Is it possible that the All Progressives Congress, (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP) which have dominated the on-going electioneering campaign in Nigeria in terms of huge rally attendance in huge population centres across the country might be at risk of being deflated? Well, that is the message oozing from the All Progressives Grand Alliance, (APGA) which is announcing its arrival in town as far as huge rally attendance is concerned.
For now, it is all happening in Nasarawa State where Comrade Labaran Maku appears to be on the march after all, if the rally population strength is any good signal. The APGA gubernatorial candidate’s rallies are so huge they are sending jitters to contending centres of power, making real the assumption that a smaller party or an exceptional candidate from nowhere would make a mess of hegemonic entities such as the APC and the PDP. But it is not a Nasarawa specific phenomenon as the APGA national officer who can be heard in the accompanying video, declares that APGA is on the move to take over Niger and Kaduna states in the coming elections. It is asking its Others to watch out for its arrival in town.
It could all be campaign ground kind of big talk but as Chinua Achebe says, it could also be the case of the mother hen spoiling for a fight. The giant might as well run because there is no knowing if mother hen developed teeth overnight. With the incomprehensible night negotiations and puzzling alliances being struck on the eve of the 2019 polls, no electoral outcome is impossible in each of the impending elections.
In Nasarawa State, Labaran Maku, the APGA gubernatorial candidate would be slugging it out with Engineer Abdullahi Sule of the APC and David Ombugadu of the PDP, come March 2nd, 2019. As a former activist of the defunct National Association of Nigerian Students, (NANS) the contest should have been clearly between one radical and two conservatives. It is open to debate if that is how this contest has been represented by each of the leading contestants on the one hand and the voters on the other hand. Instead of the rich – poor or the class divide, politics in Nasarawa State has revolved more on Christian-Muslim polarities or the ethnicity. It is a multi-ethnic entity spanning Mada people, Alago, Eggon, Hausa-Fulani, Kanuri. It remains a case study in the puzzling dynamics of elite struggle for power in post Cold War democratisation.