The much awaited governorship election in our darling state is just days away. Much has been said, campaigns have been organized and funds have been expended by political gladiators. The stage is now set for the epic battle.
The question on the lips of everyone is ; who will the governorship cap fit. Who will sit on that exalted seat to lead the state to the next level.
Sunshine Searchlight, which has stuck to its principles of fairness, equity and balance in its reportage of the build up to October 20, hereby takes a look at the political gladiators and attempts to see who wins the coveted seat. Our analysis is non partisan but based on historical antecedents and present realities.
LABOUR PARTY – Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (Iroko). The party and its candidate, have the upper hand and will likely win the election.
Its strength lies in the overwhelming performance of the Mimiko administration in its first term. For the time since the Obafemi Awolowo years, the larger section of the citizenry in the state, irrespective of party affiliation, section of the state or other considerations, are in agreement that the state under the Labour Party has moved up in leaps and bounds. Governance has been taken to greater heights by visible, quantifiable and empirical development. The party has been able cut across the entire state with laudable programmes.
Furthermore, the Governor while campaigning, has continued to commission life transforming projects, which have endeared him more to the citizenry.
The Mimiko administration has equally invested much in publicity. Aside Lagos State, Ondo State has been the most publicized state. Hardly can one open a national newspaper or tune to the radio or television, without the state been seen or heard.
The rate at which politicians cross over from other parties to the Labour Party, to some extent, says much about its continuous popularity.
The party has however not been able to recall disgruntled members who have crossed over. In fact many say the party if too full of itself because of its perceived strength. This will affect its votes, though likely to be to some extent.
ACTION CONGRESS OF NIGERIA (ACN)- Barrister Rotimi Akeredolu (Aketi).
The major problem the party has to contend with, is the popularity of Governor Olusegun Mimiko, based on the people’s believe that he has performed. This is the same yardstick the ACN itself has used in winning its elections in Lagos State under Babatunde Fashola and Edo state under Adams Oshiomhole.
Another obstacle is the overbearing perception of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on the party. The Labour Party has been using this to campaign and Governor Mimiko has been saying his refusal to bow to him and join the party has been responsible for the politics of calumny by ACN.
Yet another problem likely to affect the political fortunes of the party at the election, is the neophyte personality of Akeredolu. Though a former Attorney – General of the state and a former National President of the Nigeria Bar Association ( NBA), he is still relatively unknown in political circles. This again has been a major campaign issue of the Labour Party.
The selection or appointment of Rotimi Akeredolu over his fellow contestants has had a very negative stance on the ACN. The people see the party, a champion of democracy, playing double standard by the emergence of its candidate through the whims and caprices of a god father. For a state like Ondo, where people uphold to a great extent moral values, this has certainly not gone down well.
Equally disappointing to the people of Ondo State and a big blow to the ACN, is the issue of Ondo State being painted the pariah in the South West. Ondos believe the regional integration being championed by ACN is attainable, even if the states belong to different political parties. Many cited the Progressive Group under late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, which included the South East zone and even northern elements as Abubakar Rimi. They wonder why this can’t be replicated. They have thus summed up that, it is a ploy to pull Ondo state into the political empire of Asiwaju Tinubu.
The ACN however has to its advantage, a lot of those who have fallen out of favour with Governor Mimiko and what’s left of the PDP. It is equally banking on the financial and moral support of other South West states, for mobilization.
PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY OF NIGERIA – CHIEF OLUSOLA OKE.
Certainly, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has everything going wrong for it. In the first instance, Ondo people believe the party wasted its resources while in power. They claim there is nothing to show for the years it controlled the South West states, through its funds and funds of the Ondo State Oil Producing Development Corporation (OSOPADEC) .
In addition, the party has not been campaigning as one determined to regain what it lost, rather it has been relying on perceived success while in power and the federal might. It has thus spent more time attacking personalities and chanting what it did while in power, though this is not done in an empirical convincing manner.
Like the ACN, its candidate, the former PDP national chieftain, is a political neophyte to the generality of the people. He has equally not come out straight to sell himself and what it has in stock for the people.
The party has also continued to sink into one controversy or the other. Numerous factions exist, as well as endless court cases. The national leadership has continued to take sides, thereby creating factions in the party and giving it no chance to make any meaningful impact.
CONGRESS FOR PROGRESSIVE CHANGE (CPC) – Soji Ehinlanwo
This party is certainly not even considered to make any worthwhile appearance at the election. It is a party of the future and people expect it to be making efforts to entrench itself by undertaking projects that will make the people feel its impact on society and see it as one for the future.
There are no concrete political structures at the grassroots and such a party, is certainly not on ground to make any impact.
Though some people believe it can spring surprises, this is most unlikely, when the Labour Party continues to wax stronger and ACN makes more in roads.