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Ogun gov’ship: A race against time

In Ogun State, political calculations have not favoured any of the top contenders gunning to replace Senator Ibikunle Amosun, whose tenure elapses on May 29.

If the outcome of the February 23 presidential and parliamentary elections would determine which political party carries the day in this Saturday’s governorship polls in Ogun State, the ruling APC would have been basking in the euphoria in advance.

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Analysts say no two elections are the same and in Ogun, it is obvious that political calculations have not favoured any of the top contenders, as the pendulum may swing in any direction. This has generated tension and uncertainty in the polity.

The ruling party has even demanded for military presence for Saturday’s poll following the killing of a police corporal, Sunday Idoko, in the last election, but a group of civil society organisations described it as unnecessary.

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Few days to the poll, losers in the National Assembly elections are now re-aligning with major parties, APC being the largest beneficiary so far.

The senatorial candidates of African Democratic Congress (ADC) in Ogun East, Deji Ashiru and that of Green Party of Nigeria (GPN) in Ogun Central, Mrs. Majekodunmi-Onokoya, have pitched their tents with the APC gubernatorial candidate, Dapo Abiodun.

Interestingly, Governor Ibikunle Amosun has gone to the political battle with bare knuckles, abandoning APC on whose platform he won his Senate seat. He now leads the campaign train of his anointed candidate, Adekunle Akinlade of Allied Peoples Movement (APM).

And last Friday, the National Working Committee (NWC) suspended him for anti-party activities. Amosun who seems unperturbed has failed to react to his suspension and possible expulsion as recommended.

However, the complex political scenario between APC and APM depicts a repeat of what played out in 2011 during the days of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state. While it is not clear whether any of the parties will win the governorship election, the coast is not cleared for other parties either.

In the just concluded polls, the ruling APC, apart from winning the presidential election in the state, equally cleared the three senatorial seats and won six out of the nine House of Representatives seats.

The trio of PDP, APM and ADC managed to clinch a Reps seat each.

This Saturday, 42 governorship candidates would be battling for 1,694,865 votes in the event voters agree to come out.

However, observers have narrowed the contest to five top contenders including Dapo Abiodun of APC, Akinlade of APM; Gboyega Nasiru Isiaka of ADC, Buruji Kashamu of PDP and Dimeji Bankole of ADP.

Two of the top contenders, Akinlade and Isiaka hail from Ogun West, and the duo would largely split votes from the area alongside others who may give some good fight.

In Ogun East, Kashamu and Abiodun are fully on ground and may likely score large chunk of the votes. Analysts believed other candidates like Akinlade and Isiaka may end up getting lower votes in the region.

Incontrovertibly, Ogun Central remains the decider of who wins the election; and Bankole remains the only man standing in the district believed to be Amosun’s stronghold. The former speaker, Daily Trust understands, believes once the electorate decide to vote based on regional sentiment, he is home and dry.

Events of the recent past have shown that major contenders are poised to equally split votes coming from Ogun Central, thereby making it difficult for the governor to deliver his “strongholds” for APM.

But certainly, the biggest loser of Saturday’s election, perhaps, would be Ogun West, a region which has not produced a governor since the creation of the state in 1976, if none of the candidates from the district emerges as Amosun’s successor.

Spokesman of the APC Caretaker Committee, Tunde Oladunjoye, told Daily Trust that “In the annals of Ogun State political history, no governor has been able to install a successor and Amosun’s case would not be different.”

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