The Vice President, Namadi Sambo, will lead the People’s Democratic Party’s, PDP, plans to win the October 20 Ondo state governorship elections, the party announced on Wednesday.
Mr. Sambo will head a National Campaign Committee for the elections, while the PDP’s National Legal Secretary will serve as the committee secretary, the party said in a statement. The committee has 32 members.
Winning back the Ondo state remains crucial for the party that has been eased out of the South-West region. Five South-Western states are being controlled by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and one – Ondo state- is led by the Labour party (LP).
Ahead of the polls, three parties- PDP, ACN, and LP-stand out as the key contenders for the top seat in an election that also features nine other parties.
But with a little over a month to the vote, analysts predict a race that is skewed towards the incumbent, Olusegun Mimiko of the LP, and Olusola Oke of the PDP.
Both parties have laid out strongholds with the LP’s hold situated more at Akure, the state’s capital which also holds the largest population. The state’s central, once dominated by the ACN, increasingly appears to be the toss for all. ACN’s support in the area, particularly in Owo, has reportedly ebbed as a result of the party’s choice of candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu. Mr. Akeredolu, former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, is seen as a national figure lacking grassroots support.
Mr. Oke of the PDP, in a frantic attempt to curry scarce support, said last week, that he will pay traditional rulers five percent of all local government monthly allocations.
“I am privileged to know that the money our traditional rulers are receiving is not satisfactory,” Mr. Oke said at a meeting with Gilbert Ogunlowo, the Awosunye of Atosin, during a campaign tour.
“We will make sure that five percent goes to our Obas to reposition the traditional institution and make it more relevant.”
The revelation by the PDP shows that the party is willing to foster the illicit practice of governors shortchanging local governments.
The Sambo-led committee will be inaugurated anytime soon, the party said in a statement Wednesday.