Less than 48 hours to the 2019 presidential and National Assembly elections, electorate across Nigeria will go to the poll to decide who will govern them for the next four years at the presidency and National Assembly levels. To this end, there have been lots of preparations among political parties in the country especially between the People Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC).
National Pilot takes a look at how Kwarans will vote in the 16 Local Governments that make up the three Senatorial District in Kwara State.
The senatorial district has the largest population of voters in Kwara and harbours four local governments. Antecedence has shown that vote that comes from this region will be keenly contested especially as PDP and APC both picked their gubernatorial candidates from the district.
Ilorin West, is no doubt, the stronghold of Senate President, Bukola Saraki and leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The Senate President who hails from Aikobi ward in the local government has a formidable political structure in the area, which has remained unbeaten. Ilorin West, believed to have the largest voting population parades many political bigwigs who are in the PDP fold. The PDP has the likes of former Chief of Staff, Ladi Hassan, former gubernatorial aspirants, Bolaji Abdullahi from Ubandawaki and former acting national secretary of the PDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, among others in its fold. Though the party lost some politicians like former House of Reps member, Hon Moshood Mustapha to the opposition, this has not affected the chances of PDP winning in the local government. These factors it is believed should swing the pendulum in favour of the party in the forthcoming elections in the state.
For the opposition APC, apart from the part that it is yet to have a structure that could be reckoned with in the local government, the party is populated with seasonal politicians whom the electorate in the area are not well acquainted with. Then, the
the leading light of the party’s onslaught against the ruling party, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof Shuaib AbdulRaheem Oba’s electoral value cannot match that of the PDP political gladiators in the area.
Verdict PDP 60%
For Ilorin East, although the contest is also expected to be keen because of the House of Reps ticket of APC’s Cook Olododo, the PDP is expected to still carry the day. Like Ilorin West, the party can boast of heavy weight politicians and grassroots mobilisers like the Chairman of the Local Government Civil Service Commission, Hajia Sarat Adebayo, former Ilorin South local government chairman and SA political to Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, Alhaji Bibire Ajape and former House of Assembly member, Hajia Nimota Ibrahim, all from Ibagun Ward.
Although the APC has some former gubernatorial aspirants in its fold, giving the PDP structure a good run for its money may not be easy task. Though the likes of Akeem Lawal, son of late governor of Kwara State, Muhammed Alabi Lawal and former SSG and House of Reps candidate, Cook Olododo are expected to pull some weight, but the non-existence of a strong political structure will be a demerit.
Verdict PDP 55, APC 45
The PDP should be able to coast home to victory in this axis based on the same factor of strong political structure built by Saraki. Aside this, the party can boast of politicians who can hold their own anyday such as former Commissioner for Justice and Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr Ali Ahmad, former House of Assembly member, Ladi Edun, former Commissioner for Health, Atolagbe Alege and Daibu, former SUBEB boss, Lanre Daibu and the former TIC chairman for the council, Isiaka Danmeiromu among other.
Though the APC in this area has notable names in the state’s political circle like the former running mate to Simon Ajibola of the PDP in the 2015 election, Yinka Aluko, former gubernatorial candidate, Dele Belgore and Kale Belgore, the leadership crisis besetting the APC is expected to further takes it tolls on the party’s outing at the polls.
Verdict PDP 50 APC 40
The PDP gubernatorial candidate, Razak Atunwa hails from this local government and ordinarily it is expected that his kinsmen will give him overwhelming support towards the actualisation of his aspiration. In addition, the area has a pool of heavy weight politicians who have contributed to success of the party in previous elections. The Kwara Central Senatorial chairman of the party, Alhaji Jomoh Adesina, former Chairman of the scholarship board and one time House of Assembly member, Hon Isiaka Mogaji, SUBEB commissioner, Wahab Bolakale and former chairman of the council, Saka Obalana, among others are grassrooters, who are expected to deliver for the party.
The APC cannot contest with the structure the Saraki dynasty has built in sa which has produced dogged grassroots mobilisers. The party is not fully on ground in the local government as it has only the likes of House of Reps candidate, Yekini Alajagusi, known for his criticism of the ruling party on radio and Alhaji Ayinla Folorunsho as leading lights in the axis.
Kwara South Senatorial District
For Irepodun, the election will be keenly contested and might favour the APC. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who is the leader of the party in the state is an indigene of Oro in the local government will fight tooth and nail to win in his area. Recall that the party had won the November bye-election and this it would upon. The likes of Raheem Olawuyi popularly called Ajulo Opin from Omu-Aran ward 1 and Seyi Adigun are politicians expected to also work towards actualisation of this feat given their political clouts.
Despite the fact that PDP has quite a number of high-ranking politicians in the local government, like Lukman Owolelwa, chief of Staff to Bukola Saraki, Gbenga Makanjuola, Special Adviser to the governor on Labour and Students matters, Bisi Fakayode, state Commissioner of Finance, Demola Banu, Special Adviser on Agriculture to the governor, Anu Ibiwoye to mention but a few, the influence of Lai Mohammed may thwart the party’s effort in the forthcoming elections in the area.
The election in Ifelodun, where the sitting governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed hails from will be keenly contested. This may not be unconnected with the fact that the opposition party picked its deputy governorship candidate, Kayode Alabi from the area.
The influence of the likes of former Senator Makajuola Ajadi, ex-commissioner, Federal Character Commission, Dr Femi Ogunsola and Chief Rex Olawoye will give the elections the similitude of the clash of the titans.
The elections in Isin, which is the cradle of the former chairman of PDP, Iyiola Oyedepo is expected to be tough as the former party boss is believed to enjoy substantive followership in the area.
The likelihood of the party winning at the polls is slim. This is because Isin has always be in staunch opposition to the ruling dynasty. There may, however, be a change in the narrative ikn the coming election has some of the grievances of people in the local government has been addressed. Also the likes of the former deputy of governor of the state, Chief Joel Ogundeji, former House of Representatives member, Akeem Ayedun, former House of Assembly member, Mrs Felicia Ojerinde, legislative aide to Senate President, Afolabi Afolayan and Chief Bisi Oloruntoba among others are expected to wade their influence to advantage of the party in the elections.
For Oke-Ero, the elections may be keenly contested. This is the only area where the last local government election ended in a stalemate. Though after the poll, many of the active players in the contest defected to the Saraki dynasty, how the election will go between the two contending parties in the forthcoming general poll remains a puzzle.
The defection of former Commissioner for Environment, Barrister Anthony Towoju and other party stalwarts will contribute to the tough contest in the local government.
The ruling party in the stands greater chance of recording success at the polls. The people of the area are known to be loyalists of the Saraki dynasty. The door to door campaigne embarked upon by the council boss, Comrade Yinka Dallas will likely have impact on the pattern of voting in the area.
Political pundits believe that the defection of former Commissioner for Environment, Otunba Taiwo Joseph (OTJ), will be inconsequential to the outcome of the elections just as it is believed that the likes of Senator Simon Ajibola and former PDP factional chairman, Prince Sunday Fagbemi do not have the wherewithal to dislodge the PDP in the area.
The recent political events in this local government have shown that the council area has ceased to be the home of the opposition. The PDP is expected to swim on the momentum of the recent visit of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki which attracted a mammoth crowd. With presence of the likes of House of Reps candidate, Tope Olayonu, House Leader, Hon Hassan Oyeleke, council chairman, Abdullateef Gbadamasi and his former counterpart, Segun Olawoyin, former SA security, Taju Alabi, former Commissioner for Information, Babatunde Ajeigbe, SSA media to Governor Ahmed, Dr Femi Akorede and the PDP chairman, Kola Shittu are expected to provide necessary support for the PDP to carry the day.
From the recent narrative in Offa, it is obvious that the opposition party has lost grip of the area. The APC will as usual be counting on feeble support of former gubernatorial and Senatorial candidate, Arch Lola Asiru and lawmaker of the Kwara State house of Assembly, Hon Saheed Popoola among others.
Many factors could count in favour of the PDP in Oyun. The present Kwara South Senator, Rafiu Ibrahim is from the area and his impacts on that community was felt by not only members of his party but the opposition who joined voice to advocate for his re-election even when the ticket was ceded to the Gov Fatah. Other PDP members whose impact cannot be overemphasisd House of Assembly member, Kamal Fagbemi, the PDP chairman and House of Assembly candidate, Tijani Olaegbe and Commissioner for Sports who is now House of Assembly candidate among others.
The APC’s leadership crisis is also expected to further affect the votes of the party with the likes of Kwara South Senatorial factional chairman, Jimoh Balogun and his members further depleting the votes.
For Kwara North Senatorial district, the PDP’s MoU on power shift to the north with other concessions in other positions like the SSG and Speaker among other juicy positions is expected to play a vital role on the fortunes of the PDP. The offer which has been described as a master stroke by many political watchers no doubt will swing votes in favour of PDP.
Over the years, the Senatorial chairman of the region, Alhaji Isiaka Oniwa, delivered many political victories for the dynasty and this election shouldn’t be an exception. The people of the local government are known to be loyal to the dynasty with strong affinity to the emirate.
The APC may not get the support of traditional rulers, who have influence on their subjects in the area because of their strong affiliation with the emirate.
The PDP in this local government has the likes of former governor of the state,
Al-Hassan Mohammed and Yinusa Yahaya (Bulldozer), who are known to be strong grassroots mobiliser in the area. The former governor of the state, Alhaji
Sha’aba Lafiagi is from the local government and is expected to work for the party’s success at the polls.
The opposition party is not likely to give the ruling party a run for its money in the election though it parades the likes of former Commissioner for National Population Commission, Abubakar Ndakele, the party’s gubernatorial aspirant and newly appointed member of RMFAC, Alahji Abdullahi Yaman and the Makama of Edu and APC’s gubernatorial aspirant, Alhaji Tajudeen Audu.
Verdict PDP 60
The pact that the Kwara North signed with the party will go a long way to determine the outcome of the elections, which is most likely to be in favour of the ruling party in the state. From speculation it is believed that the arrangement will favour the local government as it may produce the next governor of the state.
Among other factors that will influences the voting pattern f Patigi is the influence of a three time member of the House of Representatives, Hon Ahman Pategi (Bahago), former Deputy Speaker and now Nigeria Ambassador to Japan, Professor Yisas Gana and former Kwara State Head of Service, Danbarako
Verdict PDP 65
The race in Kaiama between the PDP and the APC will no doubt be keenly contested as the Emir’s younger brother, Abubakar Sodiq is contesting for the House of Reps seat under the platform of the APC.
The political contest in Kaiama, will no doubt be a tough one. The immediate brother of the Emir of Kaiama, Umar Sulyman Sodiq, is the APC candidate for the House of Representatives and this will undoubtedly affect the way the people will cast their votes. In addition, most of the grassroots politicians in the area have defected to APC over some perceived grievances on the issue of ticket denial.
Verdict PDP 50
The outcome of the elections in Baruten is expected to favour the PDP given the fact that the zone is producing a senatorial candidate on PDP platform, Zakari Mohammed, who is a former House of Reps member. This is expected to sway votes to the advantage of the ruling party. The huge support from the traditional institution it is believed will also influence the voting pattern in that axis.
Verdict PDP 60