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ABIA: Putting Behind The Presidential Elections





WITH the defeat of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in last weekend’s Presidential and National Assembly polls to the All Progressives Congress (APC), anxiety has set in for the governorship elections next weekend.

Though, the PDP won the three state senatorial seats and seven out of the eight House of Representatives seats leaving only one, the Aba Constituency seat to the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), pundits say the result may not translate to an easy victory for PDP next weekend.

Many say the election was characterised by irregularities, which may not translate to another victory for PDP in the state next week. Already, the results have attracted protests from the parties and their candidates, especially, the result of the Abia North Senatorial that took five days to be announced on Thursday with the victory ultimately given to the PDP. The Guardian gathered that petitions would soon flood election tribunals.

However, in order not to be distracted from the polls, the parties have begun to strategise ahead of the guber polls. Whatever the case, a lot of factors would determine the winner of the election. These include, zoning, surprise victory of APC last week, incumbency and determination of the parties to win.

There are four major candidates from the dominant political parties in the state such as, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu of the ruling PDP from Abia South/Ukwa Ngwa, Dr Alex Otti and Reagan Ufomba of APGA, who are also of Ukwa Ngwa axis, Dr Anyim Nyerere of APC from Abia South and Chief Chinkwe Udensi of the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) from Abia North.

If the electorates base their choice on the zoning arrangement, the governorship candidates of Ukwa Ngwa/Abia South will be favoured, that is, Ikpeazu, Otti, Reagan and Nyerere. If it is on individual merit, their votes will go to any of them, including Udensi of the PPA.

Another factor is the power of incumbency, which PDP enjoys both at the Federal and state level. The PDP still has the state governor, Chief TA Orji, to count on and the fact the party won 10 of the 11 National Assembly seats.

It is also noteworthy that APC’s victory in last weekend’s Presidential election may switch support for the party, as the electorates may have begun to have a re-think of their continued support for the party. These people believe that it would not work in the interest of the sate to remain in the opposition.

According to a political analyst, Dr Ben Keke, the state’s House of Assembly election may bring surprises as PDP, is not expected to win as it did in 2011.

He said the parties are more determined now to win, especially, with the rising impact made by APGA, the victory of APC’s Buhari, the visible/palpable presence of Orji Kalu and the quality of the candidates in the election.

“This time every group wants their own representative selected by them and not determined for them. They expect a lively legislature where debates are open and not determined by a single political party that dominates it. The constituents want link with and access to the Federal Government. This is what makes democracy interesting,” he said.

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