The 2019 general election in Nigeria has come with a new dimension and a new slogan in Jigawa state “Wake da Shinkafa” (rice and Beans) as voters across the state have prepared to vote candidates based on their quality, not on the basis of political affiliation.
With regards to presidential election, the battle is going to be between the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari and the candidate of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The number of party supporters at the campaigns of the major political parties recently and their popularity in the state is an indication of who will take majority of the 2,111,106 electorates in the coming 16th February 2019 poll.
Although all the main presidential candidates have shared similarities of being Northerners, Muslims and Fulani by tribe, President Muhammadu Buhari’s chances of winning the state is higher due to his popularity and the gale of defections that recently hit the main opposition party in the State.
President Muhammadu Buhari at his presidential campaign in Jigawa state on February 2nd was welcomed by a huge crowd that thronged Mallam Aminu Kano Triangle in Dutse capital for his presidential campaign rally which is the biggest political gathering ever in the state. This shows his popularity and acceptance among Jigawa people.
President Buhari had formally received some of the main opposition party chieftains, including the former Governor of the state Barr. Ali Sa’ad , two PDP gubernatorial aspirants and one SPD gubernatorial aspirant, Senator Danladi Sankara, seven former commissioners who served under Governor Sule Lamido with thousands of their supporters.
From 2003 to 2015 , president Buhari had never scored less than 70 per cent of the votes in the state, and this time again, history may likely repeat itself considering the additional advantage of having APC in control of over 90 per cent of all the elective seats in the state.
While presenting the decampees, Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubakar said the decampees joined the ruling APC due to their satisfaction on the performance of president Muhammdu Buhari’s achievement in developing the country.
“With these giant politicians, it is a clear indication that there is no more oppositions in the state,” he stated.
But higher expectations among the electorate in the state who feel that the change mantra that paved way for the APC victory in the 2015 election had been discarded may also discourage voters from re-electing President Muhammad Buhari.
Also, the popularity of the former state governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido and the giant strides made by the last PDP government will form part of the reasons Jigawa people may vote for the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Similarly, the popularity of other candidates, especially the Senatorial candidates and House of Representatives’ candidate had also added value and chances of the opposition winning the state.
In Jigawa North East senatorial zone, the popularity of the serving senator, Alhaji Ubali Shitu who is grassroots politician who recently defected to the PDP from the APC and his achievements will lure more support to the Peoples Democratic party, PDP.