Poor leadership has been a problem in Nigeria’s democracy over the years. It has so far been bedeviled by lack of commitment, lack of proper supervision and monitoring, incessant corruption and poor will or the capacity to create change. So, Nigerians have determined to change the status quo by aligning with a third-party force. The Obi/Datti ticket have been a more committed, a hope, a force and a more proper option for many Nigerians partly because it appeals to the interests of many. Previous election has been shaped by ethnicity, tribe and religion and also the strength of a party with few justified interests. 2023 would be determined by regional sentiments (North vs south), ethnic sentiments (Yoruba vs Hausa/Fulani vs Igbo), religion (Muslim vs Christian), Class (poor vs the rich) as well as lovers of good leadership vs selfish individuals.
These interests would determine the winner of the election by 80%. Taking those parameters in to play, one would observe that the Obi/Datti ticket fit the narrative perfectly. 80% of those against the Muslim/Muslim ticket of Tinubu would vote for it, 75% of those for the view that power should rotate to the south (Those against a northern presidency after an eight year of northern Buhari rule) would vote for it. 65% of young Nigerians would vote for him. 70% of lovers of good leadership would vote for him irrespective of all interest.
The political band wagons (APC and PDP) have failed in their approaches to the Nigerian situations. Their possible alignment to certain interest has opened a wide gap to Obi. Thus 70% of Christians voters may be swayed by Obi, 70% of southern voters may be swayed by Obi. 70% of northern Christian voters would go for Obi. We would observe that 80% of the six South-south states would vote Obi and 90% of the south-east states would vote Obi. Obi may pull 38% of South-west votes which would project him to win 75% of whole southern votes.
The North would be a battle ground for the political players and interest of religion and ethnicity would be paramount. The roughly 48 million registered voters in the north would be shared. The north have two strong candidates (Atiku and Kwankwaso) which were accepted by the majority northern Muslim interests. Tinubu also being a Muslim have thrown into northern interests by picking a northern Muslim as deputy, thereby arousing religious sentiments among the northern Christians. Atiku’s Deborah comment have put him under religious scrutiny by the Northern Christians. Thus, the northern voters should be categorized into two; viz Christian voters versus the Muslim voters, thus states in the north like Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Nasarawa, Adamawa and many others with a significant Christian population may be polarized by religious interest due to Tinubu’s Muslim/muslim effect, thus 70% may be swayed by Obi. On the majority 11-15 northern muslim states e.g states from the northwest region and other states like Bauchi, Borno, Yobe, Niger, Kwara would be shared by three candidates Atiku, Tinubu and Kwankwaso, thus the three would share the majority 65-70% of the northern votes.
On the northern political radar, Atiku may pull the greatest weight of nearly 50% of the northern voters i.e both muslim and Christian and east and west of the north. Atiku has the majority acceptance among the northern muslim population and few northern Christian populations. Despite Tinubu’s muslim/muslim ticket in trying to woo the muslim interest, he is not too regarded among the muslim elites’ group but gradually finding acceptance among the religious extremist group. Tinubu might suffer a complete rejection by the northern Christian community, for failing to bring one of them as his vice-presidential candidate. The northern muslim elites are doubtful of Tinubus practice of Islam and partly doubtful about his age, health and capacity to deliver. Hence Tinubu may come distant second in the northern political permutation after Atiku. Alh. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso may pull weight in Kano, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kebbi etc but with no significant votes enough to grant him victory. Among the Northern muslim block Atiku may pull 48%, Tinubu may pull 32%, Kwankwaso may pull about 18% while Obi may pull only 2% among the muslims. While among the northern Christian block, Obi may pull 75%, Atiku may pull 18% while Tinubu and Kwankwaso may pull 4% and 3% respectively. From the Statistics records the Christian population may roughly account to 30-32% of the north, while the northern muslim population may account to 68-72% of the north. It is evident to note, in the general analysis Obi may not get significant muslim votes despites his Vp, but would get highly significant votes in the Christian communities in the north.
Going by the parameters, that might shape 2023 election. The south-south (15 million voters) and South -east (approx. 12 million voters) are the strong Blocks for OBI. Partly due to religious as well regional agitations, OBI may sway some Southwestern, Northcentral, Northeastern and partly the few northwestern Christian votes. Obi may be able to pull the 25% of every zones votes but may greatly suffer a setback in the north west (22 million votes) whose voting pattern goes with religious sentiments. If the northern and southern Christians vote on religious grounds, then Obi may perfectly win, given the fact the three big contenders are both Muslims, and the recent spark of interest of politics among the Christian societies.
In a nutshell, Obi have a great opportunity, to win the coming election 2023, but he needs to do more hard work. The challenges Obi would face are his level of commitment in the process. By commitment I mean let him pump out money in to grass root campaigns among his strongholds. Obi should strengthen his support groups (made up of young committed Nigerians) who can spread his message of good governance to the villages. His billboards, posters and campaign materials, even his manifestoes (should be translated in to every Nigerian language and spread across) should be spread across those villages. Logistics support should be given to his support groups to ensure mobility. If possible, he should print out all those materials and to be given to the support groups to conveyed to the villages in time.
The party should be proactive enough to provide the needed support. He should concentrate on his strongholds, at the moment his strongholds are the southerners and the northern Christian communities, because some may vote Atiku, Tinubu or Kwankwaso if chooses to neglect them. It is so because he can easily woo the Christian community than the Muslim communities in the north, because they may declare supporting him but may not vote him at the end. Sen. Dr. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed should concentrate on the northwestern zone so that he may bring atleast 1-3 million votes in his zone. In clear terms Obi should be unique in his campaigns. The term “no shishi” should not be applied to his campaigns but to his presidency. He is losing support even from his kinsmen due to that. In clear terms most of his supporters are the unemployed youths, poor Nigerians and the deprived fellows, for which they have limitations on things they can do at this economic turmoil; he need to encouraged them not even by given them money but by being serious with election materials and logistics supports.
2023 general elections would be a political champions league. We would watch to see whom God have destined to pick up the daunting task of Nigeria’s leadership. We do pray that Nigeria should be great again; where our youths should be productive more than China and industrious more than America.