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The Battle Of Aso Rock 2019: Which Gladiator Will Become The Leviathan?

Posted by George on Thu 21st Feb, 2019 -

One thing to note about this election in 2019 is that, the candidates are from the same region of Northwest and Northeast accordingly.

Atiku Abubakar and President Buhari
The shock for elections postponement started in Nigeria since 2011, due to delayed distribution of materials.
It repeated again in 2015 because of security infractions in Borno and Yobe. That of 2019 was worrisome, because despite fire incidents at INEC facilities in Abia, Plateau and Anambra, the INEC boss kept building hope of Nigerians until his emergency broadcast to the nation at midnight, 6 hours to the elections and postponed the election after Nigerians have traveled.
The amount lost can't be quantified as many as still counting their lost till today. This should be the last postponement in our history.
The limitations facing the APC is the removal of it's gubernatorial candidates in states like Rivers and Zamfara, including the fracas the party is experiencing in states like Imo. The PDP perceptions image remains it greatest undoing. 
One thing to note about this election in 2019 is that, the candidates are from the same region of Northwest and Northeast accordingly. Unlike in 2007 when the candidates were both from northwest respectively.
One of the pointers to victory is that, this is the chance of the Northeast to produce a president, because subsequent leaders since Nigeria's 4th republic are from the Western part of the core north. 
According to afrobarometers survey report in 33 states excluding Adamawa,Yobe and Borno because of insecurities, in 2015 prior to the elections. Afrobarometer point three prelate things of; security, corruption,poverty as the  cardinal points that led to the defeat of PDP after it 16 years of leadership from 1999-2015.
Undoubtedly, another fundamental point that led to APC victory was the core north agenda to wrestle power back to the region after the death of Yar'adua in 2010. Jonathan was seeing as stealing the rights of the north. So the Concern of the north was to vote against him and the PDP. The north succeeded.
But in 2019, that agreement and arrangements is not visible. The two gladiators are of one ethnic group and religion. The protest votes of the north may not be that wholely and solely possible despite their attachment to the president. 
Studying Nigeria's elections in retrospect of 12 years has given me a profound position to make this analysis. This article is focused on the results of 2015 presidential election between the two main parties of APC and PDP. The interest here is how Nigerians voted before, projectively the voting pattern maybe maintained or slightly changed based on some factors and perspectives.
In 2015 election, the APC won overwhelmingly in 21 states, while the PDP was victorious in 16 states. The PDP scored 4,205,995 in the states won by the APC, while the APC pulled a total of 1,810,672 votes in the 16 states won by APC. This shows that the PDP is relatively strong in the states which the ruling party won.
With upward voting in the weak states of the parties, that 21/16, victory will go to the APC in 2019 elections. But with downward voting patterns in this years polls, in the 16/21 states PDP shall win the election.
Note: Every pendulum movements either backward or forward in these states, it will be to the advantage of one and to the disadvantage of the other. If the statues quo is maintained, which is almost impossible, the APC will still be at the right path to victory.
In 2015 election, the PDP scored less than 100,000 votes in 5 states:Bauchi,Borno,Gombe, Katsina and Yobe. The total votes here is 333,061.
The APC lost the strength of getting up to 100,000 votes in 9 states: Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra,Bayelsa,Cross River,Delta,Ebonyi,Enugu and Rivers. The party gathered the total score  total of 275,116. Averagely, the PDP took the lead in the disadvantage states of 5/9 because it scored higher than the APC in nine States.
In this 5/9 weaknesses of the duo parties. If any the party work hard and change this position, it will be at advantage against the other. The APC has a great work to do in the states of it weakness,same goes to the PDP too, comparatively.
These states shall have a very huge impact on the outcome of the 2019 election. Each party must work in it's area of it weakness strategically. 
For the APC to win this election, it must maintain lead in the 21 states of it strength in 2015: Adamawa,Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi,Kwara,Lagos,Niger,Ogun,Ondo,Osun,Oyo,Sokoto,Yobe and Zamfara. Any state it loses in this election goes to the opposition PDP as an advantage. The APC must maintain increase votes to exceed what it got in these states then because of the higher  total number of registered voters of about 84.4. million, more than the 2015 total voters.
PDP won 16 states which are;Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa,cross River,Delta, Ebonyi,Edo,Ekiti,Enugu,Imo, Nasarawa, Plateau, Rivers,Taraba and the FCT.
The opposition party is at disadvantage already. It must work seriously to get huge number of votes from this states. It must maintain this states and compete favourable with the ruling party in other to win some states out of the 21 states in the APCs coffers and strength.
This is a huge task ahead of PDP if it must clinched power again from the ruling APC. If the opposition party maintain these 16 states with a very high addition of votes, drag in more states from the stronghold states of APC with a large margin,then victory of PDP is certain. Anything less than this remain advantage to the APC.
The APC won 4 out of the 6 geopolitical zones in the last election.
The total of APC votes was 15,424,921.
The ruling party must work massively to maintain these zones, with more votes if it must win this election.
Losing any State out of the 21 states in it possession and losing any region to the opposition or maintaining the total number of Votes it scored will be tantamount to failure and a weak outcome of APC in 2019.
PDP won only two regions of:
South South:4,714,725
The total number of votes it got was:12,853,162.
There is much work for the PDP in 2019. It must get more regions, more states and accrued more gigantic number of votes too from all angles. These three things are the wishes of the PDP. Anything less than them leads it to failure.
 But if the PDP recover states and get more votes, it will win the election.
The difference between the APC winning Votes and PDP losing votes in 2015 was 2,571,759.
The margin is not much, but the number of States and regions won puts the APC in an advantageous position. The opposition must take note of these points.
Northeast: APC 2,052,083
Northwest: APC 5,775,490
Northcentral: APC 695,195
Southwest: APC 611,777
South-South: PDP 4,296,135
Southeast: PDP 2,266,658
It is clear that APC victory is shacking in Northcentral and Southwest.
If the PDP work strongly enough, it will take over the regions, especially the North Central. Seriously, it's not going to be an easy struggle for survival. Politics is not a tea party.
Taking over the Northcentral region, maintaining lead in South-South and Southeast, getting more votes in southwest, if achieved shall lead PDP I victory.
Invariably, If the APC maintained these regions and get more votes in South-South and Southeast, there won't be hope to ASO ROCK for the opposition. The battle will be tough indeed.
Therefore, to know who will win the election, study the analysis. They all have their strengths and limitations. Voting pattern of 2015 may change in the 12 core northern States because of Muslim Muslim tickets of APC and PDP. Even though some observers said one Muslim is more loved than other Fulani.
The southwest shall be a deciding region because of it interests.
The South-South and Southeast may maintained their position on PDP.
But they must come out and vote more than they did last time.
The battle for 2023 between the Igbo and Yoruba is another factor. To the Yoruba, voting APC is getting the chance to rule again which most Igbo see PDP as a party that will handover power to it in next election.
They choices of vice Presidential candidates is another factor too. The APC vice President is from the southwest, while the PDP vice President is from Southeast.
Both regions maybe divided, allowing the South-South to be neutral and swing to one direction, possibly towards the PDP as it did in the last election.
Judging from the 2007 election between Buhari and Yaradua, the PDP will win the APC because it won more states in the North while President Buhari got a total of 6 million votes then.
Remember that GEJ also won PMB in 2011. If the consistency of PDP regions are maintained,the PDP will win 2019 elections. Other factors that counts are: economy, security, international communities, perceptions of the APC government, human capital investment, education, infrastructural development, leadership style and character, idiosyncrasies of Mr President, Federal character principle, appointments, restructuring, capital base of Nigerians and their socioeconomic wellness etc.
A little change in voting styles means victory to the other. It is clear that incumbent presidents and ruling parties has lost elections in Nigeria,Ghana, Liberia,Congo etc.
We must learn from history for a transparent and credible,free and fair elections as proposed, promised and envisaged.
Above all, no matter who wins, Nigeria must remain peaceful.
So no to violence. 
Rwang Patrick Stephen
Federal University of Kashere,
Faculty of Humanities, Management and Social Sciences,
Department of Political Science

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