2023 Presidential Election: How Nigerians will vote.
As we approaching the 2023 general election in Nigeria, specifically the presidential election, one must be careful how he predicts who will win the election because a lot has changed in the political demography of the country as we used to know it. So analysing based on old demographics might not work as political trends have changed and traditional political affiliations are replaced with new movements.
There are factors that must be considered however in any prediction: the youth population, the disenchanted youth, that are reacting to or seeking revolutionary answers to the oppressive contradictions of their Nigerian space must be considered first( because they form about 58% of the registered voters according to INEC) I can equate this to the well known youth inspired 1968 uprising in Paris, (or similar movements around the world) that tempted to resurrect the French Revolution. There is a notable manifestation for the passion for change as we prepare for this election. No doubt, it is a serious testing of the political status quo. A new political community is born in Nigeria, one that is imbued with some measure of admiration because of the methodology of action and advocacy for true change. Let no one be deceived; the movement has spread widely, permeating all corners of the nation. How it will eventually affect the fabric of our political society is another thing. Although there are blocks of offshoots within the movement that have exhibited some biting rhetorics, adolescent positions, which I have always considered as unreflective fundamentalism.
I mean those ideas emanating from flippancy and abandonment of logic and rationality that are basically outside any known social arrangement. So, of course you would expect some of us to view these with some measure of awe and trepidation.
Other factors that will come to play in the election will be diversity, ethnicity, religion and political affiliations.
In Nigeria today, the APC controls 22 states, and among these states, the party controls Lagos and Kanu with high voting strength according to INEC reports as at the close of the registration excercise in August. The combined states have over 13 million registered voters. Lagos and Kano have been playgrounds for APC but the introduction of Senator Kwankwanso’s NNPP, Kano’s APC’s vote will hugely be altered. Not withstanding, APC might still retain Kaduna, Kastina, Gombe, Jigawa, Kogi, Kebbi, Zamfara, Ekiti, Ogun, Kwara, Nasarawa and Borno States. My prediction is based on the fact that these state governors will want to win for their party to remain relevant in power despite the presidential candidate is from the South-West. Political affiliation will come to play here.
PDP on the other hand has 13 states that are under its control. However the dynamics has changed because of the prolonged altercation between the Atiku and Wike’s camps within the Party which started immediately after the presidential primaries. PDP might win Akwa Ibom, Adamawa, Delta, Bayelsa, Taraba and Bauchi States. However, with the protracted face between these two formidable camps, the party cannot be too sure of Oyo, Benue, Rivers, Enugu and Abia States – APC and Labour will enter into negotiations with leaders of the party in those aforementioned states to see how they can be assisted to penetrate. Skeptics are not sure if Osun will go to PDP at the presidential election based on tribal sentiments even though they just elected a PDP governor there. And for the avoidance of doubt, if the internal problem lingers on, Edo State might not as well be won by PDP. Apart from the fact that the governor does not control majority ( which is under the total control of Chief Dan Orbih, a staunch Wike ally) of the Party members there, the presence of the new political movement, Obidient, is strong. There are rumours of the governor being part of the movement, this rumour is shroud in secrecy even if it is a public information. He recently acknowledged that in every home in Edo State, there are members of Obidient, which is a subtle way to announce his inability to dominate the politics of the state, unlike Wike who has been able to collapse the formidable APC in the state into PDP.
And again, even if the issues within PDP are not settled now, it will be unlikely for the Party to win in the East where it used to win because of the introduction of the ‘political alterer,’ Peter Obi. They will likely vote along tribal lines because this is the nearest they have ever been to winning any presidential election in the nation’s contemporary history. Their cry of marginalization by the ruling class in the country has led to Biafra with its deadly offshoot called the separatist group called IPOB.
Sokoto State might not likely go to PDP too as there are news of Governor Tambuwal’s lack of political dominance in that jurisdiction. A group, the Arewa Paradigm Shift, said in a recent interview with Punch Newspaper, that the mass defection from PDP to APC in the state was part of the strategy adopted by Senator Wamako and other key stakeholders to reposition the party for the 2023 general election in the state. Cross Rivers State will be tough to predict: even as an APC state, the effect of the lackluster governor has not been felt so it can easily go to any party.
As for the Labour Party, I suspect it will perform well in the Eastern states including the APGA controlled Anambra State. This will have much to do with tribal affiliations rather than any other politcal factor. And again, the party will also perform exceedingly well in Abuja, the Federal Capital City from my experience. But I doubt if it will be able to win any state convincingly up north, as it were. The party has not been able to penetrate the core north as one would have wished for a party ready to win a presidential election. Its overall performance will be appreciated but I am not convinced the party can win the presidential election.
Kwankwanso’s NNPP would be confined like a lone voice to Kano alone, which is the limit of its influence. It might win some few votes around the North West zone down to Kaduna, but these votes will be very inconsequential.
Sowore’s African Action Congress, AAC, will not win any particular unit anywhere in the country, not even in his home town where he will not be able to visit during the election.