Whoever think the June 21st and August 9th governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states are far away must be mistaken. They are already here knocking on the door. The import of the two elections goes beyond the two states as many have rightly said the Ekiti and Osun elections are a prelude to the 2015 poll. Is that why the two states are gripped by tension at present? The heat in Ekiti and Osun is palpable; you can slice it with a knife.
But nothing demonstrates the imminence of the electoral battle ahead more than the recent continuous voter-registration exercise conducted in the two states.
The exercise was supposed to be for Nigerians who were not able to register in the previous registration exercise or those who have clocked 18 and thus eligible to participate in forthcoming elections. But those who have registered before took over the entire exercise in the two states. INEC will have a tough job picking out those who have engaged in multiple registration, and marking them out for disqualification.
Though the exercise has been attended by problems and challenges in some areas like inadequacy and malfunctioning of the data capturing machines or non-availability of INEC officials, one unique feature of the continuous voter-registration across the two states is the way and manner it pointed the direction the election may go come June 21 and August 9.
Rather than form one queue for the registration at the various centres, the two major parties out to do battle in the two states during the elections proper- APC and PDP- formed their separate lines for the voter registration update.
There were reports of skirmishes at the registration centres in some cities. The parties took the update for the election proper. The party with the longest queue at the registration centre points the direction in which the forthcoming election may go at that centre. But don’t ask me which party had the longest queue in what registration centre.