24th May 2024

Let me tell you why Peter Gregory Obi is likely to lose the Nigerian election today, despite his strong social media presence and appeal.

Nigeria has six (6) geopolitical zones.

ie: North East (NE), North Central (NC), North Western(NW), South East(SE) and South South(SS).

The Nigerian Electoral Laws, unlike Ghana’s, consider a two-staged victory before one can be declared winner.

Specifically, Section 134(2) of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 states “A candidate for an election to the office of President shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being more than two candidates for the election

  1. he has the highest number of votes cast at the election; and
  2. he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Thus, the Constitution provides that for one to be elected president, he/she should have the highest number of votes cast (ie popular vote-1st stage), and not less than one-quarter (ie 25%) of the votes cast at the election each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (2nd stage).

Nigeria has 36 States, clustered in the 6 geopolitical zones. Therefore, the constitutionally required two-thirds (2/3) of the states is 24, including the Capital Territory, Abuja.

For someone to be able to win the Nigerian election therefore, he needs to win majority of the popular votes (in the case of Ghana, 50% +1) and must also get at least 25% of the vote cast in at least 24 states, including the Federal Capital Territory.

Peter Obi’s nightmare

Now here is where it gets messy for Obi and his Obedient social media fans.

  1. The NORTH CENTRAL ZONE, also called the middle belt, has 6 states which are Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nassarawa, Niger, Plateau, and FCT (Federal Capital Territory Abuja). This area is a typical zone for Bola Ahmed Tinubu (Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress-APC). At worse, he stands a chance of winning 3 out of the 6 states.
  2. North East consists of 6 states which are Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe state. This is where Atiku Abubakar (Presidential candidate of People’s Democratic Party-PDP) comes from and he enjoys massive support from the area. Additionally, Kashim Shettima Mustapha (Tinubu’s Running mate) also enjoys massive support from the area, particularly in the Borno State, where he served as a Senator. Thus, this area will be battle grounds for APC and PDP (Tinubu and Atiku) and Obi stands no chance in this area. It needs adding that majority of the people here do not really care about the social media charade and the populism of Obasanjo.
  3. North West consists of 7 states which are Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara state. This is a typical APC zone with President Buhari winning enbloc in both 2015 and 2019. Despite the few disagreements between Buhari and Tinubu, the people in this area will stick with the APC and will not ‘sell their party’ for the ‘angel they don’t know’.
  4. South East consists of 5 states which are Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo state. This is a typical Igbo area where Peter Gregory Obi (Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party – LP) enjoys massive support. Being a former governor of Anambra, Peter will win massively from these areas. People in these areas too are the social media enthusiasts, the guys trying to change the narrative on social media and making it look like Obi has already won the election. Peter is likely to get not less than 70-80% of both the popular votes and states votes from these areas.
  5. South South consists of 6 states which are Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross-River, Delta, Edo and Rivers state. This is a typical PDP terrain and voted massively for Goodluck Jonathan. Despite’s Goodluck’s floric relationship with Buhari in recent times, the people in this area are likely to stick with PDP, giving Atiku upper hand.
  6. South West consists of 6 states which are Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo state. This is a friendly territory for Tinubu, himself a former governor of Lagos. He is credited with changing the face of Lagos and he controls enormous respect among the political class in this area. He is likely to win not less than 5 out of the 6 states.

Conclusion

While Peter Obi would win massively in South East, the votes will not be enough to win him the popular votes he needs. Again, the South East has only 5 States which is nowhere near the 24 states he needs. In other states, he is likely to ‘lose big’ and may not be able to do more than 5%, particularly in the Northern Zones, which cumulatively consist of 19 states.

Atiku and his PDP will do well in North East and South South, which cumulatively have 12 states.

Tinubu will convincingly win North West, North Central and South West, which cumulatively have 19 States.

Thus, while a runoff is possible, Peter does not have what it takes to win the election, at least not for the first round.

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