The Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar is said to have a better chance to be president with the backing of the Hausa-Fulani political hegemony.
His chances to emerge president at next year’s general election hangs on the decision of the Hausa-Fulani political hegemony if they decide power should remain in the North.
According to a report in the Punch Newspaper, Atiku’s admission of the corrupt and woeful performance of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the area of power supply shows candour, and his contributions to the privatisation of Nigeria’s companies and other scandals would have been a weak point for him, but for him the North doesn’t subject its leaders to public scrutiny as much as the South does.
Also coupled with the fact that ethnicity is a big factor in Northern politics, Atiku’s foothold in the climb to Aso Rock is strong.
This is evidence because Buhari’s victory in the 2019 general elections in the North reflected the former’s large following.
Hence without Buhari being on the 2023 ballot, the North may decide to allow ethnicity dictate its choice for president, and swing their votes for Atiku, given the backing of PDP power brokers from the North, like General Theophilus Danjuma, General Aliyu Gusau, and General Ibrahim Babangida.
Also, the backing of Atiku by the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal after his withdrawal from the presidential primary might indicate it’s in the interest of some powerful northern forces.
However, the crisis within the PDP poses a threat to him should Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State move to the Labour Party (LP.)
That would mean division of votes between the PDP and the LP in the South-East and South-South.
This would have played well to the advantage of the LP, however, in Nigeria’s political demography, the South-East region possesses the least voter population among the three main regions whose indigenes are contesting.
The Igbos are present in all states of the federation, but have no state where they outnumber the natives, hence for Peter Obi of the LP to stand a chance, he needs to win majority votes and 25% of votes in at least 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states, because the nation has 176,846 polling units spread across 774 local government councils nationwide.
“The Obi movement hasn’t the clout for this yet evident in the poor performance of his party in the Osun governorship election, despite his involvement. Obi would be ready in 2027 if he builds political bridges and provides credible alternatives to the victor of this impending election charade,” the PUNCH report noted.
On the other hand, the All Progressives Congress’s (APC) candidate Bola Tinubu can not be dismissed easily because he is considered the most experienced, having been a senator in the third republic, and also the most sophisticated and shrewdest of the three leading candidates, whose political tentacles cover the length and breadth of the country.
With his federal might and the uncanny ability to deploy science and fiction to win elections, Tinubu is one of the two major forces most likely to win the election.