The Editorial Team of KogiReports, Independent political observers, analysts, working on views from the electorate, among them, aged people, artisans, women, youth and students, politicians across party leanings, public commentators, including on the social media, attempted local government–by-local government assessments of party/candidate standing ahead Kogi West Senate’s election and pointed to a race that is too close to call:
The leading candidates are:
Accord – Samuel Bamidele Aro
APC – Daniel Melaye
PDP – Smart Adeyemi
SDP – William Toyin Akanle
LP – Hon Abidemi Adeyemi
KABBABUNU LGA (about 53,000 voters)
Mainstream Kabba Bunu leaders struck a deal with PDP’s Smart Adeyemi to retain House of Reps seat.
The aged voters may stick with PDP but majority of the younger voters are filing behind Accord and APC senate candidates.
Kabba-Bunu is a traditional PDP base but recent scheming especially in Bunuland may see that changing. Duro Meseko, a former Editor with Thisday Newspaper and ex-member of House of Representatives however predicted 50:40 in favour of PDP. He added a caveat: both APC and Accord have equal chance of coming second.
YAGBA WEST LGA (about 29,000 voters)
Two senate candidates hail from Yagba West – Samuel Aro of Accord and Abidemi Adeyemi of LP. Aro is seen as a more serious contender.
Aro is expected to lead, but he will contend with the long years of robust structure of PDP, which will have the backing of Federal and state might, the DLG, House of Representatives member, Steve Karimi’s support-base, Egbe, Otunba Funsho Owoyemi, Otunba Sam Owa and huge financial war-chest of the Bashorun Jide Omokore, which extends to Yagba West and capable of performing ‘wonders’ among electorate. The votes will flow in favour of Aro in the Area Council but even if he has pockets of supporters from Egbe, the elites of the commercial nerve of Yagba West may not be willing to mobilize for Aro.
YAGBA EAST (about 34,000 voters)
The most volatile zone in the senate race – home of Omokore, PDP state chairman, Hassan Salau, home of SDP candidate Toyin Akanle and most sentimental LGA whose people rightly believe it is their turn to produce the next Kogi West senator.
Votes will be badly divided between Accord, PDP and SDP while APC will settle for crumbs.
A member of Kogireports editorial crew hazards a prediction of the outcome of the senate’s election in his home local government as follows:
“SDP will have good showing in Makutu/Itedo/Mopo axis of Isanlu-land and probably Ife-Olukotun while Accord is poised to win Ejuku, Aredu and Bagido. PDP will contend with these two parties in all the 10 wards. Money and structure will play a huge role. APC will settle for remnants.
MOPAMURO (about 15,000 voters)
The smallest LGA but may experience the worst electoral friction. The election will be a straight battle between PDP’s Awoniyi/Daniyan, APC’s Obembe/Obaro and Accord’s Funsho Daniel. Most Mopa elite are strongly against PDP’s Smart Adeyemi’s 3rd term and this might affect PDP badly is not well managed. SDP might spring surprises but overall, prediction is tough here.
IJUMU (about 45,000 voters)
The home of PDP’s Smart Adeyemi and APC’s Dino Melaye. Voters loyal to two prominent rival PDP leaders are allegedly working for Accord/APC. Smart is expected to win Ijumu Arin while Dino is expected to have a good showing in Gbede axis. PDP is expected to lead here, followed closely by APC, Accord Party and SDP.
LOKOJA (about 115,000 voters)
The biggest LGA in the district. PDP’s initial setback is changing fast with aggressive fence-mending and the grassroots appeal of Suleiman Babadoko Gurza. The Buhari appeal is another strong factor in Lokoja LGA. APC and Accord are poised to gain from this. Buharists are sharply divided between Accord’s Aro and APC’s Dino. The young who can easily differentiate ballot papers will vote Buhari and Aro. The old voters will vote Buhari and Dino.
Predictions: APC /Accord divide will be an advantage for PDP to close gaps.
KOTONKARFE (about 47,271 voters)
This is an APC zone. APC is expected to get her best results here. The LP house of representatives candidate is quite strong and is openly working for PDP’s Smart. They have huge funds and strong structure.
Like Lokoja, Aro is banking on APC’s house of reps candidate’s structures in this LGA. This will split APC supporters badly. SDP can spring surprises if they leverage on the political confusion here.
Predictions similar to Lokoja.
YAGBA WEST-Accord /PDP /APC/SDP
YAGBA EAST -SDP/PDP/Accord
Smart /Dino neck-to-neck in Ijumu and Kabbabunu;
Dino/Aro photofinishing in Lokoja/Kotonkarfe with Smart’s PDP rebuilding and looking for break from APC/Accord confusion;
Aro is edging Smart in Yagba West but money is a huge factor if he must sustain this edge till Election Day. Calculations are a different thing in Yagba East where a ‘Third Force’ has emerged in SDP. Smart will rely on Omokore factor to pull the stunt against an SDP that will come strong on Akanle’s nativity and Aro on Erukutu Yagba’s strength.
Mopamuro is a traditional PDP base. Baring the unforeseen, PDP most likely going to runaway with majority of votes on the strength of Awoniyi/Daniyan/incumbency factors, despite opposition to third term by the elites. Although Accord and APC will also make strong impact in Mopamuro.
In the final analysis, many are of the view that the opposition parties self-destruct sponsoring four candidates in four opposing political parties.