Who wins 2019 presidential election?

By Bisi Olominu
Nigeria is faced with a choice whether to re-elect President Muhammadu Buhari or elect the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

Each during electioneering campaign has prepared a manifestoes – Buhari’s “Next Level” and Atiku’s “Get Nigeria Working Again.”  The challenge facing the electorate is who indeed is the best to govern the most populous black nation in the world in the nest four years.

The hypothesis of APC flagbearer, Muhammadu Buhari in his party’s manifesto is that Nigeria is at a level, giving opportunity to be on the saddle in the next four years, the country will be at “Next Level.”  To the main opposition, PDP, “Get Nigeria Working Again.” reveals that nothing is moving in the country, but giving opportunity again, Nigeria will work.

The stage is now set, despite the colossal loss of the country and negative principal implications of the postponed election last week, Nigeria will be on the march again, looking to elect a  new president.  Who wins 2019 Presidential election?

This forecast of The Hope as highlighted in this write-up is not based on a scientific poll. It is the result of observations and wide-ranging interviews with the political gladiators, political scientists and analysts around the state.

Our poll revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari will win with about 65% of the votes, while his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar will have 25% and other presidential candidates will make do with the remaining 10%.

The PDP in its campaign has been trying to paint APC in bad light, mostly using the health challenge of President Muhammadu Buhari to an advantage, but tried as it could  not been successful. The non appearance of Atiku in the presidential debate organised by the Broadcasting Service of Nigeria, BON, did collateral damage to his ambition as many waiting to hear from him were disappointed. For even addressing the press that he was there to ‘attack’ President Buhari  instead of selling his programmes to the electorate really destroyed him from having sympathy. Again saying during one of his campaigns that he would make his friends rich if elected to power has reduced his rating as a candidate.

Atiku’s Campaign Director General and Senate President, Bukola Saraki is another problem on the neck of the PDP candidate. Presently, Saraki is having a serious problem at his home front, his political supremacy inherited from his father is being challenged. This will be a minus for Atiku in Kwara State.

On the part of APC, the party has successfully branded the PDP and its presidential candidate as a nightmare, creating the impression that PDP still represents a nest of corruption, plunder and misrule. It would have helped the main opposition a great deal if it had rebranded with a new name.

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Again APC has been using how the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo branded Atiku in his book ” My Watch” to advantage in its campaign and this is working magic.

The APC’s message appears to have been particularly successful in the rural areas, where many voters still associate the PDP with a sordid record of corruption and “money sharing”.

Though job concerns ranked high among voters in the rural areas, the progress made by the Buhari administration in agriculture and the various financial inclusion programmes targeted at increasing food production, TraderMoni, N-Power , also appear to have provided some comfort, blunting the PDP’s negative campaign on job losses and claims of widespread poverty.

We also discovered that the PDP presidential candidate has been unable to effectively split the votes of the Muslim North with PMB, thus giving the president a hedge. In the North, President Muhammadu Buhari popularity is just like a wide fire, his a phenomenon among the ‘talakawas’.

Atiku’s credentials as a Fulani and northerner – the same with Buhari – were widely expected to split the vote right down the middle, but this has not been the case. Findings indicate that apart from ethnic affinity, voters were also looking for a candidate that they could trust, giving Buhari a clear edge.

In the Southwest, President Muhammadu Buhari will have a good show in Lagos, Ogun, Osun,Ondo,Ekiti, however Osun, Oyo and Ogun may not be total.

In Ogun, the governorship crisis between the incumbent, Ibikunle Amosun and the party concerning the last governorship primary may have an effect on the coming presidential election. The candidate of Amosun is not the governorship candidate of APC despite Amosun being the senatorial candidate under APC. The intra-party squabble will have a little effect on the election, but APC will win in Ogun.

In Osun State, the squabble in the PDP will work to the advantage of APC, while the coming of Senator Iyiola Omisore to APC will add more glamour to how President Muhammadu Buhari will win in the state. The main challenging party, the PDP house is not in order, the party has been ravaged by the post election matters.

In Ekiti and Ondo States, APC will garner the required 25percent while in Lagos State though PDP will try but could not beat APC with the support of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other notable PDP politicians that had defected to APC. In Oyo State like Ogun State, the last primary of APC will slightly affect APC as the Minister of Communication, Alhaji Shittu will be coy in working for his party APC, but his closeness with President Buhari can make him to have a rethink and work for the party. The PDP strong men have defected to APC and other parties, this will affect the fortune of the party in Oyo State.

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In all, President Muhammadu Buhari will sweep votes in the Southwest as APC governors are in control of the geopolitical zone and this they would explore to the advantages of President Buhari . In the zone, the Yorubas will queue behind Professor Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President who is their son to win the 2019 presidential election, so as, to have a strong point in 2023 presidential election.

PMB will win easily in the Southwest. Adding, PMB strength in the northern votes with the Southwest alone without the other zones, the president would have already won the election. This was the scenario in the 2015 presidential election, it would be the same pattern of voting in 2019.

The president has a stronghold on the North West, and surprisingly nearly so also in the North East where Atiku was expected to beat him. Under CPC in the 2011 presidential election, President Buhari won in Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe, Bornu, Bauchi, Gombe, but lost to PDP in Taraba, Plateau, Kwara, Nasarawa, Adamawa, Benue and Kogi.

In 2015 presidential election, it was a tsunami as Presidential Buhari won in almost all the northern states except in Nasarawa,Plateau,Taraba. The vote distributions in 2011 and 2015 are pointer that the election has already be won and lost.From political calculations, it would be Hercules task for the PDP candidate, Atiku to break the stronghold of APC in the Northeast.

From our findings, PMB will defeat Atiku in Adamawa State, his home state, where the PDP candidate and his protegees have consistently lost both in party primaries and main elections since 2003.

But Atiku would win in Taraba State partly because the exit of Aisha Alhassan, the former Minister of Women Affairs from APC greatly affected the party. Alhassan is one of the foot soldiers of Atiku, and she will work for Atiku rather than working for PMB.

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The North Central Zone is a mixed grill where Atiku was expected to do well turning the contest into a referendum on PMB, as many of the people there still blame the president for not taking a decisive action in the cattle herdsmen/farmers crisis.

Atiku is expected to win Plateau, Nasarawa and Taraba states. He should have been able to pick Benue State but the APC has successfully made the Benue struggle a fight between Senator George Akume, an influential politician  in Tiv land today and Governor Samuel Ioraer Ortom who appears weak. That makes Benue State too close to call. The spoils in Benue will be shared between 60percent for APC and 40percent for PDP.

There would be a titanic struggle in Kogi State but the president is expected to win. Kwara State will be an hilarious state to watch in the coming election. The Stakes are high for both sides. Saraki would do everything to retain “ownership” of the state but the APC appears to have taken winning the state very personal. The Yorubas  who are in the majority in Kwara are united for the first time in the history of the state to liberate themselves using the coming election as a parameter.

A strong indication that the tide was turning against the Saraki dynasty was the bye-election into the Kwara South Federal constituency last year, which was won by the APC. Kwara State therefore is too close to call.

PMB will win in the FCT and win nearly the entire votes in Niger State.

But there will be a great shift in the South East and South South. PMB will get 40% in Akwa Ibom State and more than the required 25% in Cross River and Delta States. The president has a slight advantage over Atiku in Edo State. Atiku will clearly win in Rivers and Bayelsa States.

It should have been a massacre against the APC in the South East all things considered, but Atiku has been unable to get the loyalty of the South East governors. Peter Obi appears to be his achilles heel in South East. The biggest names in South East politics appear to be working for PMB behind the scenes. Thus the president is expected to get up to 40% in Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Imo and Enugu States.

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