The political space in Jigawa State is very cloudy as political commentators and analysts are finding it tough to predict the likely outcome of Saturday’s governorship election.
The state has 2,351,298 registered voters, out of which 2,292,372 collected their PVCs.
It is evident that the governorship election will be a three horse race among the candidates of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Malam Umar Namadi, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) Malam Aminu Ibrahim Ringim.
The block of votes from two out of the three senatorial districts would determine the winner. Jigawa North-East has eight local government areas, Jigawa South West has seven, while Jigawa North West has twelve.
Several factors may likely influence the voting pattern of the Jigawa electorates, including the power of incumbency, popularity, emirates tussle, and integrity of each of the candidates.
The growing rivalry between the five emirates in the state has also come to play, especially Dutse emirate and Hadejia emirate, with each of the emirates having a son vying for the number one seat of the state- Mustapha Sule Lamido of PDP from the Dutse emirate and Umar Namadi of APC from Hadejia emirate.
Both emirates have larger populations, and each of the candidates’ block votes are expected to come from their sides.
The North West senatorial zone comprises Ringim, Gumel and Kazaure emirates, the stronghold of the NNPP gubernatorial candidate Malam Aminu Ibrahim Ringim.
During the presidential election, APC’s Bola Ahmad Tinubu won with a slim margin of 34,803 votes after he scored 421, 390 against Atiku Abubakar of the PDP who polled 386,587, with PDP winning only six out of twenty-seven local government areas in the state.
This may influence the outcome of the governorship and state Assembly elections.
The popularity of each political party and its candidate will also play a role in influencing the voters.
For the APC candidate, even some aggrieved serving state and National Assembly members who were denied the opportunity to re-contest are not backing his ambition.
They reserved their annoyance for Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar.
Incumbency is an added advantage to the ruling APC.
While for PDP’s Lamido, his popularity and acceptability by the youth across the state and the giant stride achieved by his father, Sule Lamido would be an added advantage to the party’s chances of victory in the coming election.
Some electorates also are tired of the APC administration due to the issue of insecurity, economic hardship and other issues; they see bringing PDP back as the only solution to their problems.
Ringim of the NNPP, although his party is new, is a grassroots politician who knows the state architecture better than any other politician.
He served as Director-General, campaign organisation, for the former governors of Jigawa state, Ibrahim Saminu Turaki and the elder Lamido and has never been accused of misappropriating public funds within his stay in government; these would be an added advantage.