The first three states explored by this writer show that the 2023 presidential election would not be business as usual. Varying dynamics have come to fore as the election moves closer.
The first part of this article focused on three states, Abia, Adamawa and Akwa Ibom respectively. Read part 1 of the analysis here… as we move on to the analysis of the chances of these candidates in the other states. Before we forge ahead, the votes in Akwa Ibom will largely be between the PDP and LP. At the end of it all, PDP is expected to emerge victorious.
Anambra, the state of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party Peter Obi boasts of over 2.5 million voters. The state has traditionally swung to the PDP during the presidential poll. The on-ground structure of the party cannot be thrown in the bin. Although the state has been governed by the All Progressives Grand Alliance for years, it has not been too difficult for the PDP to garner enough votes in the state. The PDP may however be set to lose the state to a son of the soil, Peter Obi. Indubitably, Peter Obi is the most popular Presidential candidate in the state and it is expected that he clinches the majority of votes. The stumbling block could however be the many political gladiators in the state who are largely members of the PDP. Anambra is home to politicians and businessmen and other persons of huge means, whose support and assistance usually weigh heavily on elections.
Verdict: Peter Obi
If the 2019 presidential be used as a yardstick, then Bauchi is APC’s to beat. Bauchi state governor, Bala Muhammed, unseated the incumbent governor Mohammed Abubakar in 2019 with a paltry 14k+ votes. This did not reflect in the presidential poll as the APC polled 798,428 votes to better PDP’s 209,313 votes. President Buhari as a candidate was easy to sell to the people of Bauchi judging from his wide acceptability in the north-east region. The governorship candidate of the APC for the 2023 election, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and his wife, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, are political heavyweights in the state with large following. If the chieftains of the All Progressives Congress in Bauchi all drum full support for Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the APC should take home the victory. Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso of the NNPP will put up a good fight as well as PDP’s Atiku Abubakar. If the optics are right, APC should seal Bauchi’s vote as it did in 2015 and 2019.
Verdict: Bola Ahmed Tinubu
A lot has changed in Bayelsa state following the February 2020 verdict of the Supreme court sacking the governor-elect David Lyon of APC and replacing him with Duoye Diri of PDP. Diri has gained his ground in the state and settled differences with the immediate past governor Seriake Dickson as well as other stakeholders in the party. The state has always stood behind the PDP’s presidential candidate since 1999 and not much seems to have changed…except the entrance of Peter Obi into the race. The Yenagoa match by supporters of Obi cedes this point. The state will be largely fought between the PDP and the LP. At the end of it all, we predict the candidate of the PDP to triumph by a not-so-much margin.
Verdict: Atiku Abubakar
Benue state is PDP’s to win. The state boasts of political gladiators like the embattled National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu and former Senate President, David Mark. The state governor, Samuel Ortom, has also successfully ingrain a negative thought about the APC-led federal government in the minds of the residents and indigenes of the state. Contentious issues like the farmers-herder crisis and the state security apparatus take centre stage during campaign in the state. The Labour Party will get crumbs of votes from the state but this will be largely fought between the PDP and the APC. At the end of it all, the PDP should emerge victorious. It was a slim victory for the PDP in 2019 and such could be replicated during the 2023 presidential poll.
…to be continued…