BY EMMAN OVUAKPORIE
FEW hours to the today’s battle for Kogi also known as the Confluence State, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) have emerged as leading contenders.
From all indications, the PDP and AC N seem to have an edge over the other 19 political parties registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Of the 19 parties, only five parties are deeply involved in the race considering the dexterity with which they went about their campaigns.
The other 14 political parties just merely make up the figures.
The five parties include: the PDP, AC N, ANPP, Justice Party and CPC..
An x_ray into the five parties shows that the PDP and ACN are miles ahead of the other three parties in terms of political clout and electoral laurels. The PDP controls the State House of Assembly parading 22 legislators while the AC N has three lawmakers.
One of the three, Barrister Henry Ojuola, is vying for the position of deputy governor alongside Abubakar Audu, the party’s guber flag bearer.
Of the other two, one is the minority leader while the other is simply a floor member.
At the national level, the PDP all three senators, seven House of Representatives members.
The above situation puts the PDP at a vantage position over the other parties.
Idris Wada and Yomi Awoniyi are the flag bearers of the ruling party, who politically are well connected in the state.
Wada a retired commercial pilot is said to be the incumbent Governor Ibrahim Idris’ in_law while Yomi is the son of late Chief Sunday Awoniyi, the Okun political sage.
This combination though strong could be demystified if the PDP rests on its oars as Abubakar Audu, with the Lagos power base will match the ruling party action for action, mobilisation for mobilisation and money for money.
Both parties mobilised their arsenals to their grand finale rallies. While the PDP showcased almost everybody in the Federal Executive Council, FEC, ACN also ensured that all their leaders including the six ACN governors came to the Confluence State. Both parties are glaringly the gladiators of the guber race.
Abubakar Audu, ACN
The ACN on the other hand, is not taking anything for granted. The duo of Abubakar Audu, a two time governor of the 20-year old state and a veteran politician in the mould of Mr. Henry Ojuola, a lawyer may just sweep the carpet off the feet of PDP.
The ANPP is fielding Ubolo Opanachi, a retired Civil Servant, who was the state’s accountant general for seven years. His chances of emerging tops are considered remote given the current rating of ANPP in Kogi.
James Ocholi, CPC
The CPC guber candidate, James Ocholi, a Senior Advocate, SAN may just be one of the runners considering the poor turnout of supporters at the party’s grand finale rally on Wednesday at the Lokoja Township Stadium. The small stadium was almost empty .His running mate is Abdulrazaq Yusuf.
Mrs Audu, JP
The Justice Party is unique because the flag bearer, Mrs Aisha Audu is the former wife of Audu, the ACN standard bearer. Like other contestants, she toured the 21 Local Councils campaigning that it is time for a woman to mount the saddle of governance in the state.
Pundits put her chances of winning at 20_80.
Above all, the battle is simply between the ruling party and the main opposition in the state. Others will only play a supportive role in the governorship contest.
Those who want to rule Kogi
Prince Abubakar Audu, ACN
Elder Ubolo Okpanachi, ANPP
Barrister Ocholi James, CPC
Captain Wada Idris, PDP
Reverend Yusuf Obaje, APGA
Chief Aisha Audu,, JP
Hon. Grace Elijah, Action Alliance (AA)
Hon. Mohammed Ali, New democrats (ND)
Hon. Fred Odia, Accord party of Nigeria (APN)
Hon. Abo Samuel, Progressive Action Congress (PAC)
Monoh Jimoh Alabi, Democratic People’s Party (DPP)
Okpana_chi Nicholas, Kowa Party
Toyin Elijah, Citizen Popular party (CPP)
Joseph Adigbo, Peoples Progressive Alliance (PPA)
Ibrahim Usman, Labour Party (LP)
Abubakar Aliu, United Nigeria People’s Party (UNPP)
Godwin Atawodi, Fresh Democratic Party (FDP)
Victor King, African Political System (APS).
Lawal Lamidi, The Republican Party (TRP)
Lawal Lamid, Social Democratic Mega party (SDMP)