Factors that will affect votes in the coming election

The season of campaigns is already here and politicians all over
the country are putting their best foot forward as they run form
pillar to post to garner support from Nigerians. It is also a season
of mudslinging, blackmail and release of acerbic statements from
all the major candidates and their parties.
Last week, governors elected on the platform of the All
Progressives Congress (APC) promised that they will focus on
issue-based campaigns this time around. Although there are over
20 presidential candidates, political analysts aver that the
presidential election will be a straight fight between President
Muhammadu Buhari of the APC and former Vice President Atiku
Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Already, the campaigns have subtly kicked off even though the
timeframe provided by the Independent National Electoral
Commission (INEC) is still about one month away. Below are some
of the issues that have and will continue to dominate the
campaigns.

Corruption
President Buhari was voted into power in 2015 on the premise that
he would fight corruption to a standstill and put Nigeria back on
the path of prosperity. Three years after, the jury is still out on
that. Opposition and critics have accused the president of being
selective in the fight against corruption.
On the other hand, even though he has never been convicted on
any allegation of corruption, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar
has been branded a corrupt politician by some Nigerians. He has
tried unsuccessfully to prove that the corruption toga on him is just
mere allegations that are yet to be proven.
There is no doubt that APC will want to play up Atiku as being
corrupt and try to convince Nigerians that a vote for him will be a
return to the dark days of looting the common patrimony by the
opposition PDP. The opposition on the other hand will cite cases of
malfeasance in the current administration, which President Buhari
has turned a blind eye to. It remains to be seen if both arguments
would sway the Nigerian voters.

Farmers/Herders Clashes
No doubt, another big issue for campaign will be the killings
across the country resulting from herders/farmers clashes. Few
months ago, the Fulani herdsmen were one of the hated and vilified
in Nigeria, no thanks to the senseless and incessant killings by
criminal elements among them. According to a UN report, the
Fulani herdsmen are the fourth most dangerous terrorist group in
world. In a twist of fate, both President Buhari and Atiku are Fulani
by tribe.
Although in the last few weeks they has been a sharp drop in
herdsmen killings, the president’s handling of the killings have
been severely criticised. He has been accused of siding the
herdsmen, an allegation the president vehemently denied several
times.
Expectedly, the president would lose a large chunk of votes in the
North Central and in the Christian population in the North West and
North East because of his perceived slow response to Fulani
herdsmen killings. If the killings reduce considerably before
February next year, it may swing the pendulum to President
Buhari’s side. The opposition would want to play up the fact that a
vote for Buhari connotes a vote for killings by herdsmen if the
atrocities of the killer herdsmen are not checked before the general
elections.

The Economy
The economy will be a major talking point in the campaigns.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo fired the first shot last week
when he declared that the next Nigerian president must understand
the economy. In their campaign, the PDP would want to cite
reports that since 2015, Nigeria slipped into recession and has
become the poverty capital of the world.
The ruling APC, on the other hand, would try to point accusing
finger at the PDP for mismanaging the economy through the grand
corruption in their time. The governing party would say PDP is the
reason why Nigeria went into recession.
APC’s success in the agricultural sector is a plus for the
administration as the country is gradually moving from a mono
economy. The improvement in Nigeria ‘s ranking in the ease of
doing business is another boost for the administration.

Restructuring
Although the call for restructuring has simmered in the past few
weeks, analysts expect the call to go a notch higher with the
emergence of Atiku as the PDP presidential candidate. Atiku has
been vocal in his call for restructuring the country and this has
endeared him to voters in the South West and South South. It is no
secret that President Buhari is not enthusiastic about calls for
restructuring.
The president had always called on advocates of restructuring to
channel their grievances to the National Assembly. Atiku, on the
other hand, has been campaigning for restructuring for some
years now. While the calls for restructuring has been on the front
burner in the southern part of the country, it is a hard sell in the
North. However, it is expected the calls for restructuring to be on
the front burner during the campaigns.

Insecurity/Leah Sharibu
One area that President Buhari has done creditably well is in
degrading of the Boko Haram insurgents. Prior to 2015, the sect
took over towns and hoisted their flags. They were in total control
of more than 24 local government areas in the North East.
Bombing was a regular occurrence in Abuja, Kano, Kaduna and
Bauchi. Since assumption of office by the president in office in
2015, the activities of the insurgent group has been degraded
substantially in the country, as their activities are only limited to
some few local governments in the North.
Although the president has recorded success in containing Boko
Haram, there have been a significant rise in the activities of
herdsmen, gunmen, bandits and kidnappers in the country. Some
roads like the Abuja – Kaduna road, Birni Gwari and Abuja Lokoja
roads have been virtually taken over by kidnappers. Everyday
there are gory tales of kidnapping on those roads. Bandits have
completely taken over some states in the North West like Zamfara
and Katsina.
The continued detention of Leah Sharibu who is the only remaining
Dapchi girl in the hands of the insurgents would also be a major
campaign issue. According to political observers, the handling of
Boko Haram and the abduction of the Chibok Girls were some of
the major reasons former President Goodluck Jonathan lost out in
2015. It is expected that the opposition will put the activities of
bandits, kidnappers and the continued detention of Leah Sharibu
on the front burner during the campaigns.

Nigerian Presidential Poll

Can the south east produce the next Nigerian President?

Unity of the Country
Some keen observers of the polity have contented that Nigeria has
never been so divided along ethnic and religious lines since the
civil war. The President’s 97% to 5% analogy has been cited as the
reason for emergence of secessionist groups like IPOB in the
country. The president has been accused of nepotism and
clannishness by opposition and critics alike. They infer that Buhari
had been dividing the fault lines in the country. The president’s
handlers, on the other hand, blame politicians who view every
appointments and killings along ethnic and religious lines for the
division in the country. Some observers also blame politicians who
lost out in the power game for fueling ethnic and religious crisis in
the country.

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5 Comments

  1. That was dead

  2. Nigeria politics

  3. What the candidate have to offer will speak for you.

  4. For seen factors that can affect the election should be taken care of

  5. Really

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