OrderPaperToday – Finally, the much awaited National Assembly election is set to take place this week on February 16th alongside the Presidential election. In this week’s edition of Legislative Intelligence Forecast Entry (LIFE) service, we will take a look at some of the key battles to expect in the National Assembly polls on Saturday.
Individual duels: The National Assembly polls this weekend will throw up some interesting battles. In Kwara, it remains to be seen if Senate President Bukola Saraki will survive the “o to ge” (enough is enough) revolution as he squares off with APC’s Ibrahim Oloriegbe. Elsewhere, controversial Senator Dino Melaye of the PDP will face a tough fight against former Senator, Smart Adeyemi of the APC. In Kaduna, it will be a battle of the two Sanis as Senator Shehu Sani (PRP) takes on Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s aide, Uba Sani (APC) for the Kaduna Central seat. In Ondo Central, it will be a tight three way battle between incumbent Senator, Tayo Alasoadura (APC), former Governor Olusegun Mimiko (ZLP), and former Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP).
Other key battles that will take place this weekend include former Governor, Uzor Kalu (APC) Vs Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP) in Abia North; Rochas Okorocha (APC) Vs Jones Onyereri (PDP) in Imo West; Senator Victor Umeh (APGA) Vs Uche Ekwunife (PDP) in Anambra Central; and Senator Philip Aduda (PDP) Vs Honourable Zephaniah Jisalo (APC), among others.
Battleground states: Some states will experience multiple tough battles. In the APC dominated Bauchi State, Speaker Yakubu Dogara of the PDP will have to prove his mettle against APC’s Abdullahi Abubakar ABDULLAH. Also, Senator Isah Misau (Bauchi Central) and Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi north) both of the PDP will need to overcome tough APC candidates in Haliru Jika and Muhammed Bulkachuwa respectively.
In Akwa-Ibom, Senator Godswill Akpabio will look to not only win his election but also deliver the entire state to the APC. If he succeeds, Senator Bassey Akpan of the PDP in Akwa-Ibom could be one of the many causalities as he faces APC’s Effiong Etim in Akwa-Ibom North East. It must be said however, that Senator Akpan also enjoys formidable backing from the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel. Overall, it promises to be a battle royal in Akwa-Ibom. Another State battle to watch out for is in Delta, where Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (APC) will tackle Mrs. Evelyn Oboro (PDP) in Delta Central and Senator James Manager (PDP) and former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (APC) will take to the election ring in Delta South. Beyond Saraki’s personal battle, Kwara State will be a general battle ground between the PDP and APC candidates in all slots for the National Assembly. Similarly, in Kano, the bitter rivalry between PDP’s Kwansiyya and APC’s Gandujiyya will resume during the National Assembly polls as candidates from both camps face-off.
Peep into the 9th Assembly: The legislative elections this weekend will invariably provide a peep into the shape and form of the 9th national assembly. Of particular interest would be the likely candidates for leadership positions, especially the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Deputy President of the Senate and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, respectively.
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