These experts said though it is not clear who will become the president by the end of the election, each of the frontline candidates have what it takes to influence the electoral results.
Earlier this year, the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) reportedly registered 93,469,008 persons for the election. However, the electoral body mentioned that a total of 87,209,007 Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) have been distributed and collected by qualified registrants of the election.
Research experts from Nextier SPD reported that a recent face-to-face nationwide poll on the upcoming 2023 Nigeria’s presidential elections reveals Labour Party (LP) as leading the voters preference with about 37% of the total survey respondents.
The experts recorded the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to have 27 percent while the All Progressive Congress (APC) secured 24 percent while the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPC) got 6 percent of the survey responses.
However, the Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressive Congress regarded the result as an avenue to kick start a post-election crisis.
Nextier experts conducted a second poll on Friday, January 2023 with a sample size of 3,000 respondents. They concluded that the Labour Party secured the highest voter preference, however it is not likely to secure an outright first-round victory. They concluded the presidential election to be a runoff between Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi or Bola Tinubu after seeing none of the presidential candidates met the criterias for victory in the first round.
Another experts concluded that out of the 18 presidential candidates, the winner would be from Atiku Aubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Bola Amed Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Peter Obi of the Labour Party and Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).
Media Trust Group headquarters in Abuja housed a panel of experts who argued that knowing each candidate play a vital role in determining Nigeria’s next president but the impact of money, institutions and information undermined.
A political analyst and Director of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Idayat Hassan said that the role of institutions, identity and information are great determinants to the outcome of the upcoming elections. According to her, the electoral bodies, security agencies and the Central Bank of Nigeria all contribute to this course.
Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim, a development and political analyst believes money mostly influences the polls based on the last three elections. He agrees with the President on his cash crunch policy to greatly affect the polls. He added although Tinubu has a great margin due to lots of support from governors, the new monetary policy will affect him.
How Winners Will Emerge
Panelists of the Media Trust discussion said the change in the norms of the 2023 election made it difficult to predict the winner. However, to be victorious, one candidate must get a plurality of the votes of at least 25 percent from 24 of the 36 states including the Federal Capital Territory.
Idayat Hassan said “We agree that all our permutations from 1999 to 2019 are no longer looking useful for this particular election, as even the 14 states that have historically been the PDP strongholds are presently in contention”. She added that, “Since the return of democracy in Nigeria, one candidate always wins with a margin of at least 2.5 million votes. But things are changing every day.”
Not sure who will be the first to cross the threshold, Idayat believes that in the North East which is Atiku’s home, he might not win all the states in the region as states like Borno and Yobe may pose a challenge.
She said the 23 APC governors will most likely deliver 25 percent of their states to Tinubu including Rivers, Abia, Enugu, Oyo and Benue states. However, Benue may go for Peter Obi but Tinubu might get 25 percent of the votes from the state. She sees Tinubu as the only candidate that can boast of a region which is the southwest.
“Apart from the middle belt states, there is no state where Tinubu will not get the 25 per cent win. I believe that Atiku will get 25 per cent in all the 19 northern states,” Abubaker Kari, an associate Professor of Political Sociology said. He believes Tinubu will likely get the six states in the South West while all the candidates may get a 25 per cent win in the FCT. Also, Atiku and Tinubu will most probably meet the requirements of 2 percent in two-thirds of the states.
Kari said there is a contention that Atiku has not done anything for the North East region which is the major problem he has. He might get the most votes in the region aside from Borno and Yobe with an uncertainty of Bauchi state.
An assistant Professor of Petroleum Economics, Dr Ahmed Adamu, argued that Tinubu is not perceived as a deep Muslin in the north which will serve as a setback to him irrespective of his Miuslim-Muslim ticket. The region which has about 54 percent of voters might not also go for Atiku whose threat in the North is Sen. Rabiu Kwankaso of NNPP who would take all the votes that might naturally go to Atiku.
According to him, Peter Obi does not have a chance in the north as his name is not even mentioned. He described him as only popular on social media.
Dr Adamu further explained that Atiku’s large network of friends might earn him a win in the South-West and might also get the South-South with a part of the South-East.
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