Inability of President Buhari Muhammadu to keep the coalition that was instrumental to his victory in 2015 election, and so this may give him bad 2019 election results, says Nigeria based analysis firm, SBM Intelligence.
“Buhari’s failure to keep the coalition that brought him into power, or at least preserve relations with most of the supporting cast that helped him secure the presidency, has created a significant impediment to his re-election,” SBM Intelligence said in a report titled “The Year Ahead – Choose your evil”
Buhari, who is seeking re-election under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, failed to curtail mass defections of “key figures” to the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) which he seized power from at the polls in 2015.
Buhari’s main contender, Atiku Abubakar, defected last December, the Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara and Rabiu Kwankwaso among others defected back to the PDP earlier this year.
The Intelligence firm, whose of the 32 projections it made at the end of 2017, 26 (81%) were correct, 4 (13%) were wrong, while 2 (6%) are either partially correct or unknown, said: “Nigeria is heading almost blindly, into an uncertain future”.
It envisaged that Buhari “may win but face a hostile national assembly” or “worst case scenario, he will lose the election.”
SBM Intelligence said, either way, pastoral conflict tends to intensify after the 2019 election results poll is announced.
While the increasing numbers of Boko Haram attacks against the Nigerian Army have raised security questions before next year’s election and the 2019 election results, SMB Intelligence said: “a disputed result is very likely for 2019 poll, raising the prospect post-election violence.”
“We believe that electoral violence in 2019 will be of a greater magnitude than in 2011,” SMB Intelligence said.
“This is all the more important as there is a risk that in Buhari and Atiku, Nigeria has two candidates whose flaws and strengths are so familiar that they will be unable to inspire sufficient turnout at the polls.”
Also, fear heightened on Thursday when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Amina Zakari, supposed niece of President Muhammadu Buhari, as Head of Collation Centre for the 2019 elections.
While some, led by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have described the appointment of Zakari as a ploy to rig the 2019 election results, others see the brouhaha surrounding her appointment as making a mountain out of a molehill.
Zakari has said she has no familial relationship with the president.
“I’m not his niece, I’m not his cousin,” Zakari told BBC Igbo.
“I’ve been appointed since 2010 by President Jonathan and prior to that, I was appointed an SA to President Obasanjo and I have done my work conscientiously over the years as a patriotic citizen of Nigeria.”
“President Muhammadu Buhari is my president as he is everybody else’s president,” she added.
The People’s Democratic Party, the Inter-Party Advisory Council and several political parties had variously called on INEC to rescind her appointment.
PDP further claimed that Zakari has “blood relationship” with Buhari and her appointment was an attempt to rig the poll in Buhari’s favour.
Buhari has since denied having any familial relationship with Zakari.
“President Buhari and Commissioner Amina Zakari don’t share a family relationship,” said Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.
INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu also dismissed the opposition allegations.
“I am absolutely responsible for the coordination of the secretariat for the collation of results,” he told AFP.
“But somebody has to prepare the venue for the conduct of the election, the internet service that we have to provide, accreditation of international observers and the media,” he added.
Zakari insisted that she was focused on her doing the job she has been given by INEC and that controversies were a needless distraction for her.
“I don’t think I should be distracted now that elections are coming,” she said.
She noted that she has been with INEC prior to the 2011 presidential elections which the then Candidate Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change lost to Jonathan.
“People that complained have closely worked with me. They have not accused me of any wrongdoing over the years,” she said.
“If they have, I will love them to come forward and prove it to the nation and the world at large.”