The Party to Beat in Kogi 2023 Governorship Election

Kogi Governorship Election
Kogi Governorship Election
A few days before the much-awaited Governorship election in Kogi State, it would interest everyone to have a view of how the election may go, and the projections of what may later roll out at the poll.

It is going to be a great election, and what will interest the people most is whether the Lion of the Confluence State, Governor Yahaya Bello will successfully maintain his unbeaten records at polls or he will fail to replicate the radicalism he displayed during his second term election in the state.

November 11th Governorship election in Kogi State, will among other things, settle the ethnical supremacy that has rocked the politics of the state for decades as it is keenly a political contest between Okun people of the Kogi West senatorial district, Ebira people of the Kogi Central Senatorial District and Igala people of the Kogi East Senatorial District.

Foremost, let's quickly run through the governorship candidates of the three major parties that seem to be keenly in for the contest, and concurrently their capacities.

Ahmed Usman Ododo

Ahmed Usman Ododo is the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). He is from the Ebira people of the Kogi Central Senatorial District where the outgoing Governor Yahaya Bello hails.

Ododo has the advantages of being the choice of the "White Lion", Yahaya Bello, and the merit of belonging to the ruling party though his weakness is central to the fact that his senatorial district produced the outgoing Governor Yahaya Bello and his candidacy could be considered by some electorates as an abuse to the rotation of power. Although there was a standing tradition in Kogi State where the Igala people of the Kogi East held the state to ransom, producing four consecutive governors of the state with no rotation.

If Ahmed Usman Ododo wins, it will speak volumes about the tradition and the Okun people of the Kogi West may be implored to be getting themselves ready only for their turn.

However, it is very important to recall that the coming of Governor Yahaya Bello was not intentional. It was a result of natural occurrence that took away the governorship position of the state from the Igala people of the Kogi East following the demise of Abubakar Audi, APC candidate in the 2015 Governorship election that took place in the state.

Dino Melaye

Senator Dino Melaye is the governorship candidate of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) for the November 11th Kogi State Governorship election. Melaye hails from the Okun area of the Kogi West, the senatorial district he once represented on the Red Chamber of the national assembly.

His performance during the time he spent in the House of Representatives and the Senate will go a long way in determining how he will be treated in the state but he has the advantage of flying the governorship flag of a Kogi PDP with not much crisis. Besides, the population of the Okun people of the Kogi West and the poor relationship among the three major ethnic groups in the state might be his weaknesses.

Murtala Ajaka

Murtala Ajaka is the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). He hails from the Igala people of the Kogi East senatorial district. His major challenge is that his party is not viably rooted in the state as he has the advantage of tapping from his street popularity and the marriage between his aggrieved members of APC and the aggrieved members of PDP.

Now, let's take a quick run through how the political parties may perform across the state, taking a keen look at an interesting fact about Kogi state where each of the Senatorial District represents an ethnic group.

Social Democratic Party (SDP)

SDP has a chance of performing well in the election as it has successfully established a political pressure group between two aggrieved politicians from both APC and PDP, the two most prominent parties in the state.

SDP, with consideration of the governorship candidate and his running mate, will draw votes from his Igala people who have been ruling the state for decades. However, SDP couldn't be a projected political party to beat in the governorship contest for some reasons.

First, SDP lacks the financial muscle to flex with political bigwigs in both APC and PDP where financial aides will roll in from other states' governors, Senators, political office holders at both state and National levels, and individuals who might have amassed their wealth from the parties' regime.

Also, while APC and PDP have opportunities to deploy government pieces of machinery towards influencing the electioneering processes, SDP is an orphanage political party that is only in the race to deplete the voting strength of APC and PDP bearing in mind that both the SDP governorship candidate and his deputy come from APC and PDP, respectively. There is no hope SDP will win at any of the three major Senatorial Districts but it will earn many votes to compete for the first or second runner-up.

People's Democratic Party (PDP)

Looking at the candidacy of Dino Melaye of the PDP in Kogi State, one would be surprised if PDP means business in the state. Arguably though, the party means business and it has only gone the way it did in Osun State, and if you have been keenly following PDP and Dino Melaye, you would remember he once said PDP had devised a new means to win an election.

There is nothing hidden in the strategy, the new means found by the PDP is to present a comic candidate who wouldn't have much to offer the people but entertainment, taking the intelligence of the people for granted, knowing fully well that Nigerians play too much.

PDP may perform wonderfully well in Kogi West Senatorial District looking at the agitation by the Okun people of the region to produce the Governor of the state for the first time.

Also, the PDP may capitalize on the presence and popularity of Senator Natasha Akpoti in the Kogi Central to grab votes from the region.

The exit of Sam Abenemi, a former Deputy Chairman of PDP in Kogi State, from the party to SDP will sorely deflate PDP's votes. PDP is well distributed across the state, popular, and has the financial wherewithal to flex muscle with the ruling party, APC, but may come short of deploying full political pieces of machinery towards influencing the outcome of the election.

PDP has a chance of emerging as the first runner-up or winning the election, depending on how the party manages the next few hours before the election.

All Progressives Congress (APC)

With Ahmed Usman Ododo as the governorship candidate of APC, the party will perform wonderfully well in Kogi Central where electorates may cast their votes alongside ethnic guidelines just as other Senatorial districts would have well done.

Ododo's APC has a statewide spread of political popularity backed with executive support from the APC-controlled Kogi State and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Ododo's Ebira people would be out on Saturday to emulate what the state has seen in the hands of Igala people, and he may enjoy massive support from his people.

Besides, Ododo has the advantage of relying on the widespread length of Kogi State Executive cabinet members, Director General of Government Agencies, Heads of Parastatals; Local Government Administrators, Councillors across the political wards in the state, and political leaders who may have within their reach, public authorities to influence the voting directions across their domains and convince their neighbors to drop ethnic factors in the course of winning the election for APC.

Except Governor Yahaya Bello, the White Lion, is tamed; no much obstacle is standing on the path of APC and Ododo to victory as the duo have the opportunity to withhold his senatorial district and perform wonderfully well in the two other senatorial districts due to incumbency of his party.

Interestingly, Murtala Ajaka wasn't allowed to contest APC Primary based on a court order that was alleged to be falsely produced on the morning of the election. He then decamped to SDP, where he is now the flagbearer and has a huge followership; Dino Melaye is running the race on chances of uncertainty which is not too bad in Politics, and most especially in Nigerian politics where trial and error could change trends. Ahmed Usman Ododo is taking a trial of his Kogi Central Senatorial District repeating what Kogi East senatorial district practiced for decades, and once it clicks, a new tradition might have been incorporated into the politics of Kogi State where a Senatorial District will keep attempting to pocket a whole state until there is, possibly, a natural or special intervention.

Category: World-News
Tag: Kogi Governorship Election
Written by Omooba Alekuwodo (omoobaalekuwodo)
Published 11/9/2023 12:54:01 PM

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