2023 Election Series 4: Situation Analysis

2023 Election Series 4: Situation Analysis
2023 Election Series 4: Situation Analysis

By Obideyi Olanrewaju Lobinco.

In just 5 days time, Nigerians will troop out in their millions to elect the president and national assembly members to lead us for another four years, should everything go as planned by the Federal government of President Buhari and INEC’s Chairman Professor Yakubu Mamood.

Whereas some people that are following the trend of this election are seeing history repeat itself, this writer sees a making of history.

Our politics, and most especially our democracy has grown over the years. It had a rebirth in 1999, and through 2015 grew into adolescence in 2019, and maturity now.

For now it seems we are at that point of entering into maturity which defines adulthood and self responsibility. This trajectory to a discerning mind certainly has the hand of providence in it like I stated in the 1st series of these series.

Follow me as a I do a personal opinion analysis of the variables as we go into this election.

The Status Quo

All presidential elections before now have always had the power of incumbency at play and to contend with.

The 1999 election was a total negotiation of the power brokers, while the electorates were just mere puns used to give credence to an already perfected plan. The result couldn’t have been otherwise. Just like at birth, a new baby is simply the function of cohabitation of its parents and hand of providence.

And so the baby grewlike all growing kids with their shenanigans. Babies have a way of getting whatever they want and that’s exactly what Obasanjo did, his preferred successor must be his successor, and like an adamant growing baby, our democracy led by the retired military general caved in to the desire of the incumbent.

Our democracy grew into puberty and like every growing human had its first disappointment in life. Unlike the little child who gets everything they want through rants and screams, the growing child at puberty experienced confusion and our democracy was put to test. We lost a good president to the cold hands of death.

There are expectations of growing responsible children, hence the child at puberty (our democracy) was guided through by experience and adamance of parents (our constitution) which was able to nurture our democracy into adolescence in the ascension of President Jonathan.

Of course the adolescent stage is a very dicey one where living an impressionable life and seeking validation is strife.

The now getting wiser democracy under ex president Jonathan exhibited all this traits with big dreams and pushed all way legitimate to sustain himself, but the the reality hits home when upon holding all the aces, the joker wasn’t in his pack of cards. Like a healthy growing human, disappointment and failure was accepted with grace. Validation is not acceptance was the lesson learnt by our democracy just same all healthy growing humans will experience along life’s journey to success. Another lesson for our democracy.

This gave way to our democracy as a youth. The reality of childhood, puberty and adolescence had given our democracy experience to be tacit in youth. The General who once threatened hell on earth, but who’s effort and expertise only fetched him still birth ambitions realized that after everything done, the hand of providence is what really makes efforts yield results. Our democracy is no longer exuberant. Do your best and leave the rest is the total meaning of maturity. Providence always has a way of bringing humans into full maturity. Our democracy seems at this point to have on the toga of maturing.

For the first time in the anals of our political history, we have a president who’s promising and acting in every sense of giving a level playing ground as he won’t make extra effort in influencing who his successor will be, though he’s support remains for the candidate of his political party.

The status quo as known in our polity has changed. The power of incumbency’s influence to election is not a do or die affair for the first time.

The Variables
The variables into this election are also variables not before experienced. Whereas the incumbent president’s stance is a newly introduced variable, the seeming readiness and innovativeness of INEC is another great impressive ingredient into the stew of our elections and democracy.

A politically dispassionate but empathically aligned president with the masses in who succeeds him, have bolstered the editing and display of the voters register for the first time. As if that isn’t enough, the introduction of BVAS which synchronises numbers with actual verifiable polls is a game changer, that assures any contestant who feels displeased with the outcome of results declared after the polls, have a credible data base that can be referred to in pursuit of getting justice after the elections. The doubt about the judiciary irrespective. Assurances if not betrayed will certainly grow confidence for the continuous growth of this democracy.

The umpire have requested all resources without any leech on her to deliver without prejudice.

The Politicians Might

Political strength in Nigeria no more seems to be attributable to wealth, political strategy, political sagacity, but rather to political empathy.

While democracy was growing in Nigeria to this mature state its entering into now, the people who were politicians’ puns have also grown from being a push around, to observers, then analysers and now participating stake holders.

Majority of politicians from 1999 till date, from as zonal/ward/LGA/State/Federal executives level have only used their political offices and privilege for self aggrandisement, impunity and oppression, than they did for their constituents development.

The pumping of resources from the states wealth to the grass roots have only seen the politicians lives get better while the people they represent seems to be getting worse by the day. Every Nigerian now sees politics as the easiest way to wealth. Unfortunately politics can’t take contain everyone and as a result, the conflict of interest of those in politics against those outside it have now blossomed into a state of implosion.

Where a councillor who hitherto was as poor as church rat now rides the best cars on roads unbearable for the graduates and skilled laborers, the skilled labourers and jobless graduates also no longer feel the politician represents their interest. The youths are the worst hit and underdeveloped in this equation. The coming children seem to have been robbed of all hopes.

Unlike 1999 where sentiments and tribalism prevailed in driving vote blocs, we are in a 2023 where majority of citizens are no longer just a vote bloc to get their kinsman into power, rather the thought is now more of what’s in it for the voters. Outright vote sales or good leadership prospect.

Of course there are still pickets of those who put sentiments and tribalism first, but that sect is getting more decimated by the day and across all cadre. Another game changer maybe.

The Demographic Impact

In the Nigerian of 1999, youths formed the nerve of the Nigerian population as it is with every country. However, the then youths and teenagers solely relied on their parents guidance to make decisions. From academic decisions, political decisions, marital decisions to professional decisions etc.

Today, the youths of that time are now the adults and the failed system which they contributed in building as a result of outright believe without questioning of the parents who are now septuagenarians and octogenarians seem to have given them a live probably worse than their parents’.

The dynamics have really changed, such that the parents of then that were heros and models of the society, who were just teachers with ordinary NCE or diploma enjoyed life better than the youths of then who are now adults, and with PHDs, but still depends on their parents to make a living.

On the average, most parents of youths and teenagers in 1999 still till date accommodates their now fully grown child and grandchildren under their roofs.

These grand children which are now youths unfortunately have the social media and technology to teach them what the parents of their parents never thought their parents, exposures their parents never had, information never at their parents disposal, and that’s another game changer.

Though the current youths minimise their rebellion against their parents, they are extremely rebellious against the system. They question the system at every opportunity and this is irrespective of their level of education or exposure. They can’t be easily silenced.

The almajiris children that made friends with his yoruba children are provoked at how the other seems to have a better life than they do while they like their parents are still training their children as beggers. The difference seems to be education and little exposure the igbo children got. The children see the disappointment on their parents faces everyday and are determined to eke a better life even against their parents advices and admonitions. Banditry seems to now pay better though, their conscience is looking for a better way of living.

We now have expressions such as “who education help?”, being accepted more than the “ékò dara pupo” (education has great benefits) chants that pervaded the atmosphere in the 90s.

Chants of “kinsa ti lowo” (Getting rich is the ultimate) is now more accepted than Hardwork pays eventually.

We now have a generation that sees the politicians as the cause of their unmeritorious lifestyles compared to that which they see on social media and movies from from the west. This is unlike their parents who saw the politicians as saviours that will save them from the colonial masters and military rulers.

As it is now, the new generation have the numbers just like their parents did and are now determined again change the leadership pattern their parents installed. Seems it’s an end of a cycle.

This time around, decisions are made on personal analysis and self interest and projections, not on parents guidance and counseling. The parents are seen as victims, this generation don’t want to repeat history.

The narratives have totally changed.

The Demographic Details and Situation Analysis

The picture attached to this write up tells the demographic distribution of voters in this election.

Nothing is really cast in stone again as tribal, religious or ethnic bloc votes have been decimated.

The only sure banker politicians would have been the stimulation of voters with money, since an hungry mind is a susceptible and as such docile and easy to manipulate one.

The unfortunate reality is that, even the politicians as at today won’t have access to their financial armoury as the seating president seems adamant on repelling financially induced voting.

Politicians’ effort to sabotage the president’s directive have been ignored even by the most affected by the cashless policy, the masses.

Whereas governors are giving orders for continuous circulation of the old currencies, the people instead respects the directives of the president. What this means is should there actually be an armoury of funds stored for the elections, it’s a dead on arrival strategy.

To add further disorder to the status quo is the implosions going on within the major strong political parties. We are witnessing real scenarios of houses divided against itself never before witnessed in our polity. The politicians do not have a grip on one another as a team, and this makes having a grip on the electorates more herculean.

Likely Voting Pattern

The hitherto determinant variables and regions that guides political permutations are for the first time not in agreement of consensus candidates five days to an election. These ranges from political heavyweights to the common man.
Religion, ethnicity, tribalism, political party are all difficult brands to sell in today’s polity.

The APC which was the amalgamation of nPDP, CPC, ACN, and NNPP in 2015 seems to have fully reverted back to its branches mode. The only standing straw in that equation as it were before the marriage is an internally divided ACN as a result of perceived selfish hold on power structure by one individual and the CPC which has the incumbent president as it’s rallying force, but who’s now disinterested in politriking. The nPDP is totally out and NNPP is totally out of the APC marriage.

It would have been interesting had the nPDP had a successful remarriage with the PDP and then succeeded in a conjugal bliss with the NNPP, unfortunately that is not the case.

The nPDP, PDP and NNPP are all independent bodies seeking votes from the same pool.

Somehow we’ve now seen the birth of LP which wasn’t in the equation at all hitherto. Obi gave LP life. The new LP which is hitherto use to be an hibernation party for aggrieved politicians now stands alone and is without the support of heavy weight politicians as members.

Rather, it is today having either outright endorsement of the past and displeased heavyweight politicians. Those not publicly aligning with Labour Party are passively doing so or staying away totally from the scheme of the parties that got them disgruntled. It’s looking like an Otedola governorship enthronement in Lagos during the 3rd republic.

Since the politicians are not in unity within their strength blocs, the people/voters are now in control of the joker, irrespective of the Aces the 4 leading political parties are holding.

In all of this, only LP is a whole entity that’s benefiting and drawing resources from all those hitherto popular parties either directly or indirectly.

The northern governors are not acceptable political godfathers that can give instructions. The governors and politicians of the west are divided and though led by Jagaban, seems to be singing the “ma jo lo mo wo eyin e song”, maybe with the exclusion of Lagos state who some observers describes as a puppet, and unfortunately really has no political strength except the one drawn from his benefactor.

This takes us to the polls.

My Prediction

The outcome of this election will be a shocker. The joker of this election will be the oneness of the south south, with the south east.

Truth is it’s not cast in stone for any of the contenders. Almost all the cosmopolitan areas in the North and West will have divided but not bloc votes. The LP candidate will not have an abysmal fair outing in the cosmopolitan areas of states in the North, while his outing in the West will certainly be fair.

The North has Atiku, Kwakwanso, Shettima and Datti Ahmed as prominent people people of same north.

The popularity of these four people is born out of political participation and or enterprise as the case maybe. They certainly already have the power brokers of the north divided. They are all from well populated states and in the elitist class. It will be a big tussle.

The beauty of this election is that the northern vote is very well divided and yes maybe I can agree that Obi won’t win there, but that vote will be very shared btw Atiku, Kwakwanso and the left over will be for Tinubu. Obi will sure get 5 to 15% of the northern total vote.

Whereas in the East and south-south, I see a landslide for LP candidate.

Down west, I see Obi getting 30 to 35% of Lagos, 25-30% of Ogun, 25% Oyo, 15% Osun, 18% Kwara and 28% in Ondo.

This is judging by the fact that majority of the votes from this states will be from the cosmopolitan parts which in all cases have synchronization of ethnics and tribes.

I foresee a landslide for APC in all rural parts of the West but cosmopolitan cities like Akure, Lagos, Oshogbo, Agbara, Ondo town, Ore, Ibadan cities will earn LP at least 20% of total votes in West, whereas PDP may have some shine just in Osun and parts of Kwara.

In conclusion, nothing is cast in stone and the beauty is 24 hours they say is a long timeframe in politics.

Play Your Part

Nation building is a collective responsibility. The only guaranteed role of every citizens in choosing leaders that act as the compass which directs a country is voting.

Nigeria is set for probably it’s free and fairest election yet.

Please don’t stay back at home on election day.

Go out and vote, our vote will count.