In politics, anything can happen. Or who would have imagined that the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, regarded as political warlord and kingmaker in his state, Kwara would lose an election to return to the senate?
Or Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi who could not move his people to vote for him to go to the senate. Such were the surprises that trailed the last Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Today’s Governorship and State House of Assembly elections nation wide are also expected to be full of surprises. There are some governors who are seeking a re-election for second term but appear to have been abandoned in the desert as the powers and principalities that brought them to power have deserted them. Can they therefore survive the battle on their own or become casualties? We went round the states to x-ray the chances of some contenders for the governorship race and the factors that may work against their ambitions.
As the gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections hold across Oyo State today, the political headquarters of the South West, it has shown from the Presidential and National Assembly elections that the 2019 general elections would spring some surprises.
Before the elections, virtually everyone had concluded that the ruling All Progressives Congress would have a landslide victory over its main opposition. Though, the broom party still made some clear statements through its performance at the polls that it still held sway in the state. While the PDP won the Presidential election by a slight margin, the APC won two senatorial districts and nine out of fourteen House of Representatives seats.
The results woke the APC from its slumber and its erroneous conclusion that it would control the state for long. The PDP, on the other hand, knowing it won by a slight margin, is blocking all loopholes to ensure it regains its lost glory in the state.
The PDP had been relishing on its narrow win believing it would still achieve the feat at today’s governorship poll when the bombshell of the defection of a former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala was announced. The defection dealt a very big blow to PDP as the former governor was the one that sealed their victory after bringing about 25,000 votes from Ogbomoso North and Ogbomoso South.
His defection which came just three months after he called the APC all sorts of names and left the party, could change the political calculation. APC, also reacted by ensuring that his son, Olamiju Alao-Akala was removed as the local government chairman of Ogbomoso North.
It was just a call from the National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu that added another twist to the game. To counter the new twist, PDP has wooed parties like Social Democratic Party, African Democratic Congress, Zenith Labour Party and some members of Alliance for Democracy.
APC, apart having former governor Alao-Akala in its kitty still won the heart of a very influential Yoruba group, Yoruba Patriots Movement led by Chief Dosu Oladipo which promised to mobilise 250,000 voters for Chief Adebayo Adelabu.
Unless something is done to change the tide, the pendulum of victory which still dangles between the two parties may tilt towards the APC. However, if eligible voters in Ogbomoso North and South refuse to do the bidding of Alao-Akala, then it is just a matter of time that PDP will be crowned as the winner of the election.