A US-based think-tank, Brookings, has projected victory for President Goodluck Jonathan over General Muhammadu Buhari in the February 14 poll, though the contest will be very tough.
The world influential think-tank’s analysis, context and rationale projections are contained in the Brookings publication entitled: Foresight Africa – Top Priorities for the continent (January 2015).
“Though the election is expected to be very competitive, the odds still favor President Jonathan,” the report said, describing the APC as a fragile anti-Jonathan establishment with a sole purpose to return power to the north.
“The APC gets much of its strength from tapping into anti-Jonathan sentiments in the Muslim north and grievances among the Yoruba who feel that the Jonathan administration has ignored them in key political appointments,” it said.
The report also indicated that the APC’s strategy is hinged on a combination of popular votes from the North West, North East and “the battleground South West” but also hinted at the possibility of Bola Ahmed Tinubu not delivering the region contrary to speculations.
“What remains to be seen, however, is whether Bola Tinubu—a former governor of Lagos State who played a pivotal role in the formation of the APC and is considered to be the party’s strongest mobilizer in the South West— will be very enthusiastic in delivering the battleground southwest to the APC during the elections.”
On President Jonathan’s performance, it noted: “Despite Boko Haram, the country is thriving: The economy continues to grow and—with the rebasing of its GDP—became the largest economy in Africa and the 26th largest in the world. Jonathan’s supporters also point to his success in containing the Ebola virus, which earned him commendations from countries and institutions around the world.”
The Brookings report also identified factors such as incumbency and numerical control of states where PDP has 21 states and APC only 14 as giving PDP an edge.
“The greatest strength of the ruling PDP is its “power of incumbency,” and all the institutional support that goes with it. Not only does it have federal resources to use as patronage, it also controls key institutions.”
The report advised that all efforts should be deployed to ensure a free, fair and transparent elections and to avoid a meltdown as post-election violence seems very likely.
“Post-election violence is therefore likely in the north if the APC loses while renewed militancy in the restive Niger Delta is likely if Jonathan does,” it said.