will.

The General elections in Nigeria have come and gone. The Presidential and National Assembly election saw General Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Congress (APC), defeating the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan in an election adjudged by observers as keenly contested.

The APC would in the next National Assembly control the majority seats, a paradigm shift from what obtains in the last sixteen years of the nation’s democratic experiment.

Kogi State and eight other States did not hold Governorship election. This is because the tenure of the Governors would not end on May 29th 2015.

The results of the General elections in Kogi State is however a subject of discourse for political and concerned stakeholders. This could partly be because the state is likely be the first to hold its Governorship election before the other eight States.

Furthermore, Kogi State is a state in the North Central State.  The APC, now controls all States in the region which were under the control of the PDP except for Kogi. Presently, Kwara, Benue, Niger, Plateau, Nasarawa are now  APC state’s.

Until the March 28 Presidential and National Assembly election, Kogi State was referred to as a PDP State. The result of the Presidential election however caused an upset as it proved book makers permutation wrong. The State was not only won by the President elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, it lost its all the three senatorial and six house of representative seats to the APC.

Many factors could be adduced for the upset; the wave of change caused by the Buhari candidature; but more importantly, the wrong choice of candidates by the PDP at the senatorial and constituency levels.

Many say the Kogi State PDP paid dearly for its decision to field unpopular candidates, and for not adhering to the zoning understanding, a reason analyst posit was major reason for the party’s dismal performance alongside other issues of governance as it relates to salaries of Local Government workers, teachers and health workers.

Two weeks after the Presidential and National Assembly election, the victory of the PDP in the state has opened up a new thinking, making the APC Presidential and National Assembly victory that was widely celebrated in the State as a flash in the pan.

The PDP in the State despite protest by the APC over irregularities has won majority of the Assembly seats, thus making political analyst conclude that the party has bounced back to reckoning, another indication that Capt Idris Wada, the incumbent governor who though has not declared to run a second term for which he is constitutionally entitled to, remains the man to beat if he makes up his mind to run.

Certainly and without mincing words, residents of the State have come to agree that the “Sai Buhari” and “Change” bug, caught up with people of the State who are mostly Moslems, religion a factor that influences election in Nigeria, shaped the March, 28th election APC victory.

But with majority votes for the PDP from sixteen LGA’s of the State in the last State Assembly election, it shows that the State still remain a PDP State but of course still open for any of the party’s depending on the dynamics that will play out in the days ahead. This dynamics will majorly do with who emerges the flag bearer of the APC.

The Assembly victory has no doubt put the Kogi state PDP in a comfortable stead ahead the state’s forthcoming governorship election.

Capt Wada’s administration, though amidst several challenges of dwindling financial resources accruing to the state has made appreciable progress in several sectors including agriculture and natural resources, commerce and industry and human capital development.

Amidst so much expectations from the people of the state, Capt Wada has undertook the construction of 58 road projects across the state, improved the education sector and has built close to a 1000 housing units in the last three years of his administration. Certainly, if Capt Wada decides to run, will remain the man to beat.

One other thing you certainly can’t take away from the Kogi PDP is it’s solid structure which is visible and noticeable in every, units, wards and local government areas of the state. Unlike the APC, yes, some noticeable personalities defected from the PDP to APC mostly in the Eastern part of the state. This could however not have been a factor that shaped the Presidential and National Assembly Election. The people of the state only joined in the bandwagon to effect the change at the centre. The Kogi APC is still operating on a weak structure, dictated by one single individual and candidates-elect who won because their election was conducted same day with that of Major-General Mohammadu Buhari the President elect. Most members of the APC are moles in the PDP using government and PDP machinery to undo the PDP.

The failure of the APC in the State House of Assembly is a reflection of lack of structures of the party. The Party simply won by reason of protest votes and in places the PDP mostly imposed unpopular candidates.

Though other factors as it relates to the choice of an APC governorship candidate and how well the incumbent Governor is able to manage the noticed challenges is likely to help shape what happens to the Governorship election that may hold in the last quarter in 2015. For now Capt Wada and the PDP hold the ace as the man and party to beat.


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