Okechukwu Jombo writes that the Gubernatorial elections coming this Saturday will be that of individuals against themselves and not between political parties
The 2015 presidential election has come and gone with the winner declared, just as the gubernatorial election scheduled for April 11 is around the corner. The opposition All progressives Congress, APC has won the presidential election, especially with votes from almost the entire 19 states of the North. It was almost a complete sweep from that region.
Most of them voted along ethnic and religious lines but the coming election is what will determine if politics in Nigeria has changed or not. The candidates of all the political parties contesting are from the states they are vying to be governors and therefore and have equal right with each other they attend the same mosque and speak the same language.
The followership is intermingled and cuts across all divides of the states. There will be nothing like he is not our brother so let’s vote him out .The gang up experienced in the presidential elections against the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan will not hold water.
What holds water is individuals and the strength of their followers. Whatever happens in the election will determine the strength of the political parties and their future.
Maybe this was why the National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Mu’azu, charged members of the party nationwide to ensure that it wins 24 states in the April 11 governorship elections.
In a statement on Saturday, Mr. Mu’azu listed the states the party must win to include Lagos, Rivers and Imo whose governorship candidates he described as “first class materials.”
The PDP currently controls 21 of the 36 states in the country. They are Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi, Gombe, Benue, Plateau, Niger and Kogi.
Others are Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Kaduna, Ekiti and Ondo.
Mr. Mu’azu, who could not deliver his home state, Bauchi to the PDP in last Saturday’s presidential election, urged the party faithful to pick up the pieces and ensure that they return quickly to its “winning ways.”
According to him, the gubernatorial election next week would certainly provide the PDP a soft-landing after conceding the presidency to the All Progressives Congress in the presidential election on March 28.
“I urge the PDP faithful to pick up the pieces and ensure that we return quickly to our old winning ways. There should be no room for voter apathy that was a major factor to our losing the presidential election,” Mr. Mu’azu said.
“While our opponents were savouring their famous victory, we should outflank them and corner at least two thirds of the states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“This is not an impossible target if we return to our elements with immediate effect. We have done it before and we can do it again. Nothing will be sweeter than PDP taking Lagos, our own Rivers State and Imo. Our candidates in these states are first class materials who have fully penetrated the political structures of those states and are set to win.”
The chairman said the party’s target is to retain the 21 states it currently leads “and then sink our teeth into the heart of our political opponents and show that their presidential victory is nothing more than a one-off that won’t be repeated in a long while.”
He recounted that earlier in the week, he reminded the PDP gubernatorial candidates in all the states that one thing that won’t happen in this gubernatorial race is the “so called bandwagon effect.”
He stressed, “The reason is simple. Our party is used to bouncing back whenever we experience a setback.”
Mr. Mu’azu said the PDP in the past 16 years of democracy has maintained fair play consistently and that even the APC admitted this in its response to President Goodluck Jonathan’s speech conceding to president-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.
He stated, “The key to winning the remaining election is heavy turnout and voting the PDP all the way. There should be no tactical voting. Be consistent in your support for the party. What we experienced in the presidential election is merely a hiccup which we must cast out in the gubernatorial polls.
“All PDP supporters must remember their pedigree, our track record and history of the party and the source of our electoral feats of the last sixteen years. We are the reason that democracy has taken root in Nigeria since 1999. This is something every member of our great party should be very proud of.
“We have only lost a battle but the war to bring our country to the highest level of democratic governance is still to be won or lost. Our governorship candidates should go out and finish the good fight and come up trumps in the remaining gubernatorial and houses of assembly election on 11th April. We are remaining the winning party and by God’s special grace we shall win again and again.”
The elections will be holding in 30 states of the federation excluding six states namely Bayelsa, Edo, Ekiti, Kogi, Anambra and Ondo


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