By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor

Arising from the results from the presidential and National Assembly elections, the two major political parties were weekend preparing themselves to better one another in the state level elections this Saturday.

National Assembly

The All Progressives Congress, APC, came away from the polls with the top prize of the presidency in its kitty. However, the party’s feat was not without bruises and sometimes embarrassing failures in some of its strongholds. The party was particularly embarrassed in Oyo and Edo States where it is in control, and also spectacularly in Akwa Ibom where it’s arrowhead, Senator Godswill Akpabio, was uncommonly humiliated.

The PDP, on its part, despite its claim to the goodwill of the populace largely on account of the deficiencies in the application of statecraft by the ruling party also failed to translate that benevolence into electoral gain.

Besides, it also emerged at the weekend that the failures of the PDP were also in part connected to internal sabotage mainly arising from financial inducements by the ruling party, and where not, promises of appointments in the APC administration.

The PDP’s surprising defeat of the APC in Oyo and Edo States, Sunday Vanguard learnt, is now the subject of enquiry and particularly so because the two states are controlled by the APC.

Last Friday, leaders of the PDP in Edo  converged in the Benin residence of the chairman of the state chapter of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, during which there was some backslapping over their success in defeating the National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in his home state.

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“Yes we have reviewed our strategies, and we have every reason to congratulate ourselves in that we defeated Adams Oshiomhole in his state despite the harassment and all that was done especially in Edo North,” a source present at the meeting said.

The PDP won two of the Senate seats and the majority of the presidential votes. The feat has set the stage for an unavoidable bruising of ego this weekend as the APC, according to sources, also prepares to hit back at the PDP. It is a game the PDP is not unaware of.

“We hear Governor Obaseki was embarrassed at our feat and that despite the fact that they have the government and the national chairman from the state that we were able to score what we did,” a leading source in the PDP in Edo said.

The same kind of incredulity it was alleged is also going on in the Oyo State chapter of the APC. Governor Abiola Ajimobi besides losing his own Senate contest also lost the majority of the presidential votes to the PDP.

Sunday Vanguard gathered that the national chapter of the APC has set machinery in place to investigate the reason for the embarrassing loss for the party in Oyo State.

The embarrassment for the APC in Oyo State was especially against the background of the fact that the PDP in the state was believed to have been irredeemably splintered with the exit of such heavyweights as Senator Teslim Folarin, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala and such out of the party.

However, the PDP with various forces in the APC including all those disenchanted with the authority of Ajimobi over the party coalesced to fight Ajimobi.

This weekend, the fight is expected to reach a grand finale as the turf battle for the control of the state reaches its climax.

However, only a few other states could promise more spectacle than the fight back in Akwa Ibom. After a bruising fight that saw the uncommon humiliation of Senator Godswill Akpabio, the APC leader in the Akwa Ibom Northwest Senate contest, the opposition party in the state is trying to fight back.

However, with the seeming demystification of Akpabio who had carried on as the most powerful political factor in the state, the APC is pulling back from tying its fortunes to Akpabio.

The PDP’s rout of the APC in Akwa Ibom has Governor Udom Emmanuel’s campaign machine a sort of impetus that the message about the governor’s achievements in industry, infrastructure and agriculture among others as having been largely successful.

“Yes the trouncing of Akpbabio to me is not really an issue, and if I must confess, it has not cheered me even if I realise that his significance is not what it used to be before the election.”

A source confided that Akpabio following the declaration of his loss resorted to Abuja. Whether he would involve himself in the rest of the campaign is not known, and it is doubtful given the distraction his presence would cause in the light of the defeat.

Undoubtedly, what was promised as a war to remove Governor Emmanuel from office may well turn into an anti-climax in the face of Akpabio’s failure to get a seat in the next Senate.

A similar scenario is also playing out in Kwara State where the o to ge movement led to the failure of Senator Saraki to return to the Senate.

The vanquished PDP believes that internal sabotage on the part of those who felt slighted with the emergence of party candidates may well have contributed. Party activists in the state were at the weekend preparing strategies to checkmate the ruling party.

The outcome of the presidential election and the resulting development in Kwara State combined to inspire the opposition in Lagos last week.

However, an attempt to stage a revolution against what it claimed as the domination of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu over the political landscape was immediately squashed.

But Tinubu was not taking any chances. The party leader on that Thursday that the opposition planned to rally people to protest against Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos State met with the secretive Governors Advisory Council, GAC, the unelected body of eminent Lagosians who set the agenda and path for governance in Lagos. Following the meeting, Tinubu addressed party chieftains in the state during which he was reported to have upbraided them for allowing the PDP to make inroads into the state.

In Rivers State, the removal of the APC from the ballot has given the PDP a seeming gift. But in Ogun and Imo States the strategies of the party have been compounded by the support for non-APC governorship candidates.

Perhaps it was that confusion that forced the National Working Committee, NWC, to suspend the APC governors in the two states, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun) and Rochas Okorocha (Imo).

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