News Analysis: How The Three Senatorial Districts Of Nasarawa Will Vote In Saturday’s Elections

By Our Reporter
Nasarawa state like other states of the federation consist of three
(3) senatorial districts namely: Nasarawa South (Lafia zone), Nasarawa
North ( Akwanga zone) and Nasarawa West ( Keffi zone). This political
structure of Nasarawa state has been the existing since the creation
of the state. Nasarawa South consists of five (5) Local Government
Councils, Lafia, Doma, Awe, Obi and Keana. While Nasarawa North has,
Akwanga, Nasarawa Eggon and Wamba and Nasarawa West consist of Keffi,
Nasarawa, Toto Karu and Kokona.
In 1999, when Nigeria returns to democratic rule after long sojourn of
military regime, the contest for elective offices in Nasarawa state
was between two (2) dominate political parties. The contest for
elective offices then was between Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and
All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) but unfortunately ANPP as a party
did not make any appreciable impact in the state, for 12 years it was
the PDP that is winning virtually all the available political offices
in the state until 2011, when the newly formed Congress for
Progressives change (CPC) candidate Umaru Tanko Al-makura floored
Aliyu Akwe Doma in 2011 to emerged as governor of Nasarawa state.
The emergence of Umaru Tanko Al-makura has changed the narratives of
governance in the state as his tenure, which is coming to an end in
May this year, hinged on progressives’ policies. For the first time in
the history of the state, people have seen concrete infrastructural
developments in contrast of the PDP’s 12 years of window dressing and
Indeed, Saturday’s election is going to be a straight brawl between
All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and
All Peoples Grand Alliance (APGA). The opinion poll conducted by the
Nasarawa Eye shows that the ruling APC in the state, baring any last
minutes maneuvers by the opposition, is set to win two senatorial
seats as well as four House of Reps slots in the state and secures
over 75 to 80 percent of the total votes in the presidential ballot.
Those who responds to Nasarawa Eye inquires observed that superlative
performance of the APC under Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura in the
last seven and half years and towering political influence of other
APC leaders in the state are the APC’s selling points in Nasarawa
state in Saturday’s’s polls.
Our respondents further maintained that in Nasarawa South for example,
majority of votes (75 to 85 per- cent) would go to the APC
Presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, saying all the
political juggernauts in Nasarawa South are in support of the APC and
her presidential candidate.
Nasarawa Eye respondents observed further that elite consensus as well
as ordinary voters who constituted more than 90 percent of registered
voters in Lafia Local Government council, favours President Muhammadu
Buhari, as in Lafia so also in Awe, Keana and Obi.
Our respondents’ pointed out that Senator Solomon Adokwe who is a PDP
serving senator, from Obi local government; lacked the straight to
influence the elite and voters of Obi local government to vote for
Atiku Abubakar of the PDP.
In Doma, our respondents averred that Muhammed Ogoshi Onawo who is a
PDP serving House member and a running mate to David Ombugadu of the
PDP his straight will slightly tilts the opinion of elites of Doma to
favours Atiku Abubakar, but according to our respondents,
preponderant of opinion of ordinary voters in Doma are in support of
Muhammadu Buhari.
Based on assessments of our respondents Muhammadu Buhari will win
Nasarawa South fair and squire, with almost 70 percents, as majority
of the votes from Lafia, Awe, Keana, Obi and Doma would go for the APC
Those who responded to Nasarawa Eye inquires there noted that though,
Al-makura also performed wonderfully well in Nasarawa North but the
performance may not translate to President Buhari securing popular
votes there, as an average voter in Nasarawa North and the elite
consensus there favours Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, saying that
majority of Atiku’s votes from Nasarawa North would come from Akwanga
and Nassarawa Eggon local governments. Our respondents said “even
though governorship candidate of the APC comes from Nasarawa North,
but on the average, Muhammadu Buhari may only secure 45 per-cent votes
the total votes from Nasarawa North while Atiku Abubakar may scores 55
per-cent votes”
In Nasarawa West Nasarawa Eye gathered that performance of APC
government under Al-makura as well as Senator Abdullahi Adamu’s factor
will swing the votes to Muhammadu Buhari’s favour.
“President Muhammadu Buhari will win the zone comfortably by almost 60
per-cent as majority of votes from Karu, Toto, Nasarawa and Keffi
would go to the APC” Our respondents maintained.
Our respondents stressed that President Muhammadu Buhari will; unlike
2015 elections will score 70 to 75 per-cent of total votes in Nasarawa
However, Nasarawa Eye gathered that the presidential ballot will
reflect how Senatorial and House of Representatives ballots would go.
In Nasarawa South, our respondents expressed the confidence that
Governor Umaru Tanko Al-makura will beat Senator Salomon Adokwe,
adding even though Adokwe will garner the majority votes of his
tribes’ men but the votes would not swing the win to his favour, as
Al-makura will scores majority votes in Awe, Keana, Obi and Lafia.
On House of Representatives, our respondents said Abubakar Sarki
Dahiru of the APC (Serving Reps Member) for Obi/ Lafia federal
constituency who is contesting with Dr Haruna Kigbu of the PDP will
face hectic time as Dr Kigbu is not a push over. However Obi/Lafia
House seat our respondents averred will go to the APC but with slight
margin, as the votes of Koro and Eggon communities will be divided
between Dr Haruna Kigbu of the PDP and Mr Elesha Agwadu of the APGA.
As for the Awe, Keana and Doma federal constituency, our respondents
said Alhaji Abubakar Hassan Nalaraba of the APC will beat Alhaji
Abubakar Idris Gani of the PDP who is also from Keana as Nalaraba.
“The victory of Nalaraba over Gani will be predicated on the fact that
both APC as a party and Nalaraba as individual are more popular in Awe
and Keana than Alhaji Idris Gani and the PDP. Alhaji Gani will secure
popular votes only in Doma, our respondents noted.
In Nasarawa North our respondents stressed that the zone paraded
people of almost equal popularity for the senate seat, from APC there
is incumbent deputy speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon Godiya
Akwashiki, in the PDP there is a former deputy governor, Mr Micheal
Abdul, and from APGA former commissioner Samuel Alu.
Our respondents observed that two of these contestants for this senate
seat, Godiya Akwashiki and Sam Alu are of Eggon extraction; therefore
tendencies are that they may likely split their votes. Michael Abdul
of the PDP stands a chance of clinching the votes of his Mada tribe
and going by the unwritten agreement between the people of Mada and
people of Wamba, tendencies are that Wamba people may likely vote for
the PDP for the senate seat so that Mada people would also vote for
Abdulkarim Ubamas of the PDP for House of Reps who is from Wamba.
As things stands, our respondents conclude that, except something
happens between now and Saturday, both the Senate and House seats from
Nasarawa North may go to the PDP. As for Barr Malla Makpa who is vying
for the senate seat under APGA from Wamba and Muhammad Yau who is
vying for House seat from Nasarawa Eggon under APC, there are fears
that both Makpa and Yau may go no anywhere in the polls considering
permutations in politics of Nasarawa North.
In Nasarawa West, our respondents said both the senate and the two
House seats from that zone may go to the APC. Senator Abdullahi Adamu
will get his seat back and the two House of Reps seats to APC, taken
into account the fact that Nasarawa West is a comfort zone of the APC.
Conclusively However, our respondents pointed out that baring last
minutes changes in decisions, permutations and maneuvers, the people
of Nasarawa state may produce close to 75 to 80 percent votes to
President Muhammadu Buhari and the state will also produce for the APC
two Senate seats and four House seats in Saturday’s polls.

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