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Crowds at campaign rallies, not evidence of winning; what parties should do

By Sam Olakunori

With about 22 days to the governorship election in Ondo State, each political party is doing all its best at convincing and wooing the electorates to their side. A different approach is being used in achieving this aim, in fact, two parties are shame calling each other, all for winning the people to their sides.

Last week, the supporters of PDP and APC were boosting who has the biggest crowd at their flag-off campaigns. But the question is: which is more important, the crowd at the rally or the crowd that decides to vote? You recall that the Ondo State governorship election started having different dates after Tribunal declared the former Governor of the state, Olusegun Mimiko as the winner of the 2007 election.

A tribunal led by Justice Garba Nabaruma ordered that Mimiko should be sworn-in as the governor of the state because he won the valid votes in 12 out of the 18 local governments in the state. According to the five-man tribunal panel, Mimiko won 198,269 votes while the PDP candidate, Agagu won 128, 669 votes.

In 2012, there were 1.638 million registered voters in the state, 619,400 (38%) of these people only voted during the election. In 2016, there was an increase in the number of registered voters, however, this did not increase the number of votes cast. The election had 1.64 million registered voters while the total number of voters was 580,887 (35%).

Last year’s presidential election witnessed a further drop in the percentage of voters in the state. Only 32.40% of the 1.8 million registered voters made use of the ballot papers. All these results show that while the number of registered voters keep increasing, the number of actual voters is declining. This should be the area of focus. So why the number of people at campaign rallies is much, parties must put in the effort to sensitize people on why they need to be actively involved in the voting exercise, and by extension convince them to vote for their party.

© Technocrat Media 

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