2023 Presidential Election in Nigeria: How PDP prepares ground for Tinubu’s Journey to Aso Rock
Department of Political Science and Public Administration
The envisaged victory for Asiwaju in the next week’s election is being facilitated by the PDP.But for PDP, it would have been difficult for Tinubu to smell victory.The question is, how will PDP contribute to Tinubu’s victory?.The anwers are, Peter Obi entrance into the presidential race, the mishandling of the PDP’S presidential primary and the on going currency swap and fuel scarcity crises will sum up to give the crown to Asiwaju.
Firstly, on the entrance of Peter into presidential race,many Nigerians who are deeply rooted in both politics and law in Nigeria are of the opinion that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi cannot and will not become the president of Nigeria after the presidential election coming up in a week’s time.That is, Obi cannot win this presidential election.He can do in the election but definitely not in this forthcoming election.
On the point of politics, Peter Obi has not made much contacts and connections across the country to enable him fulfill the constitutional provisions that will qualify him to be so declared the president elect after the election on Saturday.That is, if at all he has the highest number of votes cast in the election, he will not be able to fulfill the second provision that will qualify him to be declared president elect.
section 126(2) of the 1999 constitution states that:
A candidate for an election to the office of President shall be deemed to have been duly elected where,there being more than 2 candidates for election –
(a) he has the highest number of votes cast at the election ; and
(b) he has not less than one- quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two- thirds of all the States in the Federation
As at date, there is no how Peter Obi could meet the provision of section 126(2) of the constitution to enable him to be declared as the president elect.
It will be difficult for him to secure 25 per cent of total votes cast in 7 states in the Northwest, 5 of the states in the Southwest, 4,in the north central 6 in North East This sum up to 12 states.There could still be some other states. If, therefore, the above thesis is validated at the end of the election,Peter Obi ambition is punctured by section 126(2).That will be the end of the story.
Peter Obi could, however, be relevant at the next week election if the run off election provides for in section 126(3) of the constitution becomes necessary after the first ballot.That is, another round of election between the two leading candidates in case none of the candidates is able to fulfill the provisions of section 126 (1) and (2) of the constitution.Then, he has the right to support any candidate of his choice.But for him, to win,it will be difficult even though many opinion polls have predicted him as the winner.The polls to me are lacking in methodological fallacies and that the managers of such polls are lacking in our legalistic provisions on who becomes the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.l stand to be challenged.
Atiku Abubakar may meet the two provisions of section 126 (a) and (b) but, his chances of winning the election is dimmed.This is because of the divisions between Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi in the upcoming election.This is making the two of them to contest the presidential election on different political parties platforms next Saturday.
In all honesty,If the two of them were to contest this election on the same party platform as president and vice presidential candidates respectfully, then, PDP is it.But with the two of them now on different platforms, then, there is no doubt that Atiku’s fate of winning this presidential election is dimmed.It will, therefore, be difficult if not impossible for Atiku to win the election with a divided PDP and one of them, Peter Obi is now waxing stronger on another platform.
The divisions between Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar will, however be to the benefit of the candidature of Bola Ahmead Tinubu.The argument here is that, the enstranged relationship between Obi and Atiku will be beneficial to the candidate of APC, Asiwaju at the poll.The logic here is that Obi will add a significant value and play positive role in ensuring that Asiwaju Ahmead Tinubu will emerge as president elect on Saturday from the presidential election coming up on February 25.The question many would ask is, what value will Peter Obi add to Asiwaju’s presidential ambition?.The next paragraph will analyse and explain better.
In the first instance, the separation of Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar’ s political platforms in the coming Saturday’s election is a blessing to Bola Ahmead Tinubu’s political ambition.lf the duo are together as presidential and vice presidential candidate in the coming election, there won’t be any hope for both the APC and its candidate, Bola Tinubu in the coming election.But that the two of them are in different parties and aspiring to the same office today,is a boast to Asiwaju’s victory.The coming into the presidential race by both Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar is an indication that the votes that the two of them scored together in 2019 will now be split between the two of them, particularly in the Christian areas in the Northern states such as Adamawa,Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Borno,Kaduna and, Yobe states.The Christians in these areas will find voting for Obi who is regarded as part of them and of the same religion more appropriate.Hitherto, the votes for Atiku’s PDP have been embolic in these areas.This is not likely to be show in next Saturday’s election.The votes will be divided and Peter Obi will have the larger share of the votes in the Northern Christian areas.ln some of these states, Atiku may find it difficult to have the mandatory 25 per cent of total votes cast.lf it happens,then, Atiku’s chances are in jeopardy.He may not be able to secure 25 per cent of the votes cast in 24 states.
In the Southeast Nigeria,the votes for PDP has been impressive since 1999.It is only in Anambra state that there have been some deviations.Anambra has its own political party formed by Odumegwu Ojuku.He had formed APGA and the party has been controlling the politics of the state.lt was the party that nurtured Peter Obi before he joined the mainstream political party, (PDP) where he secured the party’s vice presidential ticket in 2019 where Atiku was the presidential candidate.
The logic then is,with the entrance of Peter’ Obi’s into the president race this time around, the usual massive support for Atiku’s PDP in Southeast appears dimmed.ln this election, an average Igbo man because of fairness and equity will go for Peter Obi at the poll. it will, therefore, be doubtful if Atiku will be able to secure the mandatory 25 per cent in any of the states in the Southeast, though, Tinubu chances in the geo political zone may not fare better.Definitely, southeast is not a comfortable electoral zone for APC.It used to be home for PDP but now a divided home.
Apart from the issue of the inability for Atiku to secure 25 per cent of votes cast in the southeast, the embloc votes for PDP will be switched over to Obi.This will be a blessing to Tinubu’s journey to Aso Rock because,If the two were together, it will be higher votes for Atiku’s PDP in the Southeast to the disadvantage of Tinubu in the counting of the total number of votes cast. Togetherness of the two in the next week election would have been disastrous for Tinubu’s APC.Hence, the thesis that “a vote for Obi is a vote for Tinubu is a truism”. This is a thesis that will endanger Atiku’s emergence as the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.
In the south southt too, the almost monolithic votes for Atiku’s PDP since 1999 are now threatened.With the APC waxing stronger in the zone and the zone ‘s neighbour in the race, Peter 0bi, Atiku may find it difficult to have bloc votes as before.The expected votes for Atiku in the southeast will be shared with Peter Obi.Thus, the raging division between the candidates of Labour Party and People Democratic Party is a blessing for Tinubu’s APC . Tinubu will therefore be the beneficiary of Obi’s entrance into the presidential race in this part of the country.(south south).Atiku will be the loser for it.
In Lagos where Peter Obi appears to be soaring higher, it is still a blessing for Tinubu.It is another state where Atiku may not have the mandatory 25 per cent of the total votes cast in Saturday’s election.This is because, most of the votes previously going to Atiku’s PDP will now go to Obi’s LP. It is most probable that Obi will score more votes in Lagos State than Atiku.Atiku may not have 25 per cent of the vote cast in Lagos.
With the envisaged votes swap between Obi’s LP and Atiku’s PDP in Lagos, it is a minus for Atiku’s PDP.This is a plus for Tinubu.The swap will reduce the total number of votes for Atiku and probably one of the states where he will find it difficult to score the mandatory 25 per cent.Obi’ entrance into the presidency therefore is more beneficial to APC in Lagos state..Most of those previously voting for PDP will switch over to Obi’s LP.
In Benue, with the support of the governor of the state, Samuel Ortom for Peter Obi, some of the votes usually meant for PDP in the previous elections in the state will be split between Peter Obi and Atiku in Benue state.This is with a consequent implications on electoral fortune of PDP in the state.It is a state where there will be three horse race in the presidential election.In this state, PDP is going into the election with divided home.A division between Sam Ortom’s PDP and Iyorchia Ayu’s PDP.lt is to the disadvantage of Atiku.A minus from his votes.
Asides the polarity between Obi and Atiku that will assist Tinubu, other factors that will work in favour of Asiwaju are:
The mishandling of PDP’s presidential primary last year This also is a blessing for Bola Ahmead Tinubu.Thus, the over demonstration of effontry and high level of betrayal by Aminu Tambuwa, the governor of Sokoto state .The fact that he came out to betray his friend, the governor of River State, Nyesom Wike at the party’s s primary election last year is today a plus for Tinubu’s presidency.The action gave birth to G.5.The emergence of this group is a blessing to Asiwaju’s presidential ambition.With Wike and Makinde’ s tacit support for Bola Tinubu, the coast is clear for his victory in the states where these governors reign.If the APC can settle its internal crisis, the votes for Asiwaju will come from three fronts in River State next Saturday:These are votes from Wike,PDP, Magnus Abe, SDP and Amaechi,s APC.
With the emergence of G.5,Oyo state is also a save haven for Asiwaju.In the state too, there will be votes from APC, Accord Party and Makinde’s PDP group.
This collective votes will also happen next Saturday where G5 sympathisers are available.That is in Ondo and Ekiti states.ln Ekiti, votes for Asiwaju will come from SDP and Fayose’s faction of PDP APC is strong in the state.In Ondo, Mimiko, a sympathiser of G.5 is likely to team up with APC .
The current currency swap and fuel scarcity crises will now be a blessing to Asiwaju on Saturday rather than be a liability at the election. Two facts had emerged from the ugly developments.Initially, not many people were aware of the motives of some cabals in connivance with PDP on the depressant events. But today, it is now clearer to many that, it was directed at discrediting the candidature of Tinubu so that a candidate from the north, Atiku Abubakar can win the next Saturday’s, a ploy to ensure that another Northerner continues as president after Buhari’ s eight.
With the above understanding of the underground motives behind these two developments, there is now high level of sympathy for Tinubu by many people who were not earlier interested in voting.lt is going to be blessing to him at the poll.
In summary, the entrance of Peter Obi into the presidential race, the emergence of G.5 and the boomerang plot by a cabal in conjunction with PDP will boast the chances of Tinubu next Saturday.