BY JOHN BULUS
THE ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP dominated last Saturday’s National Assembly polls in Gombe and appears set to repeat the success at the presidential polls and this is in spite of the appreciative showing of opposition parties.
Gombe is one state where the elections were keenly contested by various candidates of some political parties which included the PDP, All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, Congress for Progress Change, CPC, Labour Party and African Democratic party, ADC. Though elections did not take place in Gombe North Senatorial District and in three other federal Constituencies, the results from other zones where the elections held however showed that votes were staggered among the parties at play.
Interestingly, every party, even the first timers came out of the exercise recording some votes in their favour.
For instance, the CPC, LP and ADC who made their debut in the state got supporters who voted for them such that CPC won a seat in the House of Representatives.
Then entered the ‘big’ parties: ANPP and PDP.
Vanguard’s investigations, however, revealed that given the level of political consciousness of the people and the conducive atmosphere upon which the 2011 elections are being conducted, there is room for personal choices among the voters.
Party platform and credibility of candidates played roles in the outcome of the elections. In some cases candidates were evaluated in the light of some factors such as charisma, grassroost touch, pedigree, honesty and competence, etc, as against the fast-diminishing factors of godfatherism, money and rigging that characterised past elections.
This was precisely what played out in Gombe/Kwami/Funakaye Federal Constituency where CPC’s Khamiau Mailantarki polled 122,987 votes to humiliate PDP’s Ibrahim Dasuki Jalo who is Governo’s Goje’s in-law, incumbent Gombe ‘Municipal’ Local Government Council Chairman for almost eight years now, and immediate past National Chairman, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON.
The same situation played out in Gombe South and Central Senatorial zones where the voters preferred PDP’s Joshau Lidani, a former Deputy Governor of the state and the incumbent governor of the State, Alhaji Mohammad Danjuma Goje to ANPP’s Acahna Gaius in Gombe South or Engr.Sa’ad Mohammed in the Central.
The two federal constituencies of Akko, Balanga/Birili also enthroned the PDP above other contesting parties.
According to political analysts, the import of this development is that PDP still maintains its lead is likely to repeat the feat in both the Presidential and governorship elections.
Pundits posit that if Goje could poll 84,347 votes to beat his closet ANPP rival, who got 50,080 in Gombe Central, Joshua Lidani garnered 116,625 to beat ANPP’s 60,761 votes in the South, and at Akko and Balanga/Birili Federal constituencies, PDP also recorded 48,559 and 47,869 votes respectively to beat ANPP flagbearers, who scored 30,245 and 24,355 votes respectively, the pendulum may likely swing the way of the PDP in Saturday’s presidential elections.