Saturday, September 19, 2020 8:39 am
By Wale Adedayo
1. If Ize-Iyamu was the rallying point for PDP, while he was a member, it should be easy for him to get at least 60% of them to his side in APC today. Politics in Naija is about access. You vote for a man/woman you can easily get to or those you are close to can reach anytime they want.
2. If truly 17 of the 24 Edo State House of Assembly members are against Obaseki, thus opposed to PDP, Ize-Iyamu should win, easily. As obtains with local government chairmen, State Constituencies representatives are the closest to the grassroots. Of course, a number of them may not command popular respect.
3. Show of ‘Force’ is key in an election like Edo’s. A number of voters might decide to stay away for safety reasons. It does not matter that the Police and soldiers are on ground. There is always a belief that the security services often dance to the tunes of Abuja. But funds is also a deciding factor. No matter the instruction, immediate gains often decide who the security agents directly on ground will support once the cash is enough. Effective rigging requires the acquiescence of security agents, especially at the polling units, not ‘boys’.
4. The ‘Big Men’ in each local government too matter a lot. ‘Assistance’ to the needy often go to the needy from them before and after election. If the ‘Big Man’ has interest in a candidate or party, it is almost compulsory that the people obey. The ‘Big Man’ should also be in control of the ‘Boys’ and security agents in his area. Security agents from outside the state cannot work effectively without the cooperation of those on ground. And, the ‘Big Men’ often control those on ground, not Abuja. So, no matter how many security agents are deployed from outside the state, it is certain the candidate or party that holds the ground will be respected.
5. Funds should not be a problem for APC’s Ize-Iyamu. Majority of the House of Assembly members are also with him. Unlike Obaseki, who is not going into the election with majority of APC Leaders/’strikers’, with majority of PDP members on his side, the APC candidate should be victorious. But, and that is a very big BUT! The grassroots matter a lot concerning ‘Show of Force’, which is evident already with the intimidating presence of security agents. Whoever controls that aspect of the equation should be the eventual winner.
Just my two cents!