At least 12 out of the 18 local government areas of Edo State will play a decisive role in Saturday’s (today) governorship poll as incumbent Governor Godwin Obaseki, who is the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, clashes with the leading opposition All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
Although 14 parties fielded candidates for the poll, observers have argued that the election would be a two horse race between the PDP and the APC.
According to analysis by Saturday PUNCH, the 12 battleground local government areas are Egor, Ikpoba/Okha, Oredo, Ovia North-East, Ovia South-West and Uhunmwode.
Others are Akoko Edo, Owan West, Owan East, Etsako East, Etsako West and Etsako Central.
Six out of the 12 battleground LGAs are located in the Edo South Senatorial District where both the incumbent and the leading opposition candidate hail from.
Interestingly, the Edo South Senatorial District has the highest number of voters totalling 1,281,414 votes, according to the figures released by the Independent National Electoral Commission. This represents about 74 per cent of the entire voting populace which INEC put at 1,726,738.
Further findings revealed that the remaining six battleground LGAs are located in the Edo North Senatorial District where the immediate past Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, and the state deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, hail from. The deputy governorship candidate of the APC, Gani Audu, also hails from Edo North.
Figures from INEC’s voter register show that Edo North Senatorial District has 564,122 voters.
However, the Edo Central Senatorial District which has 364,998 voters is expected to be dominated by the PDP. According to Saturday PUNCH findings, the Edo Central Senatorial District has been historically dominated by the PDP.
Meanwhile, INEC put the number of registered voters for the election at 2,210,534. However, 483,796 PVCs were not collected, leaving 1,726,738 voters eligible to take part in today’s election.
According to INEC’s breakdown of the eligible voters with permanent voter cards in the 18 LGAs, Akoko Edo has 115,343 voters; Egor has 158,817; Esan Central has 40,831; Esan North-East has 66,790; Esan South-East has 58,802; Esan West has 83,467; Etsako Central has 42,042; Etsako East has 67,715; Etsako West has 128,188; and Igueben has 34,988.
Others are Ikpoba/Okha with 214,822; Oredo, 240,197; Orhionmwon, 102,739; Ovia North-East, 113,167; Ovia South West, 77,468; Owan East, 77,827; Owan West, 46,245 and Uhunmwonde 57,290.
According to the delimitation of the state, elections would be conducted in the 2,627 polling units in 192 wards in the 18 LGAs of the state.