By Abdulmalik Suleiman
The just concluded Edo State governorship election won and lost by the leading gladiators that put themselves forward for the fierce contest that heightened the heat in the already volatile polity.
Prior to the poll, the political tension had dotted the nation’s political landscape occasioned by the high stakes that pitched the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and it’s major challenger, the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had engaged themselves in a battle of wits.
In the end, the opposition PDP won with its candidate and incumbent, Godwin Obaseki coming tops to beat his challenger, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu in a manner that has prompted pundit to assert that the feat has further brighten the chances of the party ahead of 2023 Presidential election in the country.
With the development, the PDP is now in firm control of the Niger Delta region comprising Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, and Delta, collectively known as the BRACED. For the main opposition party victory signposts great Implications in terms of national politics as gladiators align and realign towards 2023 elections.
In a mere political mathematics, analysts and pundits believe that BRACED States would cancel out whatever the strength of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC in South West that is currently embroiled in conflicts threatening the region’s quest in succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
Presently, one would comfortably say that Southern Nigeria is a PDP with BRACED States cancelling the South West state leaving the SouthEast states block in a firm control of PDP. And in a national election the battle will be shifted up north.
Today, the fortunes of the ruling APC keeps going off the downward slump on a daily basis due to prevailing economic and security challenges confronting the Northern part of the country that tends to defy solution.
In the past presidential elections, PDP had always dominated the North Central areas but in the last election, despite the fact that Buhari enjoys incumbency PDP won in states such as Plateau, Benue and the federal capital, Abuja. It also did considerably well in Nasarawa State even though many believed that there was no election in Kogi where the governor skewed the process in favour of the APC. Looking at the current scenario PDP is more favoured to recapture the region it used to control in 2023 as a result of poor performances of the governors in the region under the ruling APC especially in Niger, Kogi states respectively.
And in North West and East, Sen. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso remains the gateway to PDP in making any meaningful impact to decimate APC in the two regions.
Already, Taraba, a state Buhari has never won, Adamawa and Bauchi are under the firm control of PDP leaving Gombe, Yobe and Borno in the hands of APC. The North East states is also more likely going to be dominated by PDP in 2023 with the growing resentments and disappointment owing largely to the inability of the APC government to defeat the Boko Haram insurgents in the region. This is coupled with the excruciating economic conditions ravaging the country, which is having serious impacts on the region as well.
The Kwankwassiya Movement also has its firm root in North Eastern states like in other states of the country and can change the equation against the ruling APC in the region in addition to the advantages of the three states presently under the control of PDP.
Lastly, the North West and the most populated region in the country is currently in the firm grip of APC and the region that produced Buhari. But a lot has changed in the last five years. The cult like followership hitherto enjoyed by the president has drastically reduced to all time low.
As it is today, if election is conducted PDP may have an upper hand against the ruling APC in the north because the region is also the home of the fast growing Kwankwassiya Movement that is becoming an alternative platform for the people especially in Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi even though Zamfara and Sokoto is under PDP, the combination will likely buried APC and at best deflated it’s advantage.
For PDP to comfortably return to power in 2023 the emerging reality is key and it’s going to be Kwankwassiya Movement and the BRACED States combination and other existing factors.
Mal. Abdulmalik Suleiman