What i envisage on and after the forthcoming APC and PDP primary
There is high spirit among supporters of all the notable gubernatorial Aspirants for the forthcoming Kogi election slated for November this year. The supporters of the incumbent Governor of the State are doing all they could to retain power again while opposing side comprising of those in APC and PDP are strategizing on how to frustrate Governor Bello from clinching the Party's ticket and subsequent making it to the government house again.
As at today, the known gubernatorial Aspirants who have obtained their impression of interest and nomination Forms are Alhaji Yahaya Bello of APC and Dino Melaye of PDP. More are expected to get theirs as days go by. One of such those who captured my mind in this article is Alhaji Idris Wada.
I am not a soothsayer and I can vividly predict that the next Kogi gubernatorial candidate of the two major parties in Kogi State will come from the trio. The next Kogi gubernatorial election will be either Dino of PDP vs Alhaji Yahaya Bello of APC or Idris Wada of PDP Vs Alhaji Yahaya Bello of APC.
As i have predicted on the likely choice of gubernatorial candidates for the two major parties in Kogi forthcoming gubernatorial election, I also consider it necessary in this article to x-ray what may likely happen when these two contested and the factors that will make either wins.
On my analysis I will educate reader on what will happen should Dino stands against Governor Bello. In event Dino emerged as PDP candidate, Dino may likely pick his deputy from Kogi east. On what to expect during the voting day, he may likely pull good votes in Okun speaking communities which comprise of five local governments in Kogi west and the die-hearted Natasha's supporters in Kogi central may likely vote for him too.
Will Dino pull good voters in Kogi east? I doubt it. My stance is base on the mind-set of an average Igalla man. From my survey, every 8 out of 10 Igalla persons are not comfortable with another tribe other than theirs to rule the state. So, when it comes to Dino vs Bello, many of them will rather go for Bello. I know someone will query me if Yahaya Bello is an Igalla man. Let me make it clear that the coming of Bello was accidental discharge to them. So, they will not tolerate the coming of Dino who may likely go for second term in office if elected.
It is on this premise that they will rather massively vote Governor Bello than to Dino. They will do this as they will have believe that after Bello exist power will go back to them as he has only 4years constitutional right to stay in office. The recent declaration of Igalla Elders insisting on getting power back to Igallaland in the next election is a pointer to support my claim that they are not comfortable with headship of the State with person of other tribe.
On the voting pattern of Kogi central in the next election, I can confidently say that Governor Bello will secure 90percent of the total vote if not more. One should not be carryout away by the disenchantment of an average Kogi central people on Bello's style of governance. Majority will still vote him not minding his little shortcoming. They will not take the chance of losing him. They will vote him again believing that he shall change for better in his second coming. This is why he may likely defeat Dino should PDP nominate him as their flag bearer.
Furthermore I will equally take time to explain in detail the voting pattern should former Governor of Kogi State Idris Wada stands against Bello. Should the duo make it up; the next contest will be very interesting. The interesting part of it is that Wada has followers in all the local governments in Kogi State being a former Governor and also coming from a tribe who on wrong assumption believes that governing the State is their birthright.
Captain Wada might likely pull 80percent votes in Kogi east with remainder going to the incumbent Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello. In Kogi central, I doubt if Wada can secure 5percent of the votes cast.
Should Wada stands, Governor Bello may likely gets 80precent votes from Okun speaking communities and 90percent from the remaining two local governments in Kogi west who are majorly non-Okun.
I will explain the factors that will crop this. For the reader's information, the major tribe in the two local governments in Kogi west is Ebira-koto who are presumed to be half brother of Ebira tao. The issue of long years of brotherliness will come to play. The non-okun in Kogi west may likely give massive votes to their ancestral brother where Alhaji Yahaya Bello hails from.
As for the Okun, if the tussle is between Wada an Igallaman and Bello (Ebira). Don't be deceived that Okun will vote against Governor Bello on account of performance. No, they will not. They will vote in Governor Bello with the believe that power will shift to them by 2023. They will massively vote Bello again on account that Ebiras have soft mind unlike our Igalla brothers. They will assume that voting Igallaman power again to power will give room for Igalla tribe to continue their political dominance and marginalization in Kogi state as they will not be ready to relinquish power again just like how they had done for the last two decades.
For the voting pattern in Kogi east should Wada and Bello contest? I doubt if non-Igalla speaking communities in Kogi east will give Wada massive votes. They will not. They will not vote him because of long years of marginalization and neglect by Igalla ruling class. Despite power being in Kogi east for the last 20years, they had treated non-Igalla speaking communities in Kogi east with absolute disdain just like how they have been treating Ebiras and Okuns. For the last 20years, there were no visible developmental projects in some of the non-Igalla speaking communities and everything being concentrated in Igalla speaking areas.
It is instructive to note that it is this very present Bello’s administration that gave non-Igalla speaking communities in Kogi east sense of belonging. Point to note, Kogi deputy Governor is from one of these minority tribes in Kogi east. Therefore, I can predict without any iota of thought that they will replicate this good gesture by voting massively for Governor Bello.
In conclusion, all indices I have highlighted above point to the fact that Alhaji Yahaya Bello has a brighter chance of winning the next Kogi gubernatorial election notwithstanding on whoever emerged in PDP. So, don't be surprised if Alhaji Yahaya Bello get re-elected in a free and fair election devoid of rigging.
Shaibu Stephen Ojate is a journalist and public affairs commentator writes from Abuja. He is on whatsapp platform and reachable via phone number 09075716236.