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In six days, Nigerians across the 36 states would be queuing up in their millions to decide the 2019 presidential contest. In this piece, Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation; Sam Egburonu, Associate Editor and Dare Odufowokan, Assistant Editor, report on the chances of the parties – especially the biggest one – the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) – who given their spread have best chance of claiming the prize.
It is not a quantitative projection where percentage of likely votes would be assigned. Rather it is based on our analysis of traditional voting patterns, current trends, the issues driving the current campaigns as well as the critical personalities who determine which way zones and states may go. It bears repeating that our projections for the 2015 polls – reproduced on page 27 – were largely correct.

NIGERIANS go to the polls in less than a week to decide who of two septuagenarians would run the country for the next four years.The voters’ register published several weeks ago by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), shows that 84, 004, 084 million Nigerians are eligible to vote. Although, significantly less than that number are expected to make it to the polling booths because as at Friday, February 8, millions of permanent voters cards (PVCs) were yet to be collected across the country – forcing INEC to extend the collection deadline to Monday, February 11.

The zonal summary of registered voters is as follows:  12,841, 279 (South-South); 16, 292, 212 (South-West); 10, 057, 130 (South-East);

13,366,070 (North-Central); 20,158,100 (North-West); and 11, 289, 293 (North-East).

Irrespective of the benchmarks adopted, the battlegrounds remain the Northern axis with 44,813,463 votes and the South-West having 16,292,212 votes. Out of the nation’s 84,004,084 eligible voters, the North and the South-West control 61,105,675: whatever happens in these zones could be decisive.

Not surprisingly, the frontrunners – APC and PDP – have been trying to outwit each other from state to state. Last year witnessed a flurry of movements of key political figures across party lines. Some of these individuals are very influential and could have a say in determining the outcome, come February 16.


However, on-the-ground assessments by our correspondents in different states suggest that despite these defections and the nation’s security and economic challenges, we may not see radical changes in the electoral map.


The main contest is expected to pitch Muhammadu Buhari of the APC against long-standing aspirant, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP. The Social Democratic Party (SDP) has adopted Buhari as its candidate – citing the legal tussle between former Cross River State Governor Donald Duke and former minister Professor Jerry Gana for the party’s ticket. Atiku has equally been endorsed by some elders of known socio- political groups like Ohanaeze, Northern Elders Forum, Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum and Niger Delta association. Some other members of these bodies have repudiated the endorsement and have instead either adopted Buhari or other candidates. Commodore Dan Suleiman of the Middle Belt Forum, for instance, has kicked against the adoption of Atiku and reinterated the adoption of businessman Gbenga Olawepo- Hashim of the Peoples Trust Party.

Other notable candidates include former former Central Bank of Nigeria Deputy Governor, Professor Kingsley Moghalu of Young Progressives Party (YPP), Fela Durotoye of Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN) and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress.

Dr. Oby Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), has voluntarily dropped out of the race, but INEC is refusing to accept her withdrawal, insisting her party’s name would still be on the ballot.

A lot of youths appear to be rooting for Sowore and Durotoye. They don’t want both Buhari and Atiku. Many of them know that their preferred candidates cannot win, but they don’t want the two grandees. Many of them in Lagos, Abuja and other cosmopolitan cities could cast their votes for these fringe candidates. The real loser here will be Atiku, as Buhari’s base – the grassroots – seems to be very solid.

In the Southeast, Moghalu may also get sizeable votes. Many voters in the region believe he is the best candidate in terms of articulation and capacity to solve the nation’s socio- economic problems. Again, Atiku will be the loser as the zone is traditional PDP territory.

In the Middle Belt or North Central, Atiku could also lose votes to Olawepo-Hashim if those backing the latter truly work for him. Any loss of votes to third party candidates depletes what should ordinarily go to the PDP’s candidate.
votes for APC’s Buhari.

In all, it seems certain that PDP, which has power of incumbency and age-long loyalty, has greater chances of winning in the state, not only because of the internal dynamics that still favours it but also because PDP’s Vice Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, from the neighbouring Anambra State, also enjoys wide acceptability in the state.

Verdict: Atiku



Abia State has been another PDP stronghold since 1999. But as we reported earlier, reports of under-performance or near total lack of dividends of democracy there have resulted to outcry from across the state for far reaching change.

This feeling will ultimately affect the result of the forthcoming presidential election in the state. We gathered that most stakeholders are furious to note that Abia, though an oil-producing state, is today one of the least developed in the country, physical infrastructure wise, a development that has resulted in aggressive agitation for change of leadership. How that change will affect the result of this week’s presidential elections, promises to be intriguing.

The feeling that the state needed socio-political change preceded 2015 elections. Then, majority of voters simply stayed away during Election Day. The records showed that the state recorded high level political apathy that year.   Out of the 1,349,134 registered voters, only 401,049 cast their votes during the presidential election. Our investigation shows that this attitude has changed tremendously. In all the 17 local government areas of the state, campaigns have been comparatively more passionate and determined. It is being alleged that the renewed interest is a result of well-coordinated schemes to put Abia on a new path.

In addition to the ruling party, PDP, the support base of two other political parties are of special interest in this week’s presidential election. They are the All Progressives Congress (APC), led by former Governor Orji Uzor Kalu, who is also the party’s senatorial candidate for Abia North and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), led by Dr. Alex Otti, its governorship candidate.

But it would be recalled that PDP convincingly won the 2015 presidential election in the state by getting 368,303 of the total 391,045 valid votes. That year, APGA had officially endorsed PDP’s presidential candidate, former President Goodluck Jonathan, as its candidate. This is not the case today.

However, our investigation shows that notwithstanding the aggressive campaign to tackle the PDP in the governorship and other state elections, the party may still win the presidential election easily. This is because of the obvious popularity of Peter Obi in particular and the relative acceptability of Atiku in the state.

However, considering the possibility that APGA in the state, which has been having a running battle with the state PDP, may be convinced to support one of the two leading presidential candidates, APC’s President Buhari and PDP’s Atiku during the presidential election in Abia State, some informed observers said PDP could not, as at today be absolutely certain it would win in the state.

APC can no longer be taken for granted in Abia today. It would be recalled that even in 2015, when the party did not have some political heavyweights it parades today, it came second in the state during the presidential election when it got 13,394 valid votes. So, the permutation today is that if Otti-led APGA finally supports APC during the presidential polls, the table may turn against PDP. However, the same would be the case if Otti and his party forget the political bitterness against PDP in 2015 and support the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku. So, in all, the decision of APGA supporters is a factor that may affect the result of the presidential election in Abia though it is certainly not the most critical factor.

Verdict: Atiku



Imo is the only Southeast state currently under the leadership of an All Progressives Congress-led government. But following the intricate power struggle amongst its leaders, there is the fear that APC may not take it for granted that it would win the presidential race in the state.

Sources blamed this possibility on the sustained criticism of the leadership style of Governor Rochas Okorocha, a development that was worsened by the fallout of the governorship primaries’ disagreements which led to a major division between Okorocha and the leadership of the ruling party, APC, over the choice of the governorship candidate. While Okorocha had pushed for Uche Nwosu as the party’s candidate, the party finally chooses Senator Hope Uzodinma with the Deputy Governor, Prince Eze Madumere, as his running mate. For APC, the implication of this development is that going into the presidential race as a divided political family is a major disadvantage.

Incidentally, the uncertainty is not limited to APC. The other leading party, the PDP, can no longer be described as being very strong in Imo as it was in 2015. Although PDP’s strongman, former Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, is one of the earliest Igbo political elites to publicly hail the choice of Peter Obi as PDP vice presidential candidate, and to pledge commitment to work for the victory of Atiku, it remains to be seen how popular and united PDP in the state is today.

Also, unlike in Abia, where some analysts believe APGA may be persuaded to support either APC or PDP candidate, the political rivalries in Imo may make such a possibility more difficult. As at today, it is not yet certain which of the two leading presidential candidates Senator Ifeanyi Araraume, the APGA governorship candidate and his supporters will support. So, the two candidates, Buhari and Atiku may have to rely on the strength of their political parties and their individual popularities for victory.

Whatever may be the case, the picture will certainly not be a repeat of 2015 scenario, where, out of the 702,964 valid votes, PDP, with the cooperation of APGA, garnered 559,185 votes, leaving only 133,253 votes for APC which eventually took the governorship election.

This time, APC and PDP would have to fight hard to win the presidential election, but latest intrigues and inability of APC current leaders in the state to reconcile with Governor Okorocha, may neutralize incumbency factor, which would have worked in its favour. What may remain for APC in Imo in this week’s presidential election could be backstabbing, a move that would aid PDP’s victory in the state. Whatever is the case however, APC’s Buhari is certain to garner reasonable votes from Imo.

Verdict: Atiku



Ebonyi State has remained a PDP state since 1999 and there is no definitive factor that suggests there would be a change in this year’s presidential election.

It would be recalled that out of the 363,888 valid votes cast in the state in 2015, PDP, in collaboration with APGA, harvested a whopping 323,653 votes, leaving only 19,518 for APC, which came second.

Since APGA has its presidential candidate for this year’s election, in the person of retired General John Ogbo, PDP may not get the support it got from the party in 2015.

However, even without the support of APGA as a political party, sources said most of the APGA grassroots members may vote for PDP in the presidential election.

Following the clarification mid last year that the argument over positions between old members and new members did not succeed in dividing the party in the state, it seems the major challenge the PDP candidate may have in Ebonyi would derive from the fear that Governor Dave Umahi, who led the Southeast governors to express reservations over the nomination of Peter Obi as the vice presidential candidate, may not give the candidates the required support. This is even more, when it is a well-known fact that the PDP governor is a political admirer of President Buhari, the APC candidate. It is said that the relationship between Umahi’s family and Buhari dates back to the retired general’s days in military service.   Insiders confirmed that the relationship is still very robust.

This notwithstanding, there is the feeling that PDP still stands a great chance because APC in the state may not have improved so much as to expect any tangible difference in its 2015 performance. It would be recalled that although it came second in 2015, the party, led in the state by Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology, got only19, 518 votes. Besides, observers said since Umahi, the governorship candidate of PDP, cannot openly work against his party during the presidential election; his personal reverence for Buhari may not translate into significant votes.

Verdict: Atiku



Buhari is going to.loose


What people should know is that God has already ordained..

forget Atiku will still win in this election

This election go hot ohhh

Every one should be careful with his or her life, that's my own point of view

Okay thanks for the information okay thanks for the information here

(02-10-2019, 01:50 PM)Whendhie Wrote:

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Buhari is going to.loose



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I don't think so. Let's even suggest that the shown spread above is how it will actually happen. Now, draw from that spread, do you think Atlku can win all the battle ground states? Because that's what it will take for him to win the elections.
The more you walk, the close you get. 
SireRumu II

Let God's will be done...


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you have say it, but in this matter it is the people choice not God choice


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