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#EdoDecides: What Would Happen In Edo State Today


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The Edo State governorship election will commence today, and at least 12 out of the 18 local government areas of Edo State, will . a determinant role in who will become the next governor of the state.

Out of 14 candidates, the major contenders are the incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, and the opposition All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Out of the 12 battleground LGAs, six are located in the Edo South Senatorial District w. the two major contenders hail from

According NaijaNews analysis , the 12 battleground local government areas are Egor, Ikpoba/Okha, Oredo, Ovia North-East, Ovia South-West and Uhunmwode.

Others includes Akoko Edo, Owan West, Owan East, Etsako East, Etsako West and Etsako Central.

Six out of the 12 battleground LGAs are located in the Edo South Senatorial District w. both the incumbent and the leading opposition candidate hail from.

Figures released by the Independent National Electoral Commission has revealed that the entire voting populace which 1,726,738.

Out of the total, Edo South Senatorial District has the highest number of voters totalling 1,281,414 votes. This represents about 74 per cent of the entire voting populace.

The remaining six battleground LGAs are located in the Edo North Senatorial District w. the immediate past Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, and the state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, hail from. The deputy governorship candidate of the APC, Gani Audu, also hails from Edo North

Presently, the Edo North Senatorial District has 564,122 voters, according to figures gotten from the INEC voters.

The Edo Central Senatorial District which has 364,998 voters is expected to be dominated by the PDP and this has been the case historically.

According to INEC, the total num of registered voters for the election was 2,210,534, but 483,796 PVCs were not collected.

T.fore those eligible to vote today are 1,726,738.

Here is the break down according to the INEC register; the 18 LGAs, Akoko Edo has 115,343 voters; Egor has 158,817; Esan Central has 40,831;  Esan North-East has 66,790; Esan South-East has 58,802; Esan West has 83,467;  Etsako Central has 42,042; Etsako East has 67,715;  Etsako West has 128,188; and Igueben has 34,988.

Others are Ikpoba/Okha with 214,822; Oredo, 240,197; Orhionmwon, 102,739; Ovia North-East, 113,167; Ovia South West, 77,468; Owan East, 77,827; Owan West, 46,245 and Uhunmwonde 57,290.

NaijaNews understands that the election would be would be conducted in the 2,627 polling units in 192 wards in the 18 LGAs of the state.

APC, PDP to jostle for Edo North votes

Political stakeholders said the trio of Oshiomhole, Shaibu and Audu who are from Edo North would make the six LGAs in the senatorial district a major battleground.

The six LGAs in Edo North are: Akoko Edo, Owan East, Owan West, Etsako Central, Etsako West and Etsako East.

A political analyst, Alex Stephen, said all the LGAs in Edo North Senatorial District would be a battleground for the two leading parties, the PDP and the APC.

Stephen listed some of the LGAs to include Akoko Edo, Etsako East, Etsako West, Etsako Central and Owan West.


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He said, “In the Akoko-Edo Local Government Area, it is a battleground for the candidates. And in my town which is in the LGA, t. has been a crisis t. for over two weeks. This happened because the state House of Assembly member representing the LGA is from my village. He is one of those who have refused to defect to the PDP.

“Then, the Chief of Staff to the deputy governor is also from my village and he defected alongside his boss to the PDP. The entire town and LGA are factionalised into the APC and PDP and t. has been too much of power tussle and turbulence t..

“I understand that the same is with Owan West. In fact, the entire Edo North senatorial zone is divided. Oshiomhole, Shaibu and Ize-Iyamu’s running mate are all from the Etsako West.

“You see, Shaibu was brought up and nurtured by Oshiomhole. Philip is a grass roots man. Oshiomhole was also a grass roots man before he became the APC national chairman. The chairman of his ward was the one who went on national television and said they had expelled him from his ward. As we talk now, it is 50-50 for the two leading parties. People feel that Oshiomhole is an Abuja man, while Shaibu is young, dynamic and more of a grass roots man. However, t. are some other people who feel Oshiomhole has been badly treated by Obaseki and they are ready to support him this time round.”

Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu battle in strongholds

The analysts also noted that  five out of the seven LGAs in the Edo South Senatorial District, has over 70 per cent of PVC holders  adding that it would be major battlegrounds for both Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu.

This according to him is not only because they both hail from the south, but because the Edo South has the largest number of voters among the three senatorial districts. This made it a natural battlefield.

T. are seven LGAs in the senatorial district. They are: Egor, Ikpoba/Okha, Oredo, Orhionmwon, Ovia North East, Ovia South West, and Uhunmwonde.

However, some analysts believe Obaseki is expected to win Oredo LGA w. he hails from while Ize-Iyamu is also expected to win his Orhionmwon LGA. The remaining five LGAs are expected to be fought over by the APC and the PDP.

APC to tackle PDP in Edo Central

The Edo Central Senatorial District which has five LGAs will also record some battles. According to analysts, even though the PDP has always won the senatorial district, the APC may likely take the battle to the PDP’s stronghold this time.

An Edo-based political analyst, Mr Douglas Ogbankwa, told Saturday PUNCH that the APC might not easily concede the place to the PDP this time round.

He said, “I must say that the PDP w. the governor just moved to is strong in Edo Central area while the APC structure he left behind is still very virile except for few political allies who moved with him. We will be looking at local governments like Esan West, Esan South-East and Esan Central.

“We may have one or two areas w. the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, is strong but the Owan West and Owan East are the strongholds of the APC, w. t. are strong political leaders.

“Also, one should consider the dynamics in the House of Assembly w. 17 are with the APC while seven are with the PDP. So in a state election such as this, the number a party controls in the Assembly could prove decisive.  The number of lawmakers each party has in the House of Representatives and the Senate is also crucial.”

Another political analyst and social commentator, Mattew Edaghese, said the pendulum of victory might swing to the PDP even though it might be difficult to predict

He said, “I speak as a political stakeholder and as a freeborn citizen of Edo State. From the political calculation and the situation on the ground as it is now today (Friday), the ruling party, PDP, stands a very wonderful chance of winning the poll. The support base of both parties juxtaposes. But you  will agree with me that the APC and the PDP can hardly be separated in terms of real identity because the governor just left, the APC some weeks back and before he left he was the leader of the party in the state.

“As political pundits, we should realise he did not just leave as an individual, he left with his supporters and also has the sympathy of some other people who are still members of the APC. He can also count on the PDP that he acquired its political assets who are loyal to him as their candidate. So if you add that to the sympathy he enjoys among APC members, I do not see the senatorial district w. the support base of the governor will not be strong.

“Unless magic happens, from Edo North to Edo South to Edo Central, which is a traditional PDP base, we are virtually talking of a one-party arrangement in the state. Certainly the governor stands a very tall chance of getting re-elected,” Edaghese added.

 

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