2019: Why Atiku will lose to Buhari- Eurasia Group

2019: Why Atiku will lose to Buhari- Eurasia Group

Eurasia Group, the world’s largest political-risk consultancy, has once again insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari will win the February 16 presidential election.

In its latest and final Eurasia Group Politics First election forecast, the group, said Buhari has a 60 percent probability to win.

The group’s forecast read, “Opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar has regained some momentum in recent weeks, but President Muhammadu Buhari remains favored to win (a 60% probability).”

“On election day, the ruling All Progressives Congress’s (APC’s) significantly greater control of local political structures and resources—it governs 23 states compared to the opposition’s 12—will boost voter mobilization and solidify Buhari’s advantage.”

According to the group, the suspension of Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari, will not affect the elections.

The forecast continued, “Positive news coverage in recent weeks, along with Buhari’s controversial move to suspend Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen over allegations of corruption, have boosted Atiku’s campaign, but it is too late to change the electoral dynamics and Buhari remains favored to win on 16 February.”

“As we have previously noted, key actors in Atiku’s camp—including his campaign’s director general Bukola Saraki, key powerbroker Governor Nyesom Wike of the oil-rich Rivers state, and southeast governors from his People’s Democratic Party (PDP)—had been disengaged from his election campaign”.

Atiku’s big players, the forecast noted, have been disengaged from his political campaign, while the governors elected on the platform of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will be fighting to ensure they win their own elections.

“Wike was annoyed by Atiku’s failure to consult him on key decisions, Saraki remains distracted by a tough Senate reelection battle in Kwara state, and the southeast governors are hampered by many conflicting motivations, including their own lack of political clout (which makes them reluctant to overtly challenge the federal government) and their wariness of Atiku’s running mate Peter Obi, a former governor of the southeastern Anambra state who they view as a political outsider.

“The lack of enthusiasm on the part of some PDP governors is a problem for Atiku because these officials control significant discretionary funds at the state level (known as ‘security votes’) that are easier to access without triggering graft concerns.”

The group concluded by saying “Atiku’s voters do not match Buhari’s in passion and are unlikely to risk their lives on the streets for him”.

“Though Buhari’s decision to suspend the chief justice triggered widespread criticism and stoked passions (along with fears about a more autocratic Buhari second term), many voters blame the judiciary for not moving quicker to force Onnoghen’s resignation after he admitted he had violated rules regarding declaration of assets.

“Thus, should Atiku lose, as we expect, there will be few motivated stakeholders to encourage or instigate serious violence. Instead, we expect PDP governors to quickly turn their attention to fighting to retain their own jobs in state elections on 2 March,” the report concluded.

In 2015, Eurasia Group tipped Buhari to defeat former president Goodluck Jonathan, after initially tipping Jonathan to win an explanation ”then that a number of factors had since changed, and the pendulum had swung to the Buhari’s side”.

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