Nigerians to vote on Saturday Fierce presidential election which analysts say is too close to tell.
It will be the largest democratic event on the continent as Africa’s most populous nation elects a new president.
Decisive Election comes as a country grapples with a host of economic and security issues that range from fuel and cash shortages to rising terrorist attacks, high inflation, and a plummeting local currency.
For the first time since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999, neither candidate is a current or former military leader.
Outgoing President Muhammadu Buhari has a term-limited term, analysts say.
Eighteen candidates are vying for Nigeria’s top job, all of whom are confident they can change the country’s fortunes if they vote for power, but opinion polls show three are leading the race for the popular vote.
One of the key contenders is Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of Buhari’s party, the All Progressive Congress (APC). The other is the main opposition leader and former Vice President of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
Nigeria’s presidential elections have typically been contested between the ruling and opposition parties, but this year’s election has seen a third strong contender, Peter Obi, who is running for the lesser-known Labor Party.
Tinubu, 70, a former governor of Nigeria’s wealthy Lagos state, wields considerable influence in the southwestern region, where he is regarded as a political godfather and kingmaker.
Wealthy political veteran boasts Help in elections Buhari for the presidency on his fourth attempt in 2015 after three previous failed attempts.
After decades of being a political puppeteer, Tinubu declares that it is now his turn to step out of the shadows and become president; his campaign slogan:Amy Lohan”, which translates to “my turn” in his native Yoruba language.
The ruling party candidate, however, is plagued by allegations of bribery, which he vehemently denies. Critics say he also did not convey convincing concerns about his health and at times appeared confused and incoherent during the campaign. He also did gaffes which made him the butt of jokes and viral memes on social media.
Tinubu has also been criticized for Abstaining from presidential debates and delegating questions about your manifesto members of his team during a recent meeting at the British think tank Chatham House.
One of Tinubu’s main rivals is Abubakar of the opposition party, who is running for his sixth time after five previous defeats.
Abubakar, 76, who served as vice president from 1999 to 2007, is a die-hard capitalist who made his fortune by investing in various sectors of the country. The tycoon has been investigated for corruption in the past. However, he denies any wrongdoing.
Many believe that Abubakar’s presidential ambitions may usurp an informal arrangement alternate between the northern and southern regions of Nigeria as he is from the same northern region as outgoing leader Buhari..
Peter Obi is a two-time former Governor of Anambra State who is touted as a worthy alternative to the two main candidates.
Obi avoids the excesses of a typical “African big man” leader: he avoids a large entourage, flying economy class and carrying his own luggage. His “no frills” approach has attracted many supporters, mostly young Nigerians who call themselves obedience.’
Obi is also the only Christian among the leading candidates. Its southeast region has not yet had a president or vice president since Nigeria returned to civilian rule in 1999.
Tinubu, from the ruling party, although from the religiously mixed southwestern part of the country, is a Muslim and has also chosen a Muslim candidate. inciting public anger over his choice.
Described by Tinubu as “Mister. StingyObi, 61, is known for his frugal approach and is considered the “Mr. Clean” of Nigerian politics.
However, his offshore accounts were among those found in the Pandora documents revealing the hidden wealth of the global elite in 2021. Obi denies any wrongdoing.
The last two elections were postponed at short notice, and there are fears that these will suffer the same fate. However, the election commission assures that there will be no failures.
prof. Kingsley Mogalu, a political economist and former 2019 presidential candidate, told CNN he expects a high turnout, “unless it’s overwhelmed by some kind of security breach,” he told CNN.
More than 93 million Nigerians are registered to vote, but there remains uncertainty about voter turnout on election day, with insecurity being one of the biggest concerns.
Public policy analyst Abidine Olasupo told CNN that the uncertainty surrounding this year’s election has alienated many voters.
“Nigerian voters are currently the most worried and confused voters in the world because they are not sure if elections will take place; and if it holds, they are not sure that this process will not be manipulated,” Olasupo said.
Citizens were also concerned about the attempt to curb vote buying. production of old banknotes useless to stop rogue politicians from accumulating cash. But there are fears that a shortage of new naira notes could derail the election itself.
INEC electoral body Reportedly warned that the inability of banks to distribute enough new cash could make it difficult to pay for the temporary staff and security guards needed to operate the thousands of polling stations in the Feb. 1 presidential and parliamentary elections. 25
Since the vote won’t take more than 200 polling stations across Nigeria, in places like Imo and Taraba (two of Nigeria’s conflict-prone states), INEC says, due to security concerns.
Separatist gangs and marauding militants, known locally as bandits, terrorize parts of the country by kidnapping for ransom.
In the other place, other hurdles threaten voter turnout as some Nigerians have yet to receive their Permanent Voter Card (PVC) and the vote is less than a week away..
Stears co-founder and head of intelligence Michael Famoroti told CNN that critical security and economic issues will be of paramount importance to voters and could influence their electoral choices.
“Nigerians fall into two buckets: one of them is insecurity. However, in general, the main issue that Nigerians agree on is the economy,” he said, touching on issues ranging from poverty to unemployment to politics.
“Cash shortages, gasoline shortages…these are issues that are likely to be of paramount importance to those who make it to the polls and could possibly affect votes,” Famoroti says.
Fuel shortages and a shortage of newly redesigned local currency have sparked violent protests in parts of Nigeria as millions of people struggle to get their hands on the new versions of banknotes.
Nigerians expect the eventual winner of the presidential election to start looking for solutions to these problems, including addressing the country’s mounting debt, oil theft, and a controversial gasoline subsidy that deprives a country with large oil revenues.
The top three candidates promised to address some of these issues. Tinubu ruling party vows to create jobs, grow the economy, and “eradicate terror, kidnapping, banditry, and violent crime from the face of our nation.”
Touting the mantra to “rebuild Nigeria”, Abubakar of the NDP says he wants to “Block government spending‘ by first running small governmentweaning the country from the gasoline subsidy, and making it “oil refining center in Africa.”
Labor Party’s Obi says his government will seek to shift focus to Nigeriafrom consumption to production“, but are determined to “combat and significantly reduce corruption” and create systems to reduce unemployment, insecurity and inflation.
A predictive poll To Steers puts Obie ahead of the two main contenders in a high turnout scenario. According to the Stears poll, a smaller turnout would be in Tinubu’s favor.
“There was a scenario where we only counted those voters who raised their PVC… based on that scenario, the Labor Party candidate is the most likely winner,” Famoroti told CNN.
“However, we also assessed the low turnout scenario at the time. The idea is that it is tougher than hardcore voters and those who are most likely to come to vote on that day. In this scenario, the APC candidate… emerges as the winner,” he added.
Another vote Lagos-based SBM Intelligence does not envisage a leader, but suggests that Obi and Abubakar could garner enough ballots to satisfy the 25 percent distribution of votes in 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states needed to legally win.
A different outlook for the Political Africa Initiative (POLAF). whose examination polled three million people and predicts a close race between the opposition PDP (38%) and the ruling APC (29%).
Obie’s Labor Party is expected to come in third with 27% of the vote.
“These elections are extremely difficult to predict,” Mogalu, a political economist, told CNN.
“It’s because of the ‘third force’ factor of Labor Party candidate Peter Obi that distorted the forecasts of the two traditionally dominant parties, APC and PDP.
“While many still believe that one of the two will eventually come out on top, the fact that several scientific opinion polls have placed Obi in the lead means that the possibility of a disorder clearly exists,” says Mogalu.
Mogalu believes that Nigerians can vote mainly along ethnic and religious lines, as well as traditional party lines.
“The single major factor that is a ‘problem’ and will affect many votes is the thirst for a change of direction that millions of young and middle voters have, and for this reason they support Obi. Will this be enough to lead him to victory? It’s the X factor.”