—Hot Seats of 2019
YBTC News—As am writing this, the political storm in some states is gradually clouding up its faces as the 2019 elections approaches. In less than 20 days from now Nigerians will go to the polls to invest in another four years term.
In some states, it is already extremely cloudy as the political landlords in the states have been at bicker heads with the Chief Marshal of the National body of the party.
Firstly and arguably the most hottest seats in the upcoming elections can be found in Zamfara state. Since the controversy sorrounding the conduct of the primary elections in the All Progressive Congress governorship contest the heat in the state is becoming unbecoming. In fact, the rage of controversy has led to the dissolution of the APC state executives in Zamfara.
The state governor in Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari, has come out openly in series of videos to accuse Adams Oshiomole, the National Chairman, APC, of negatively interfering in the affairs of the state chapter of the Party. This clash between the National and state executives has resulted to the elimination of governorship candidate in the APC by the electoral umpire Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Till date, Zamfara state is yet to have any official candidate under the flag of APC. Following a controversial court order recently, a High court sitting in Zamfara has falsified INEC’s injunction on not recognising the primary elections that was held in the state. However, another court sitting in Abuja has backed up INEC’s rule of non-recognition of any APC primaries in Zamfara state.
Now, the ball is in INEC’s court.
We are keenly waiting on the decision it will take. Will it as an Independent body be intimidated by the ruling APC to impose a candidate or will it act as expected by the constitution of the country?
The decision by INEC have a big role to play in this mess created by governor Yari and the National Chairman, Oshiomole.
On the part of Governor Yari, there is still big task ahead of him. If INEC agrees to grant Zamfara a candidate, will it be his anointed Mukhtar Koguna or one of the aggrieved candidates who came together and formed G8?
Moving forward, assuming the INEC rule stands, the fight for the governorship candidate in Zamfara will be redirected to other parties especially the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the National Rescue Movement, NRM. These two parties have one of the strongest candidates with the likes of Bello Mohammad Mutawalle and Senator Saidu Dan Sadau.
In the same rendition, second in my list of hottest seats in the upcoming elections is Rivers state. As similar to that of Zamfara, Rivers state has no official gubernatorial candidate under the ruling APC.
The Rivers controversy was created by Transportation Minister and former Rivers state governor, Rotimi Amaechi and his former ally Magnus Abe.
According to Premium Times report of 23 January, 2019 a federal high court in Port Harcourt on January 7 nullified both the direct and indirect primaries conducted by two factions of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State.
The court, presided over by Kolawole Omotosho, also restrained INEC from recognising any candidates of the APC for the 2019 general elections in the state. Contrary to Zamfara’s case, two factions of the party in Rivers had conducted parallel primaries that produced two sets of candidates.
While one faction, loyal to former governor, Rotimi Ameachi, produced Tonye Cole as its candidate, the other loyal to serving senator, Magnus Abe, produced him as its own. This however shows the extent of the clash between the former governor, Amaechi and his former ally, Abe.
Another headache for both Amaechi and his fighting mate, Abe, is that the ‘almighty’ Wike is still strong and sitting on the throne they are fighting for. Am not sure if PDP’s Wike would relay his baton to either Abe or Amaechi’s anointed candidate. The elections in Rivers is going to be really a tough one.
The third on my list is no other but Imo State where Rocha’s Okorocha of the ruling APC has shown support for his in-law, Uche Nwosu, who had decamped from APC to Action Alliance because of the uniform controversy surrounding the conduct of the primaries in APC.
Some weeks back after a rift erupted at an APC rally in Owerri, Okorocha was quoted to have said said, “Hope Uzodinma can never win the governorship election in the state. The alliance between AA and APC is a perfect one. “We are working to deliver President Buhari and Uche Nwosu in the state.”
Okorocha’s reaction clearly shows that he is engaging in an anti-party activities and come to 2019, it will be a very difficult task for the APC itself.
Sitting on the fourth position is Ogun state. The state of Ogun where former leaders like Olusegun Obasanjo comes from is also having a cracker with the National body of the APC. In fact, as a result of this, the state party executives were last year dissolved by the National Working Committee of the Party. Specifically, it is a clash between the present governor, Ibikunle Amosun and the National Chairman, Oshiomole over the governorship candidate in the state.
Amosun who is running for a Senatorial seat has vowed that “We will use our votes to let them know who owns Ogun State. So, if they are looking for a state to destroy, they should not think of Ogun State. We are ready for them.”
From my observations, this hot seats are APC affected States, if the the party refuses to tailor out new ways to curtail the immoralities in the party’s certainly the fight for the seat will be an easy one for other parties.
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