Home OPINION EDITORIAL November, December Guber Polls In Kogi, Bayelsa: The Die Is Cast

November, December Guber Polls In Kogi, Bayelsa: The Die Is Cast

INEC Boss, Amina Zakari
INEC Boss, Amina Zakari

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has just released the electoral time table for the governorship elections in both Kogi and Bayelsa States.
According to the time table released yesterday, campaigns by political parties would commence on July 24 and end on November 19 for Kogi state while the campaigns for Bayelsa commence on September 6 and end on December 3.

The actual elections would be conducted in Kogi and Bayelsa states on Saturday, November 21 and Saturday, December 5 respectively.
While we in Greenbarge Reporters commend INEC for the early release of the time table, in accordance with the electoral law, we will not fail to caution that all necessary measures must be taken to stem confusion that is likely to be caused by the new political blocks in the system.
In other words, the elections in these two states are coming as the first test-case not only for the new acting chairman of the INEC, Amina Zakari who of course is not new in the system, but as a test case also for President Muhammadu Buhari. Since becoming President over a month ago, these elections would be first that his government will conduct.
Indeed, while the election in Bayelsa may be a straight fight along party line, that of Kogi will certainly be a big contest among different contending forces, most of which are antagonistic to one another.
There is already a clear show of superiority complex by one ethnic group that has held on to power since the state was created in 1991, even as some other ethnic groups are trying to find their bearings.
Just a few days ago, the Kogi Central and West Senatorial Districts began what could be termed as a political alliance to wrench power from the Eastern Senatorial District, which had relied on numerical strength to continue to rule the state.
Of course, the ingredient of election in democratic system is based mainly on what has come to be known even in local parlance as “majority carries the vote.” But if you stretch that principle beyond Kogi state, another requirement in the type of the society we are in, would make fairness, balance and justice parts of the bid deal among contending ethnic nationalities.
In other words, there is no other part of the country that would have gotten nearer to Presidency if the three other principles were not taken into consideration: there was no way Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan would have won election and ruled the country for a combine 13 out of over 16 years of this democracy.
It is on record that the incumbent governor of Kogi state, Captain Wada Idris is qualified to seek for a second-term on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket, the ticket that he is likely to get at the party’s primaries, but the three principles, aside from “majority,” need to be addressed, especially, by the political stakeholders across the state.
Should Wada insists on second term, and even should former governor Abubakar Audu insists on going ahead to seek for the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket and possibly gets it, there is likelihood of the political waters in Kogi state being coloured.
On the political leaning, it is also in Kogi, not Bayelsa state where two contending political parties (APC and PDP) will fight themselves to finish. With the “Buhari-Change Fever” catching on, the APC may suddenly develop some kind of strength, enough to give PDP a bloody nose.
How ever, in all, the body to watch in the scenario that is about to play out, especially in Kogi state, is the electoral umpire.
The immediate past INEC chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega was able to set a standard where votes of the electorate counted. We expect nothing less from Amina Zakari, and even an improvement, so that when the chips are down, whoever looses the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states would have the cause and conviction to concede defeat, the way former President Jonathan did. [myad]

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