Presidential candidates of the key political parties in Nigeria have picked holes in political permutations suggesting that the 2023 presidential election would be decided on the second ballot.
The candidates expressed confidence that they will win on the first ballot.
They however differed on the projections which showed that presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar would win 25 percent votes in 23 states, while the APC candidate Bola Tinubu would get 25 percent votes in 20 states.
The presidential flagbearers were reacting to a THISDAY poll – The Explainer – released by the THISDAY 2023 Election Centre projections on the forthcoming elections.
According to result of the said poll, the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi, and his New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) counterpart, Rabiu Kwankwaso, will emerge as third and fourth respectively, falling short of getting the constitutional required 25 per cent votes in 24 states.
Reacting to the poll yesterday, a high ranking member the Labour Party (LP) campaign council who pleaded not to be mentioned said the impression that the party would not be able to get the required 25 percent in 24 states does not reflect the reality on ground.
The party leader told LEADERSHIP that the percentage of votes assigned to the Labour Party in the zones is not correct.
He said the feedback obtained by the Labour Party intelligentsia suggests that Obi’s performance surpasses most predictions made by the Thisday projection.
For instance, the party chieftain said in the South West, the Labour Party will have 50 percent of the votes in Lagos instead of 20.
He said Obi will score 10 percent in Ogun and not five, adding that instead of 10 percent projected by the pollsters, Obi will score 25 percent in Ondo State.
He said Obi will get 15 percent votes in Osun State as against the five per cent projected by Thisday poll.
The source however accepted the figure of 15 per cent votes projected for Obi in Ekiti and Oyo States respectively by the pollster.
In the North Central, he said Obi will get 55 percent votes in Plateau State as against the 35 percent projection; 55 percent votes in Benue State as against 30; 35 percent votes in Nasarawa State as opposed to 25; 20 percent votes in Niger as against 10; 25 per cent votes in Kogi to 15; and 20 percent votes in Kwara as opposed to 10 percent votes.
For the North East, he said Obi will get 20 per cent votes in Borno State and not the 10 percent projected; 35 percent in Adamawa State as against the 10 percent; 40 percent votes in Taraba as against 20; 30 percent votes as opposed to Gombe 15; 10 percent votes in Bauchi as against five.
He however retained the zero percent votes in Yobe projected by Thisday.
In the North West state of Kano, the source said Obi will score 15 percent votes as against the five percent projection.
In Kaduna State, he said Obi will get 50 per cent and not 20 percent votes as projected, adding that unlike the zero percent of votes recorded for Obi in Katsina, the LP candidate will get 10 percent votes.
For Jigawa, Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States where Obi was projected to have zero percent votes, he said the LP candidate will get 10, 15, 5, and 5 percent votes respectively.
The source added that Obi’s influence in the South East was under projected.
For instance, he stated that in Enugu State, instead of the 60 percent vote projected, Obi will get 80 per cent votes.
In Ebonyi State, he said Obi will get 80 percent votes and not 60 and 75 percent votes in Imo instead of 60.
He also predicted that Obi will get 90 percent votes in Abia as against the projected 60 per cent, while in Anambra State the LP candidate will get 95 percent votes and not 70 as predicted.
In the South South region, the source said their candidate will get 40 percent votes in Delta State and not 35; 70 percent votes in Edo State as against 35; 65 percent votes in Akwa Ibom State as opposed to 30; 70 percent votes in Bayelsa State as against 30; 70 per cent votes in Cross River as opposed to 35; and 65 percent votes in Rivers State as against 35 as projected.
Corroborating the position of our source, the Labour Party (LP) presidential campaign council said that Obi will win the 2023 election on the first ballot.
The council noted that they don’t want to have an argument about the presidential election, which explains why they had been reaching out to every Nigerian to ensure that they win the election in the first ballot.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP last night, the spokesman of the Obi-Datti presidential campaign council, Dr Yunusa Tanko, said the party’s target is to win on the first ballot.
“That is our target. We will win in the first ballot. We don’t want to have an argument. That’s why we are reaching out to the electorates to ensure that we win the election.
“We don’t want to have an argument. Our target is to win in the first ballot and we are going to win by the grace of God,” Tanko stared.
But the All Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) said its presidential candidate and former governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwanso, will win the presidential election on the first ballot.
Speaking with LEADERSHIP last night, the spokesman of NNPP campaign council, Major Agbo, said people are just making an estimation that may not reflect the reality on ground, adding that Nigerians are looking at Kwankwaso as their alternative.
Agbo said NNPP is going to win adding that Nigerians will vote massively for Kwankwanso.
“The election will be decided on the first ballot. There is nothing like a second ballot. Kwankwaso will win because Nigerians are going to vote massively for him. They see Kwankwaso as the only alternative,” Agbo added.
Also speaking with LEADERSHIP, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) said it is still studying the situation and won’t comment for now.
The SDP presidential campaign council spokesman, Alhaji Ibrahim Biu, said the party is making inroads in the election, adding that they won’t comment for now.
But the Atiku/Okowa presidential campaign organisation insisted that Atiku will sweep the 2023 presidential election on the first ballot.
The campaign, in a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said with Atiku’s overwhelming support by Nigerians across board, the outcome of the presidential election, in which Atiku will emerge victorious on February 25, 2023, will shock pollsters.
He said Atiku enjoys the solidarity and support of greater majority of Nigerians who are not captured in the indices relied on by many of the pollsters in their projections on the 2023 presidential election.
He said, “It is incontrovertible that Atiku will win the majority of lawful votes across the country and garner the constitutionally required 25% of votes in more than 24 States of the federation.
“It is evident that the massive traditional voters of the PDP across the polling units, wards, local governments, states and the six geo-political zones are not distracted in their steadfastness to rescue Nigeria from the misrule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by voting enmasse for Atiku.”
Ologbondiyan said this army of traditional voters are unrelenting in mobilising the non-partisan voters as well as the undecided across the country to vote for the PDP presidential candidate.
He added that it is clear that the candidate of the rival APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, lacks the political muscle and national acceptability to stop Atiku on the first ballot.
He continued: “Our campaign is therefore unfazed knowing that majority of Nigerians across the nation are in consensus to elect Atiku as the next President of our country, particularly, given his proven capacity, competence, political will and national acceptability to provide leadership at this critical time of our national history.
“The Atiku/Okowa Campaign therefore urges Nigerians to remain united and focused in rallying with Atiku in the collective mission to rescue and rebuild our nation from the misrule of the APC.”
Also, speaking with LEADERSHIP last night, the presidential candidate of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Yabagi Sani, said that 80 percent of Nigerians are yet to decide on who to vote for in the February election.
According to Sani, Nigerians are looking for an alternative and that is why many of them are yet to decide on who to vote for.
“80 percent of Nigerians are yet to decide on who to vote for. Nigerians are looking for an alternative. But even if the election went into second ballot, INEC is ready,” Sani who is also the National Chairman of the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC), the umbrella body of all political parties in Nigeria,” he said.