Of the four local government areas in Osun state where rerun elections are to take place in one or more polling units today, the APC won in three last Saturday while the PDP won in just one.
The local governments won by the APC were Ife South (7223 for APC vs. 4872 for PDP); Ife North (6527 for APC vs. 5486 for PDP) and Osogbo (23379 for APC vs. 14499 for PDP). Meanwhile the PDP was winner in Orolu (7776 for PDP vs. 5442 for APC).
In all of these LGAs, the candidate of the SDP, Iyiola Omisore, gained a substantial number of votes. His voters cannot be discountenanced in predicting how the votes will go on Thursday.
Following Omisore’s endorsement of the APC yesterday, the ruling party now clearly has the advantage. If his voters turn out for the APC, then the PDP would stand no chance. Presently the PDP has a small lead of 353. And with the number of available votes today amounting to 2637, that difference can be quickly overturned.
However, we must consider a few factors:
- Voter turnout will play a big part in how the election goes. Projecting from last weekend’s main elections, anywhere between 35 and 45 percent turnout is expected. If it is 35 percent turnout it means just about 923 voters will decide the election; if it is 45 percent turnout, that number rises to about 1450. A lower turnout is more likely to favor the PDP which currently has a slight lead.
- How loyal are the Omisore voters?: The rerun is a test of whether those who voted for Omisore did so out of loyalty for him or because they want the APC out of office. There is a difference especially because Omisore has now endorsed the APC – the same party he campaigned vehemently against. If a majority of Omisore’s supporters heed his call and vote for the APC, then the ruling party wins. However, if his voters are more anti-APC than pro-Omisore, then they would likely defect to the PDP candidate, Ademola Adeleke.
- Sympathy votes: The sympathy votes belong to Adeleke. There is a large part of the public sentiment which believes that he is being cheated. There is a belief that he won on Saturday and should have been declared.
- Adeleke’s running mate: With Omisore no longer in contention, the only other Ife indigene on the ballot is the PDP’s deputy governorship candidate, Albert Adeogun. He is no match for Omisore in terms of popularity, but with Omisore no longer with a shot, it remains to be seen if he has what it takes to pull the votes, as there are 1133 votes combined in the three polling units in Ife North and South where elections would hold.
- Money, money, money: No election in Nigeria can be effectively analysed without factoring the place of vote-buying. All the major parties are guilty of this unlawful activity. Even though only a few polling units are involved in this election, and there might be a lot of scrutiny in those places, it is expected that politicians will still attempt to manipulate the process due to the high stakes.
For the records:
According to INEC, the election would be conducted in one polling unit in Ife-North (241 have PVCs); Olode in Ife-South (581 voters have PVCs); and Osi area in Ife-South (311 voters have PVCs). Also, election would be held in three polling units in Orolu where a total of 806 voters have PVCs and in a polling unit in Osogbo, the capital where 694 voters have PVCs.