Monday, March 30, 2015

#NigeriaDecides: APC Wining States, PDP Winning Numbers

The huge problem I see with calling a presidential election state by state is the assumption that winning a state automatically translates to more votes on paper. This is a copycat syndrome typical of Nigerian media, copied from American media. In America though, winning a state automatically means winning the entire electoral college of that state, except in two states. If the Democrats win Washington by 51% to the Republicans’ 49% for instance, the Democrats win all the electoral college votes of that state. This is why winning a state in America is crucial to the electoral process because a candidate must win majority popular votes and also majority electoral college votes. Here in Nigeria, there is no electoral college so there is no ‘winner takes all’ approach. A candidate may win more states but lose the elections by sheer number of votes.

If the opening paragraph reads like a slaying of newspapers and interest groups that called #NigeriaDecides so far state by state, then yes, it is. When in 2012 I called the Mimiko election, someone close to me sent me an email that I should beware of making outright predictions but I am a firm believer that the test of true punditry is to be able to accurately call elections whether wrong or right. Since then, I have called two elections: Governor Fayose of Ekiti’s election and Aregbesola’s election. For Saturday’s election, I set a background to how it will likely run.

There are no ‘secure’ APC or PDP territories in the eyes of political operatives. For Goodluck Jonathan, this is a key strength: his ability to win key votes in ‘unfriendly’ territory pushed him over the edge in 2011. The inidicator states of how this election will swing are Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Borno, Sokoto, Rivers, Imo and Jigawa. It wont be the states per se but the margins, the numbers. The low turnout in Borno may mean Borno is not more important than a state like Akwa-Ibom where the turnout was quite high. The key is the ability of one party to challenge and force the controlling party to be on the defensive while winning as many votes as possible or even causing an upset. The idea is this: where the opponent feels he is safe and secure, attack him there as a show of strength and you just might cause a chain reaction.

So far, APC seems to have won more states but PDP leads in numbers. I cannot announce results and will not do so but even the figures from APC social media persons show that they seem to believe that the more states they win will equate a victory. PDP is winning numbers and cutting close into APC territory. The entire premise for The Tinubu-Buhari alliance was on Tinubu’s ability to deliver bloc votes for APC from the southwest. From all indications, the Southwest has not churned those bloc votes from Buhari just yet. I have always felt the north will indicate this election and I still think so. Let me just give an instance of how figures and states play out: the entire figures released unofficially so far for five southwestern states Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo and Osun shows an APC lead of less than 400,000 votes. In the only Akwa-Ibom result released unofficially so far, Gov. Akpabio has a 421,000 vote lead that obliterates the APC southwest margin.

It is still too close to call but I am confident that #WeTriumphStill

Demola Rewaju is a super blogger and a writer who manages Demola Rewaju Daily.

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