The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is heading for a historic landlside as Nigerians vote for a new president on Saturday (today) after a week-long delay, according to opinion polls.
Despite a crowded field of 73 presidential hopefuls, the battle is between incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari, 76, and former vice president Atiku Abubakar, 72, who are expected to vote in their home towns.
If the elections are free and fair, devoid of violence and manipulations, President Buhari is expected to suffer a humiliating defeat, polls have indicated.
Majority of Nigerians are angry with the former military dictator, not only because he failed to deliver on the change he promised in 2015, but for his disrespect for the Rule of Law, Due Process, Principle of Federal Character and running a nepotistic government that has bitterly divided the country like never before in its history.
Multiple polls carried out by various media and international research organization, social media and online platforms, point to a landslide victory for the PDP candidate, Atiku and his running mate, Dr. Peter Obi, seen by many Nigerians as having the competence to create jobs and prune down on unnecessary expenditure. Mr. Obi did that successfully while he was governor of Anambra State for eight years.
Generally, Nigerians trust Atiku and Obi to deliver growth, provide jobs and begin the urgent task of lifting a large number of Nigerians out of poverty.
The ruling party, APC had tried in vain to dissuade Nigerians from trusting Atiku, pointing to his alleged corrupt past. However, this seems not to have worked.
According to a poll conducted by CHECKPOINTCARLEY, what is more important to the electorate at the moment, is a leader who is capable of uniting a badly divided country. And they have seen that in Atiku, who despite being a Muslim from the core North, is adjudged to be cosmopolitan.
The Economist Intelligence Unit, EIU, (the research unit of the Magazine), had also in October 2018 predicted that the opposition party, PDP candidate will defeat the incumbent in today’s election.
According to the magazine “The 2019 elections will be a close contest between the ruling APC and the PDP. We expect the PDP presidential candidate to win.
“The next government is likely to be led by the PDP, the main opposition, potentially in a coalition with smaller parties.”
Williams and Associates, the United States-based polling firm which predicted victory for Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, also predicted victory for Atiku.
The polling firm had arrived at its conclusion working with data collected across Nigeria by its operatives through face to face interviews and using multi-stage stratification proportionate to the population sample responders who were interviewed on their preferences in English and local dialects as appropriate.
About 120,000 polling stations are due to open at 8.00am across the country and the official results are expected from Sunday.
President Buhari has promised to concede defeat, like his predecessor Goodluck Jonathan, if he loses. He had also directed that nobody should rig the elections for him.