An unusually massive throng has been seen at most of the rallies that have been held in Kogi State by the prominent political parties in the days leading up to the election for governor, which will take place on November 11.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) are the three major political parties in Nigeria.
All of the big parties are vying for the position of dominant party.
On the other hand, there is still the question of whether or not the crowd will translate into a win at the polls.
With only nine days left until the election, the three major parties are showing little sign of slowing down, while members of several of the smaller parties are actively campaigning for both of their parties.
The findings of InfoStride News, on the other hand, suggest that the home-field advantage may be responsible for the enormous crowds that have attended several of the campaign rallies.
It is claimed that more than 30,000 people attended Ahmed Ododo’s rally in Okene, and the crowds that attended the rallies held by SDP and PDP were likewise unparalleled in size.
According to Evangelist Kingsley Femi Fanwo, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, the crowds that were witnessed at the party’s rallies in Okene were there of their own free will.
He asserted, “We didn’t pay anybody anything; they love the party,” which was our response to his allegation.
Regarding the SDP rally in Abocho, which took place in the Dekina Local Government Area, the spokesperson for the campaign, Mr. Daniel Ijele, stated that the event was attended by a large number of supporters who came merely to catch a glimpse of and express their love for their son, Murtala Ajaka.
He referred to it as “the mother of all rallies.”
In addition, Dino Melaye of the PDP demonstrated his power in the region of Ankpa, which is the home region of his Deputy (female) governorship candidate.
The demonstration was just as big.
In an interview with DAILY POST, Ahmed Muhammed, a political analyst, predicted that the Kogi West senatorial district would play both the role of the lovely bride and the role of the joker.
According to him, the people who live in a region known as Okun-speaking area, Lokoja-Koto, who come from each of the state’s seven local government areas would be the ones to decide who the next governor of the state will be.
Another observer, Hamza Aliyu, who is the Executive Director of the Initiative for Grassroot Advancement (INGRA), stated that the massive crowds that were seen at the numerous party rallies may not necessarily transfer into votes cast on election day.
Aliyu, when speaking to the media, remarked that politicians use financial incentives to get masses to attend campaign rallies, despite the fact that they do not have a good strategy for the people.
According to what Aliyu had to say, “in elections, campaigns are generally a means for candidates, parties, and supporters to meet and share ideas, promote manifestos, and sell their positions.”
“However, due to our poor political orientation, coupled with little or no political party ideology, together with the enormous capacity of candidates to financially induce electorates (who are almost always willing accomplices), large crowds at campaign grounds almost never translate to votes on election day. “This is because our poor political orientation, coupled with little or no political party ideology, together with the enormous capacity of candidates to financially induce electorates. This is a really disappointing new turn in the story for our voting system.
Because of the pervasiveness of this issue, it is not uncommon to find a single person campaigning for more than one candidate at the same time. In addition to this, it is one of the reasons why there is violence at some places.
“As a civil society, we are in desperate need of a well-established political ideological system in which parties and their supporters are recognized for holding specific intrinsic stances on problems pertaining to the state such as the economy, health, etc.
“Only in this way will citizens be able to derive the most possible benefits from the existence of a diverse array of political parties.
“We have always called for issue-based campaigns, and we will continue to do so in the future,” the authors write, “where the positions of candidates and parties on topical issues form the criteria for selection rather than ethnicity, religion, or gender.”
Concerns about the possibility of election-related violence in Kogi East
Concerns over the rising level of violence in Kogi-East have been allayed by the Kogi NGOs Network, also known as KONGONET, in advance of the governorship election on November 11.
In a statement issued on Monday, the chairperson of KONGONET, Amb. Idris Ozovehe Muraina, expressed his disapproval of what he referred to as the “dirty politics” taking on in Kogi East.
“We are overjoyed to witness the enormous crowds that have been attending the campaign events of various political parties all around the state.
If a significant number of Kogites are prepared to vote for their franchise on November 11, 2023, it is certainly a sign that the future is looking bright.
“However, we are genuinely concerned about the continued pre-election violence, particularly inside the Eastern senatorial district of the state, as well as the apparent lack of pro-activeness on the part of security services, most notably the Nigeria police, in order to prevent these incidents from occurring.
“We want a strong mobilization and assurance of the security agencies for a peaceful gubernatorial election come 11th November, 2023,” which is the date of the election.
“The unpleasant events that occurred in the past with regard to the gubernatorial elections in Kogi State should not be repeated,” he said.
Activists are concerned that voters are choosing politicians not based on their qualifications but rather their ethnicity.
Comrade Idris Abdul Miliki, a political activist in Kogi State, has expressed his disappointment with the manner in which voters will cast their ballots in the upcoming election.
Comrade Miliki, who is the Executive Director of Conscience for Human Right and Conflict Resolution, (CHRCR), stated to the media that it is very troubling and sad that the electorate are not supporting candidates based on philosophy and competency, but rather are focusing on ethnicity.
Miliki has emphasized that in order to avoid conflict, everyone must do their part.
Miliki continued their explanation by saying, “Not everyone who attends your rally is going to like you or vote for you, even if they are there.”
“Some of them are there because resources were used to mobilize them, and as a result, they are there. Attendance at rallies does not constitute illegal activity in and of itself. In the meantime, everyone ought to be concerned about the possibility of violence because of the past that we have in Kogi State and the impression that we have of elections.
“What made this one very much more worrying is the fact that people are not campaigning for or supporting individuals or parties based on ideology or competence.
They are voting for candidates based on their racial background. Kogi State’s governing party is to blame for making the situation even more dire. It is a sign that there is a problem when both the government that is stepping down and the government that will replace it were picked from the same zone.
We have a party that has been in power for more than seven years, and the level of performance in comparison to the resources that are available to the party is very disappointing and causes cause for concern.
“Once again, we have a party in which the incumbent Governor and the candidate who is running to succeed him are both from the same local government. The party chairman is also from the same local government.”
This particular local government is not capable of electing the governor solely on the basis of their votes.
“If that is the case, then it will be a matter of life and death. Where did these three influential people come from, and what is the significance of their shared origin?
“The electorate in the Eastern and Western parts of the state are supporting candidates based on their candidates’ ethnic affiliations. Our democracy is in jeopardy if we continue along this path.
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