Ahead of the polls – Uncertainty still the major theme
It is another election year in Nigeria and uncertainty resonates across the entire political climate. There are seventy-three candidates, according to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), vying for a chance to lead the country for the next four years. However, we believe that the two main parties—the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and the main opposition party, People’s Democratic Party (PDP)—will be the key contenders, with current President, Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, their respective flagbearers. In the past, ethnicity and religion played a significant role in the presidential elections, but this is less of a factor in the upcoming polls as both aspirants belong to the same ethnic group and religion—Fulani and Muslim. Also, given the internationally lauded precedent set in the 2015 general elections, we anticipate a non-violent contest in the 2019 general elections.
While political uncertainty will naturally spook investors, recent happenings in the political landscape have further heightened investors’ apathy towards investments in Nigeria. The most noteworthy of these events was the plethora of floor-crossing, especially between the two leading parties, in the last few months. This culminated in the defection of the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara from the APC to the PDP. Recently, we have seen this politically motivated act cause a rift between the executive and legislative arms of government, with direct implications on the passage of opposition-sponsored bills in the National Assembly.
Who will win the elections?
A lot of factors come into play going into the 2019 general elections when assessing how voters are likely to cast their votes. These factors range from the financial backing of the candidates, personal background (education, religion, ethnic heritage), party loyalty among various states and other factors. Below, we will assess the possible dynamics of the presidential election across the different geopolitical zones.
Please find attached the full report.