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2019: Region-by-region prediction of presidential election

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Following is another prediction of the presidential election

Niger Delta

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The Situation In 2015

What happened to APC in 2015 in the Niger Delta was humbling. Even in Edo State where APC had a governor in Adams Osheihomole, Buhari lost. Which brings up the issue of Senator Akpabio’s influence in the region. If a sitting governor couldn’t help Buhari in 2015, can a former governor? I attempt to answer that question below.

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What has changed?

What has changed in the entire region is the fact that Jonathan or any son of the NIGER Delta is no longer on the ballot; both candidates are now Fulani from the north. In Edo particularly, something has changed positively for the APC and technically, it hasn’t. They had an APC governor in 2015 and the national chairman of the party. Those positions remain with them today.  Therefore, if Buhari has any chances of winning any state in the South-south, it is Edo. Edo had an excuse that Jonathan was from the region. Now they do not. Adams Oshiomhole has something prove.

Even in 2015, Buhari did well in Edo by getting 208,469 votes against Jonathan’s 286, 869 votes.  Compared to Bayelsa where Buhari got 5,000 votes; 28,000 in Cross River and in Rivers he got 69,000 votes compared to Jonathan’s 1.4 million votes. Sadly, Amaechi wasn’t of much help then and he isn’t going to be now in Rivers.

Verdict

Whether we accept it or not, this election is still the south against the north. It doesn’t matter that both candidates are northerners. PDP is south, APC is north. Therefore, Atiku will win South-south. But Buhari will get at least 25%; cumulatively, he is likely to get 30 to 35%. It’s an improvement; better than the 58,000 votes he got from Akwa Ibom against Jonathan’s 950,000 in 2015.

Confidence of prediction

60%

Northeast

The Situation In 2015

Boko Haram occupied about 12 local government areas in 2015. The people lived in constant fear. Even we in Abuja couldn’t go to the mosque or church without thinking of being bombed to smithereens. Now imagine how it felt for the people in the Northeast.

Therefore, people voted for change – massively so in places like Borno, Bauchi and Yobe (where Jonathan got only about 5% of the votes which was 25,526 votes against Buhari’s 446,265). Even Gombe with a sitting PDP governor gave Buhari 361, 245 votes but gave Jonathan less than one third which was 96,873 votes.

What has changed?

A friend from Borno recently told us that they held their APC primary elections at 2AM. That is what has changed. Before, they couldn’t do it during the day time for fear of Boko Haram, let alone at night. While Boko Haram still launches devastating attacks, they are not as ubiquitous as in 2015.

Verdict

PDP will win Taraba as usual and will share the votes with APC in Adamawa in the ratio of 45 to 55 percent in favour of APC. APC will win Gombe, Bauchi, Borno and Yobe.

Confidence of prediction

75%

Southeast

The Situation In 2015

The southeast believed that Jonathan was their candidate. They vicariously presided over Nigeria through Jonathan. And voted for him overwhelmingly.

What has changed?

Buhari paid Biafran service men. He’s now building second NIGER Bridge. He has 500,000 people in Npower – including in the Southeast. Governor Obiano campaigns for Buhari. There’s no longer incident form during elections. So parties can’t rig by claiming that the machine has malfunctioned. And Atiku has replaced Jonathan on the ballot. To boot, Okorocha’s influence in Imo and former Gov Kalu’s popularity as APC senatorial candidate of Abia North will favour Buhari.

Yet, Peter Obi, from Anambra, is Atiku’s  running mate. To say nothing of Atiku’s popularity in the region.

Verdict

Atiku will win Southeast. But Buhari will get at least 25%.

Confidence of prediction

80%

Northwest

The Situation In 2015

Masses, especially those from the North were the lone supporters of Buhari. Then the elites joined in. By 2015, even the big shots and the powers that be had joined the popular support.

There was nowhere that support was as massive as in the Northwest.

In Kano Jonathan got 215,000 votes in 2015 about 10% of Buhari’s 1.9 million. In Jigawa, Jonathan got about one eighth of Buhari’s 885,988 votes. In Kaduna, despite the presence of Namadi Sambo, Buhari got 1.1 million votes. Jonathan earned 484, 000. Not too shabby. In Kebbi Jonathan earned less than one fifth (100,972) of Buhari’s 567883.

In Buhari’s own Katsina, voters didn’t honour Jonathan with even  10% (98,937) of Buhari’s 1, 345, 441. In Sokoto, Jonathan, 152,000; Buhari, 672,000. In Zamfara, Jonathan, 145,000; Buhari, 612,000.

What has changed?

A couple of days ago, I listened to a debate on VOA Hausa between someone from the Buhari Campaign Organisation and someone from the PDP. I do not want to mention their names.

The PDP guy challenged his opponent to mention projects done by President Buhari, whereby the APC guy said he should go and google the answer. I found that response strange. It could create an impression that the president did nothing. But even I who is not mandated to speak for the party can mention truckloads of impactful projects done by Buhari.

In the North alone, here are a few: Abuja Kano road, Kano-Maiduguri road, Yola-Mubi road, the fact that rice production has increased tremendously, fertilizer production too has increased because of the Presidential Initiative on fertilizer to the extent that we are now exporting to countries like Brazil.

However, in the north, especially Northwest, most of Northeast and Niger State, it doesn’t matter whether Buhari performs or not. His support base remains intact.

Verdict

Buhari will win Northwest again. But unlike Jonathan, Atiku will do well too getting up to 30% of the votes because of Atiku’s own network and the presence of Sule Lamido, Shema, Tambuwal, Senator Kwankwaso, Senator Galaudu and so forth.

Confidence of prediction

80%

Southwest 

The situation in 2015

There is this belief in the north that south-westerners prefer to elect any southerner over any northerner as president.

So how did Buhari win the region?

By 2015, it was apparent that President Jonathan had relegated the Yorubas – refusing to give them any prominent political appointment.

Also, many parties merged to form APC. And the biggest party in that partnership was ACN – a Yoruba party. Therefore, the Yorubas must deliver their region; and they did – but not by much.

These were the main reasons why APC won. Yet, President Jonathan gave a good fight, winning Ekiti and losing Ondo to Buhari by only about 50,000 votes.

Indeed, the highest votes Buhari got was in Oyo where he got 225,244 more votes than Jonathan.

In Lagos State, Tinubu’s home, he only had 160,133 votes more than Jonathan (Buhari, 792460; Jonathan, 632,327).

What has changed?

Nothing – at least in perception. Although there’s this perception that Buhari concentrated “juicy” appointments in the West and planted many important capital projects there – even finishing a rail project. Yet, there are many emotions that would work against Buhari. And in elections, emotions trump reason.

Even the fact that APC has a Yoruba running mate against PDP’s Igbo wouldn’t make much difference.

It could be argued that both PDP and APC have candidates who are over 70, northerner and Muslim. But the perception is that Atiku is less of those things. People in the south also believe that Buhari is clannish. Therefore, where they can’t find a southerner, Yorubas are likely to choose someone who is the lesser northerner.

Verdict

Buhari will win southwest but only by the whiskers. The result will be almost 50 – 50.

Confidence of prediction

I’m 80% confident that this prediction will come true.

North central

The Situation In 2015

Niger State was the only state in the North central where Buhari got 80% of the votes. But Niger State is geographically and culturally similar to Northwest.

Saraki and Company delivered Kwara. George Akume delivered Benue against the prediction of many of us. Jonathan won Plateau and Nasarawa as has become the tradition. Buhari also won Kogi.

What has changed?

We now have an APC governor in Plateau, Kogi and Niger. But Akume remains in Benue. And I’m told, he still carries a lot of influence. Everyone who matters in Nasarawa politics has joined APC.

Verdict

Buhari will win Kwara in spite of Saraki and Niger. Benue, Kogi and Nasarawa will be a toss up. PDP will win Plateau. You see why I said Niger is not like the others in the region?

Confidence of prediction

60%

Conclusion

The 2019 presidential election is difficult to call. But while Buhari won 2015 election by 8%, Atiku will reduce the gap. I predict that Buhari will win by 5%.

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