OrderPaperToday – If elections are won solely on popularity, no need to wait till Saturday for the Eti-Osa federal constituency House of Representatives election between Bankole Wellington of Modern Democratic Party (MDP) and Babajide Obanikoro of the All Progressives Congress (APC) before the former is declared winner.
However, election is beyond popularity without dismissing its importance. Mr. Wellington who is an accomplished musician known with his stage name, Banky W must overcome the son of the former minister of defence, Musiliu Obanikoro and the well-oiled All Progressive Congress (APC) machinery. Indeed if election is about political structure, Obanikoro would have been declared by now.
Frankly speaking, the involvement of Banky W can be seen as more of a disruption to this particular contest because if he was not a contestant, this election would ordinarily be between Obanikoro and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Omotesho Bakare who was the runner-up at the last election for the same seat.
Secondly, the involvement of Banky W is putting limelight on the contest that naturally would not have been the case. For instance, recently Media Room Hub in conjunction with BBC Pidgin and Pulse Nigeria hosted House of Representatives candidates for Eti-Osa Federal constituency to a debate.
Although the organizers stated that the debate was due to the reason that all the contestants are young people, it obvious that the organizers banked on Banky W’s popularity.
This is the first political attempt of Banky W, and his political party is one of the numerous new political parties in the country, probably with no structure other than the Popularity of the “jasi” crooner.
The constituency comprises of places like Victoria Island, Obalende and some other places of affluence in Lagos; places that Banky is naturally popular, but there is a snag, the voting pattern across the country shows that places like that rarely vote in bloc. Banky W has also been raking in endorsement from his industry mates such as Wizkid and Davido, and his campaign song was produced by super-talented producer and crooner, Cobhams Asuquo.
His main opponent, the junior Obanikoro has more political experience and clout to match: in 2015, he contested for the Eti-osa 2 state constituency of the Lagos state House of Assembly, and prior to that, he contested for Obalende/Ikoyi Local Council Development Areas on the platform of the PDP but did not win.
Following the defection of his father to the APC, Obanikoro Junior also decamped and went on to defeat the incumbent Rep at the APC primary election.
This is really a too close to call election. Both major candidates have something working for them, if Banky W is able to mobilize voters across the constituency, he stands a good chance, because the other two candidates have both political structure and resources to mobilize supporters.