The chances of the leading presidential candidates across the 36 states will be further exemplified during campaigns. However, this cannot be the sole yardstick as some states have consistently stuck with their voting culture.
Seven states have been analysed in the previous parts of this article. Today’s part will focus on Borno, Cross River and Delta states respectively. Before delving into the aspirants’ chances in these states, the verdict for Benue state should be put forward. The votes in Benue are Atiku’s to win. The Peoples Democratic Party has a stronghold in the state and if Ayu is not eventually relieved, he would do all to secure the majority votes for Atiku who has since stood by him.
Benue state verdict: Atiku Abubakar.
In choosing his running mate, the APC Presidential candidate defied all criticisms to stand by his same faith ticket. The onus now lies on the former Governor of Borno state Kashim Shettima to scoop the votes of Borno for the APC. The PDP and NNPP will fancy their chances in the state but it is the APC that has the advantage. The state governor Babagana Zulum will play a big role in securing the state for the APC and he has repeatedly stated that he will deliver the state. Renowned diplomat, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, is another influential person that will give fillip, discreetly or otherwise, to APC campaign train. Barring any upset, the APC will win the election in Borno state with a large margin.
Verdict: Bola Ahmed Tinubu
With a consistent voter turnout of about 1.5 million, Cross River rans among the states the PDP has pocketed in recent general election. There is a likelihood that this could be altered. The growing popularity of the Labour Party Presidential candidate Peter Obi in the south east and south south is a thing of concern for the PDP in the state. The million-march for Peter Obi in the state attests to this. Although such rallies do not necessarily translate to votes, it sends a signal that the people have chosen to align with the former Anambra state governor. It would be a hard-fought tussle between the PDP and the Labour. In spite of the sitting governor Ben Ayade being a member of the ruling APC, the religious and tribal sentiment may play against his party. Ayade defected to the APC in May 2021 and contested for the party’s presidential ticket during the primaries. With his influence, the APC may scoop few votes but the battle will be largely fought between PDP and LP.
Verdict: Peter Obi
In a less similar manner to the Bola Ahmed Tinubu choosing Kassim Shettima as his running mate, Atiku Abubakar overlooked an “elephant in the room” Nyesome Wike to pick Delta state governor Ifeanyi Okowa as his running mate. The polls would be the ideal time for Okowa to justify his selection as the PDP’s vice presidential candidate. Just like other states in the region, the PDP boasts of a good political track record in Delta state. For the APC, Ovie Omo-Agege will attempt to wrestle the state from Okowa. Omo-Agege who is the current deputy speaker of the Senate is the governorship candidate of the APC in the state. Since the Presidential election comes before the gubernatorial polls, the February 25th election will be a litmus test for Omo-Agege’s fate. In spite of these factors, the state governor should secure the state for the PDP considering his 80.17% win in the 2019 governorship election.
Verdict: Atiku Abubakar
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