By NBF News

By LEKE ADESERI Regional Editor, S-west
LAGOS - THE battle for the about 15 million votes from the South-West in April elections is getting tougher, particularly between the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The two parties are adopting strategies they believe will better their lot in the region.

The South-West zone, according to a political analyst, with its 15million votes is expected to be a deciding battlefield.

This is because despite its loss of two additional gubernatorial seats in Osun and Ekiti States to the opposition, the PDP still remains a formidable political party in the region. Lagos, however, is a major determinant with its six million registered voters.

The candidate who has majority of that vote will get a large chunk of South-West votes, and it seems to be in favour of the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan and the ACN candidate, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.

The ACN can rightly lay claim to the state and may also deliver it for its candidate, especially as its leadership does not agree to play ball with the presidency.

But the issue in this zone is that even if PDP fails to achieve substantial success in the state, it must, as a matter of necessity, win other states in the zone to have an edge over its main challengers.

There is no gainsaying the fact that the ruling PDP is facing internal crisis in some states, especially Ogun and Oyo states, and this, among other issues according to some political pundits would give opposition parties the opportunity to engage the PDP from the state during the coming general elections.

However, the chairman, House Committee on Information, Security and Strategy in the Oyo State House of Assembly, Olatunde Jinadu, recently told journalists that in spite of the crisis that rocks PDP in the state, no other party can withstand the ruling PDP in the upcoming elections.

Jinadu said: 'I am not speaking for any other state, but I'm sure that here in Oyo State, the PDP will have a landslide victory.

The outstanding performance of Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala since assuming the mantle of leadership in the state will make victory certain for our party. It has now come to a situation where the electorate will assess the ability of candidates of different political parties to deliver the dividends of democracy before casting their votes for such candidate.

The record of performance of all the four former governors before the present administration came into office cannot be compared favourably with that of Alao-Akala.'

State               Registered                                voters

•Ekiti                  750,753
•Lagos              6,247,845
•Ogun               1,869,326
•Ondo               1,558,975
•Osun                1,293,967
•Oyo                 2,577,490
Grand total        14,298,356