Presidential election expertise: Merchants’ votes now scorching cake for guber ballot

Presidential election expertise: Merchants’ votes now scorching cake for guber ballot

Very fascinating situations are rising within the run as much as the Saturday March 18 governorship election as individuals who have been hitherto dismissed as mere ‘merchants’ with no electoral worth have instantly turn into ‘scorching cake’ for governorship candidates and their promoters.

That is following the result of the February 25 presidential election that confirmed how the large events and their mighty candidates suffered severe upsets with resounding defeat by the rampaging Labour Social gathering which derived its victory largely from youths and merchants’ votes.

‘Merchants’ is a time period used usually and derisively to explain Igbos of the South Japanese a part of Nigeria who’re primarily concerned in buying and selling, commerce and industrial enterprise. Earlier than final election, they weren’t reckoned with politically, because the solely language they have been thought to know was shopping for and promoting.

However that narrative modified with the final Presidential and Nationwide Meeting elections when the ‘merchants’ turned the desk and proved their critics fallacious with large turnout and voting for his or her most popular candidates, significantly Peter Obi of the Labour Social gathering who, by the way, is one other ‘dealer’ on the town.

The historic factor that occurred was that the get together, despite its newness, lack of construction, voter-intimidation, violence, and menace to life, was in a position to defeat the ruling APC and PDP in lots of states together with Lagos.

Presently, there are three main contenders for the governorship seat in Lagos State and the significance of ‘merchants’ votes will not be misplaced on any of the candidates, therefore the scramble, schemes and overtures by the candidates to nook these votes.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the incumbent governor who, ordinarily, would have sat again, ready for the election day for a abstract contest, is stressed. He’s the one main this battle for the ‘merchants’ votes, as he’s busy assembly with numerous trader-groups to canvass for votes.

The governor was sighted in one of many Pentecostal church buildings in Lagos, Zion Ministry, pastored by Ebuka Obi the place he sang and danced with the worshippers who’re largely of the Igbo extraction. Although there was no official motive for the governor being there, political pundits are of the opinion that he will need to have gone to speak to the folks concerning the coming election and solicited for his or her votes.

The governor has additionally continuously assured the Igbo neighborhood in Lagos of their security. This arises from the frequent threats to life and property of Igbos within the state in addition to intimidation and assault on their companies and retailers with out provocation.

When a spare elements market in Akere, Ajeromi/Ifelodun space of the state was set ablaze by arsonists suspected to be political thugs working for unknown individuals or teams, the candidates of Peoples Democratic Social gathering (PDP) Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, and that of the Labour Social gathering (LP), Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, have been virtually falling over one another of their makes an attempt to achieve out to the hearth victims.

Whereas Adediran donated N5 million to the hearth victims for his or her losses, Rhodes-Vivour donated N15 million with a promise to come back again to rebuild the market if they offer him their votes and if he wins the election.

The LP candidate doesn’t hesitate to inform whoever cares to pay attention that he has natal hyperlink to Igboland by advantage of each his mom and spouse coming from that a part of the nation. He subsequently, enjoys the sympathy and help of the merchants and hopefully their large votes will go to him.

Lagos will not be an remoted case. In Rivers State too the place the ‘settler’ case is as pronounced because the ‘merchants’ in Lagos, the story is mainly the identical. In the previous few days, it has been a scramble for the ‘settler’ votes as the ability brokers within the state have been outwitting each other, assembly with Igbo communities and teams within the state.

Governor Nyeson Wike, who leaves nobody unsure that he has iron grip on energy within the state, is leaving no stone unturned. At an interactive city corridor assembly with Technical Sellers Affiliation of Nigeria, Pc Sellers Affiliation, Garrison Telephone Sellers Affiliation and Constructing Supplies Merchants Affiliation in Port Harcourt, the state capital, Wike praised Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Social gathering.

Wike, who labored towards the Labour Social gathering for APC, described Obi because the hero of the presidential election, saying, “Obi stays my hero of the election whatever the insinuation that I didn’t help him; he could not have been pronounced because the winner, no drawback, the legislation will take its course.”

It stays to be understood why Wike is making this volte face, however analysts are of the view that his current strikes are predicated on the dismal efficiency of PDP relative to that of LP within the presidential election. Accessible statistics present that within the final presidential election, large votes went to Labour Social gathering which got here second within the state with 175, 071 which was solely 56,000 votes under what went to All Progressives Congress (APC) which the governor supported.

It was reported that these towards Wike’s curiosity within the PDP received 88,603 votes for Atiku Abubakar. It’s believed {that a} mixture of votes of LP and PDP coming from folks towards Wike’s curiosity may overtake the 231,591 votes that APC received. The LP and PDP votes may get to 364,000. So, the governor, in response to the analysts, “is working for the votes by whipping sentiments and telling half truths.”

Lately, former governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, addressed a townhall assembly in Oyigbo LGA of the state the place he reminded Igbos that he was Ikwerre and that Ikwerre have been Igbo. He added, “any Ikwerre man that denies his Igbo root is being insincere; my title is Amaechi and Chibuike; what’s the that means of that?”

He additionally revealed to them that Tonye Cole’s mom was from Anambra, that means he was a grandson. On the finish of the assembly, all commerce leaders endorsed Cole of the APC and resolved to go swiftly again to summon assembly of their members and inform them what to do.

Equally, Magnus Abe of the Social Democratic Social gathering (SDP) has additionally held conferences with the Igbo block within the state the place he mentioned each particular person within the state was free to vote with out intimidation. He mentioned he obtained the endorsement of the Igbos.

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