Since the return of stable democracy from 1999 political office holders have been bombarding their supporters with promises yet unfulfilled during every election period in the country. It is an electioneering whereby the person that has the highest cash will automatically becomes the winner after he might have induced voters with money.
Election in this part of the world is the type where candidates (governors and senators) go from one community to another with float of cars, pickups and SUVs with their supporters thronging around the streets with drums and trumpets singing and dancing under the scorching sun as if a messiah is passing by likewise the presidential candidates in their respective parties.
Despite these jamborees, on the actual day of election the zeal with which they displayed during campaigns will weaned down maybe because for some that was the only opportunity they will have to come close to the politicians they have been seeing on television, reading on the pages of daily newspapers or even hearing them on radio while for some there is always a perception that money will be shared during rallies.
Focusing on the southern part of the country in Southsouth, two states were recorded to have the highest registered voters in the region. IAccordingtodatareleasedbytheIndependentNationalElectoralCommission,INEC.In 2011 the number of registered voters in Delta state was 2,032,191, in 2015, the number increased to 2,044,372 and in 2019 registered voters were 2,845,274 also in Rivers state, 2,429,231 voters registered for the 2011 election, in 2015, it was a little bit lower than the previous year with 2,324,300 and in it went up high to 3,215,273.
What could have resulted to the upsurge in these two states on voters’ registration? Rivers state is a highly dominated PDP state and two giant political playmakers from different political parties; APC the ruling party and PDP the opposition party. Ritimi Amechi, Minister of Transport and former governor of the state from 2011 to 2015 decamped to the ruling party just before the 2015 general elections while the governor of the state Nyesom Wike a prominent PDP member in the region is also contesting for the second tenure as governor in the state. With over three million registered voters in Rivers state all hands will be deck from the two political parties on how the votes will be shared come February 16.
Delta is at the heart of the forthcoming elections both political will be watching closely how votes will emerge from these state, they will make a great determinant from the south-south on presidential election. With over two million registered voters in the state which automatically is a PDP state, Governor IfeanyiOkowa who is also vying for second term in will do what is possible to make sure that his state delivers his state for the presidential election. In 2018, the former Governor of the state, Emmanuel Uduaghan decamped to the ruling party just the before the 2019 general elections heat started will this have adverse effect on how votes will swing for the two parties. These two states are regarded as heavy weight in the south-south region considering the number of registered voters they pulled out.
Taking a closer look at the entire six geopolitical zones in the country, northern part is divided into three zones; northwest recorded 24%, northeast with 13.44% while north central had 15%. Coming to the southern region, the south-south had the highest number of registered voters with 15.29%, southeast the lowest in the region with 11.97% while 19.39% for the southwest.
Critically looking at the northeast and the northwest with the highest number of registered voters, these two states over the last half a decade and presently known to be troubled states with Bokoharam insurgency especially northeast and yet they emerged as the states with the highest voters’ registration.
In the northeast, three states are on the eye of the political parties. Adamawa, in 2011 registered 1,816094 voters and in 2015, 1,973,083 voters emerged. Borno state which is largely plagued with Bokoharam maintained the two million registered voters of 2,380,957 in 2011, there was sharp decline in 2015 that was the period terrorist had its free hand in the state before a strong resistant from Nigerian Military, it recorded 1,799,669 voters in 2015. When sanity was gradually returning to the state voters’ registration surges to 2,315,956.
The northeast Adamawa state is where the Presidential candidate of the PDP Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is from while President Muhammadu Buhari is from Katsina State the northwest. The presidential election is between these two regions. The whole of the northwest has 20,158,100 voters waiting to cast their votes for the presidential election while the whole of northeast has 11,289,293 registered voters also waiting to cast their votes come February 16, 2019.
These two regions can determine who the next leader will be for another four years that is largely dependent on the number that will vote.