The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC, has highlighted reasons the ruling All Progressives Congress presidential candidate president Muhammadu Buhari may win the next month presidential poll.
The institute in a publication on Tuesday said: “Buhari appears to have a slight advantage going into the election.”
The Institute said Buhari may win the poll because “APC currently controls 24 states of the federation while PDP controls only 11” and because the ruling party “has a strong presence in the two zones with the highest numbers of registered voters in the country, the Northwest and the Southwest.”
The Northwest and Southwest have approximately 20 million voters and 16 million voters respectively. Lagos and Kano States have the highest number of registered voters with 6.5 million and 5.4 million respectively.
The Brookings Institution’s report authored by Jideofor Adibe said the power of incumbency may also tilt the outcome of the votes in favour of President Buhari.
“APC equally has the advantage of incumbency, conferring them the ability to deploy key state institutions to serve partisan objectives.”
Nigeria heads to polls on February 16 and it is expected to be fiercely contested by candidates from 73 parties, former vice president Atiku Abubakar, former Central Bank Deputy Governor, Kingsley Moghalu, Sahara Reporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore are part of the contestants aiming to end Buhari’s reign.
The organisation said it is still unclear if the security challenges, “farmer-herder clashes and the resurgence of Boko Haram and increasing insecurity”, the country is embattled in will affect the “electoral fortunes” for the incumbent president.
For Abubakar, the institute said, “his restructuring may have endeared him to some people in the South, it remains unclear how it will impact his support in the North, where restructuring is viewed with suspicion.”
While Buhari remains the frontrunner, The Brookings’s prediction on Nigeria’s future in the successful eventuality of Buhari’s reelection sounded ominous.
“Regardless of who wins the election, Nigerians are likely to have a tough time this year.”