if presidential election was not postponed
By Dirisu Yakubu
if presidential election was not postponed
For months, they have literally been at the throat of each other in the quest to swell up their support base. Today, that support would be put to test as President Muhammadu Buhari squares of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, squares up against a veteran of the game-the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
So, what are their chances across the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT?
Abia state, South-East Nigeria is a stronghold of the PDP. With Governor Okezie Ikpeazu seeking a fresh four years mandate, the odds are clearly in Atiku’s favour.
Although, the APC boast an impressive presence in the state, Atiku is highly favoured t take this one, what with his recent endorsement by the pan Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo?
Adamama, the home state of Atiku is an APC-controlled state given that Governor Jibrilla Bindo was elected in 2015 on the platform of the ruling party.
But the state is also home to wife of the President Buhari, Aisha who has been meeting with various stakeholders on the need to get her husband re-elected.
Apart from the state government, Atiku is the biggest employer of labour in the agrarian state; a factor that may give the President a run for his money.
Given the political permutations on ground and Atiku not prepared to have Buhari beat him in his den, the former Vice President is bookmakers’ favourite to win here.
Oil-rich Akwa Ibom is a fortress of the PDP since the return to democracy in 1999. Its governor, Udom Emmanuel is seeking a renewal of the mandate he got in 2015.
Although former Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio and Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on National Assembly Matters are now members of the APC, Atiku stands a better chance of winning here than Buhari.
With a sitting governor and a good number of state and federal parliamentarians, President Buhari is favoured to take the North-East state.
However, veteran politicians like Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and PDP governorship candidate, Bala Mohammed are certainly no pushovers and would do everything possible to give the ruling party the fight of its life.
There will be no governorship election in oil-rich Bayelsa this year but Governor Seriake Dickson is fully committed to delivering the state to Atiku.
Working alongside Nigeria’s immediate past President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Atiku may as well spare himself some few hours of sleep, aware Bayelsa is in the bag.
Until his defection to the PDP, Governor Samuel Ortom was in the camp of President Buhari. Today, he says his lost happiness has returned and he has charged voters to rally behind Atiku.
The incessant killings in the stated which appeared to have abated in the past few months may work in favour of the PDP candidate as many believed President Buhari did not handle the violent skirmishes well.
Here, President Buhari is likely to struggle to convince the electorate to pitch tent with him once more following the worsening security situation.
Today, there are fears elections may not hold in some parts of the state given the manner the insurgents launched ferocious attacks in recent times.
Governor Ben Ayande is seeking a new mandate that would see his tenancy of Government House expire in 2023 if he is elected in the 2019 governorship polls.
Like Akwa Ibom, APC is a new comer in Cross River and will struggle to match the party’s structure in the state. Atiku is highly favoured to win with a landslide.
The APC may boast of tested politicians like the immediate past governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan and perennial governorship contestant, Great Ogboru but Delta is under the firm grip of PDP.
Apart from Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Senator James Manager and ex-governor of the state, James Ibori all working for the success of the party, President Buhari faces an uphill task to defeat Atiku here.
Governor Dave Umahi was once rumoured to be working for President Buhari but he has in the past few weeks demonstrated his commitment to winning the State for Atiku.
With his eyes for a fresh mandate, Umahi knows the difficulty in pushing his cause and that of a Presidential candidate on the platform of another party.
Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the APC national chairman, left some memorable infrastructural development in Edo state while he served as governor.
Till date, he remains a popular figure across all three senatorial districts. Although like Bayelsa, no governorship poll will hold here, President Buhari is likely to pip Atiku to the state.
Enugu is a PDP-controlled state with Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu both seeking return to their positions.
Following the successful handling of the rift occasioned by Atiku’s choice of his running mate, Peter Obi, Ekweremadu has committed his body, soul and spirit to the PDP cause in this election. In addition they have power house Chimaroke Nnamani back to PDP. It’s Atiku’s here.
Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo’s second term in office will come to an end on May 29, 2019 and his dedication to the victory of Atiku is not in doubt. He remains the strongman of Gombe politics given his stewardship in the course of the past eight years. Atiku is tipped to beat Buhari by a wide margin.
Ordinarily, APC would have been favoured to stand a poll chance to beat other parties here but the intrigues which characterized its congresses and primaries have thrown up the state for contest.
Governor Okorocha is aggrieved and so is the APC chairman who believes the party is not getting the support it deserved from the governor. Chances of both parties are pegged at 50-50.
Governor Abubakar Badaru was elected on the platform of the APC in 2015 and he is reputed to have done fairly well in meeting his electoral promises.
However, Sule Lamido, the former state governor is going the whole hog to see to the victory of Atiku at the polls.
Elections here will be keenly contested but President Buhari may take this one again, like he did in 2015.
Kaduna has been enmeshed in crisis in the past few years; Governor El-Rufai’s handling of same has left the people sharply divided.
The governor’s war with some APC stalwarts such as Senator Shehu Sani eventually led to the latter’s defection to the Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, from where he continues to launch his trademark vitriolics against President Buhari and El-Rufai. It’s APC state and Buhari holds sway. But a Surprise is possible.
It is one of the states where Nigerians and election observers would beam their searchlights given its huge population and the dynamics of the past few months and weeks.
With a Governor Abdullahi Ganduje carrying a huge credibility burden following allegations of bribe taking; his re-election and that of Buhari would not be an easy one here.
Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso with his Kwankwasiyya Movement are doing the mibilization for Atiku, who literally shut down the ancient city with his campaign rally. It’s Buhari but Atiku has a bright chance of causing a major upset here.
It is the home state of President Buhari. With a sitting governor who is a candidate for re-election, APC is favoured to win but that won’t come easily.
Ibrahim Shema, former governor of the state alongside PDP national secretary, Ibrahim Tsauri have succeeded in turning the tide, so much that the popularity of the PDP among the people is not in doubt.
Is the popularity of President Buhari enough to break the Saraki’s stronghold of the North-Central state?
For Senate President, Bukola Saraki, the APC should forget taking Kwara in 2019 for in his words, the people know their leader. It will be hotly contested here especially with the O te ge movement. Saraki is strong and should win it for Atiku but some parity should not be ruled out.
Regardless of the intrigues which almost tore the APC apart, Lagos remains its stronghold.
Although there were issues with Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and he was shoved aside to pave way for Babajide Sanwo-Olu the opposition remains weak and the ruling party is still the party to beat but today’s election may be different. It’s APC state but it will still be difficult to vouch for Buhari here going be large population of non indigens many of who complained of not been able to collect their PVCs.
The North-Central state is almost fated to go the way of President Buhari given the popularity of Governor Tanko Al-Makura among his people.
Niger on paper is an APC state; however, a combination of factors may work in Atiku’s favour otherwise its Buhari’s
Here is one state the APC will sweat to reclaim even though it has a sitting governor elected on its platform, Ibikunle Amosun.
Like the scenario that played out in Imo over controversial primaries, the governor who though has pledged to work for Buhari, is working for a rival party to produce his successor. All this may work in Atiku’s favour but Buhari may be it here.
Governor Atiku Bagudu has been lauded by many for his agricultural imprints in the state. He was elected to govern in 2015.
His popularity and that of the APC in the state is one that should worry the PDP which however has Tanimu Abubakar, a former Presidential aspirant to look up to in the North-West state.
Give and take, President Buhari is favoured to win in Kebbi.
The controversies that trailed the governorship election here are still fresh in the mind.
Those whose words carry weight in political matters have vowed to get maximum votes for Atiku in the today’s election.
It is a 50-50 contest here as neither the ruling APC nor opposition PDP can afford to go to sleep.
Though, the power of incumbency may work to the advantage of the APC.
Ondo has a sitting governor and prominent members of both federal and state assemblies.
Barring any dramatic twist, the odds are in favour of the ruling party.
Governor Simon Lalong is likely to struggle in his bid to get re-elected for a fresh four year tenure.
The killings which swept through many villages in the past few years would likely play a major role in determining who wins at the end of balloting. Atiku’s chances here are quite bright.
Unless a change of fortune comes its way, the APC will not field candidates in any of the elective positions being contested.
Those who would have voted Buhari because of other APC candidates for other elective offices would likely turn in the direction of Atiku.
PDP is certain to win by a large margin with Governor Nyesom Wike almost certain of a fresh four year mandate.
The North-West state became PDP’s when Governor Aminu Tambuwal defected from the APC.
Boasting a huge number of voters, President Buhari and Atiku would be looking with keen interest how things play out here. As things stand today, Sokoto is PDP to lose.
PDP has never lost Taraba to any party since 1999 and that record is not about to change at least for now.
Atiku will rely on his political visibility and Governor Ishaku Darius popularity to win with a large margin in the North-East state.
Yobe will provide an interesting scenario for both candidates even though the state is currently controlled by the APC.
In 2015, President Jonathan lost here in what some believed was informed by his handling of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Under Buhari however, the killings have continued on a worrisome scale.
It is left to be seen what choice the electorate will make but APC is more like it here.
Like Rivers, the APC are are not likely to field candidates for election here, leaving President Buhari a lone ranger in a dangerous fortress.
It’s APC but Atiku stands a chance of causing an upset here too even though Governor Abdulaziz Yari has been threatening fire. He was elected on the platform of the APC.