The 2019 Governorship election in Cross River State may be one of the closest elections since the history of the state considering the fact that the main actors (such as incumbent and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Ben Ayade and All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, John Owan-Enoh) that would be seeking for the votes of the electorates, would be praying for mother-luck.
There is no doubt that of all the political parties that would competing for the governorship seat in Cross River State, PDP and APC are two of the most followed parties.
Gov Ayade, who will be hoping to return to power for a second time after winning the 2015 election in the state, knows quite well that he has his hands full with the emergence of Owan-Enoh as the governorship candidate of APC.
It is expected that both parties have been playing the underground politics within their parties caucus and strategizing in order to create a winning value for any money spent during the course of their campaign.
Cross River State consists of eighteen (18) Local Government Areas such as Abi, Akamkpa, Akpabuyo, Bakassi, Bekwarra, Biase, Boki, Calabar Municipal, Calabar South, Etung, Ikom, Obanliku, Obubra, Obudu, Odukpani, Ogoja, Yakuur and Yala.
All of these LGAs will play a major role in determining the fate of the two political gladiators in the 2019 governorship election in the state.
How Ayade Can Win
On Paper, the Peoples Democratic Party seem to have an edge based on the fact that Gov Ayade understands the whole system having been there in 2015. His party also control majority of the LGAs in the state, which gives him that opportunity to make use of the Chairmen an Councillors within the LGAs to achieve his purpose. (IF ANY)
He has the state’s wealth to splash around during campaigns and he’s familiar with the traditional leaders, elders, youths and some key stakeholders in the state.
Using the power of intellect, Governor Ayade within the last three and half years has put Cross River on a path of sustainable growth. The 260 km dual-carriage Calabar-Katsina-Ala superhighway, the biggest road project to be conceived and commenced in that section of the country is one of the signature projects of the Ayade Administration. The purposefulness of the superhighway was not lost on President Muhammadu Buhari who did not mind political differences to give his endorsement to the project. The $3.5 billion highway will be by far Nigeria’s most sophisticated road with speed cameras and Wi-Fi internet connectivity.
The Calabar Garment Factory reputed as the largest garment factory in the world by floor size.
Gov Ayade’s on a familiar terrain and will do everything possible to ensure that he remain in the mantle of authority for another four years.
How Owan-Enoh Can Win
On the other hand, Senator Owan-Enoh will be hoping to break the jinx as far as the race for the Governorship seat is concern in Cross River State.
Not a stranger in the game of politics, having represented Cross River Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly as a senator, Owan-Enoh has clearly exhibited his vision within the few years he has represented his constituency.
It will be recall that Sen Owan-Enoh was a former member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before defecting to APC, where be believed he could achieve his political goals.
Within his two years in the senate, he had done 44 water projects, 12 roads and culverts, attracted employment opportunities to so many youths of the constituents and so far 4,023 have benefited from his education support intervention scheme across the 66 wards of his senatorial districts.
One key thing that might work in Owan-Enoh’s favour would be the presence of the ‘powers that be’ in Nigeria’s politics, which has been reflected in some of the Governorship elections that has been conducted in 2018 in states such as Ekiti and Osun State respectively.
Owan-Enoh is also expected to have that financial backup from some of the key players in the party such as the National leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President Muhammadu Buhari, National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole to mention a few.
By and large, the winner of the 2019 governorship election would defitely be decided by the electorate regardless of parties popularity or interest.
Matthew Okache is the publisher of Voplink Media www.voplink.com