By Dayo Amusan

In less than three (3) months, the general election shall commence at the National and State levels. The gladiators are already known across party lines, positioned and gearing up to run a contest of their political career.

Just as it is at the National front, in Ogun State, the contestants of the key political parties are open books and any analyst, political pundit and strategist can place his or her bet on the winning candidates and parties.

Easily, one can make mention of APC, PDP, ADC, SDP, Labour and other parties (amongst almost 30 of such groupings) that are jostling to take over the Oke Mosan Governor’s office in May, 2019.

Given insights into the already existing structures of the contesting Parties (composition of party Excos and presence across the wards/local governments areas, followership strength and pattern), it can be reasonably deduced that the best three (3) leading Parties that can wrestle power at the State level are: APC, PDP and ADC (not necessarily in any particular order).

Using the above stated parameters, the other parties can be described as fringe players and the likelihood of their strong showing in the contest is minimal.

The array of personalities being positioned for contest at the governorship stage by the three parties are equally interesting and would definitely make a good analysis in arriving at the eventual winner of the coveted number one seat.

Even at that, other extraneous variables that are threatening the otherwise supposedly bright chances of foremost parties, all together, make the call to a definite prediction of a winner tight and difficult; a case too close to call.

Dapo Abiodun, APC governorship candidate

APC
What should have given the ruling party a clearer edge at an outright win is being threatened by the recent outcome of its primaries in the State.

While the incumbent Governor, Ibikunle Amosun could not have his way to install his stooge from Yewa/Awori axis and has drawn the dagger of a spoiler, the eventual National Working Committee (NWC) backed candidate, Dapo Abiodun from Ijebu/Remo Division is equally finding it difficult to settle down without a clear cut party structure except that which the Aremo Segun Osoba is struggling hard to put together for him. Even as of now, the candidate seems to be the only one of the leading three without a chosen running mate.

To compound the woes of the ruling party (APC), the followership is in disarray for lack of defined leadership.

Except the internal imbroglio of the Party is quickly addressed, the Party is set to go into the Governorship contest a divided House and that cannot produce a clear winner.

The NWC’s backed candidate, Dapo Abiodun, presents a good personality, brand and winnable material if all internal issues could be resolved amicably.

Senator Buruji Kashamu, PDP Gubernatorial candidate

PDP
This is a party that ought to have been playing the role of a formidable opposition in the State and one that ought to have been the beneficiary of the present cohesion in the ruling party. But due to unreconcilable differences within the party since it lost power in 2011, it has remained worst in terms of fractionalization up till moment.

The Senator Kashamu Buruji that produced the Governorship candidate for the State contest is not certain that it could wade through the entire legal Damascus that is hanging on its neck.

To compound its troubles, the OGD’s faction of the party is not letting go of its National leadership backing to present a common House. So, it is yet another case of a terribly divided House against itself. They hardly can win.

In the PDP’s case, the candidate being presented, Kashamu Buruji (apart from his running mate, Ruben Abati) has a lot of uncleared baggage that the party would need to rebrand, packaged and position, if it really wants to make any good showing in the coming contest.

Gboyega Isiaka, ADC Gubernatorial candidate

ADC
The party being sponsored by the former President and other credible political bigwigs in Ogun State is relatively new and definitely lack in deep rooted structure. The followership is also in question and this, is the crux of the party. Otherwise, it should be the major beneficiary of the failures of the supposedly two leading parties.

In equal vein, its candidate presents a good credentials that has been tested and found winnable.

The party needs a lot of work and resources to penetrate the grassroots particularly in Ogun East and Central to have any meaningful outing in the contest.

Generally, the 2019 governorship contest in Ogun State presents a mixed picture that is too closed to call.

It seems none of the leading parties and their candidates can confidently boast of an outright win if elections were to conducted today.

What is likely to emerge in the near future is ‘merger and acquisition’ (using the corporate world parlance) or political alliances, if any of the party is to emerge victorious.

These alliances provide ample ground for the fry-parties to gain ground if they can position and negotiate well. Such parties include SDP, Labour and Accord.

Dayo Amusan, a political analyst writes from Sagamu


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