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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

NIGERIA Elections Special Report III

 President Goodluck Jonathan regains lost momentum, but opposition still poised for landslide upset win in cliffhanger historic poll

Goodluck Jonathan regains lost momentum, but General Buhari still poised for upset

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, largest economy and geopolitically most important state, is set to hold its first truly competitive free and fair democratic national elections this Saturday, 28 March. Despite jettisoning the outward trappings of autocratic military rule 15 years ago, the country’s politics largely retained the substantive autocratic diktats of quasi-military rule under the dominant People Democratic Party (PDP). In 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 Nigeria held mostly rigged, pre-ordained, non-free, non-fair and non-competitive elections. However due to major electoral reforms, launched by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, particularly promoting the exclusive use of secure biometric voter ID cards, and unique security verification, the country is poised to hold its first truly open, transparent, free and fair polls on March 28.

Regardless of who wins the March polls, Nigeria’s politics is poised for a dramatic change if the electoral commission is able to stand firmly behind its decision to insist that only those voters who are biometrically registered and verified can vote. That simple bold act by the electoral commission, will powerfully finally transfer political power in Nigeria from the brazen ‘Tammany Hall’ corrupt political and corporatist elites, who spend all their time in Abuja, the country’s capital, sucking the state dry, -- to the ordinary citizens in the 36 federal states to create ‘a government by the people, for the people and of the people.’ The fundamentally altered dynamic of the citizens of Africa’s most populous and largest economy, being empowered to truly have the right, choice and chance, to regularly freely change their leaders when they do not deliver socio-economic goods and security will help to powerfully transform Nigeria into ‘the China of Africa,’ an economic behemoth, that much like China’s role in Asia, help to catalyze a complete economic transformation of the African continent.

The six week postponement of Nigeria’s originally scheduled February 14 presidential elections allowed embattled President Goodluck Jonathan to take several pragmatic steps to claw back lost electoral momentum. However Jonathan’s valiant efforts notwithstanding, after several simulations, DaMina Advisors’s proprietary VERITAS Frontier Markets Electoral Forecast Statistical Model, (reproduced below) continues to still give the odds of an upset victory to opposition leader Retired General Muhammadu Buhari. Despite the bi-variate model’s heavy discount on frontier markets political challengers and favoring incumbency, Buhari still emerges on top.

Jonathan in late February bypassed the dispirited Nigerian army and authorized regional forces from neighbors Chad, Cameroon and Niger and foreign mercenaries to enter Nigerian territory and dismantle known Boko Haram camps. Additionally, Jonathan sensing that the ethnic Yoruba, will be the ‘swing voters’ in the forthcoming election has spent the past few weeks wooing ethnic Yoruba chieftains and business elites. Finally, Jonathan’s campaign has sought to convince many disgruntled wealthy political and business elites that Buhari election will trigger a ‘Putin-style’ anti-oligarch campaign aimed at sending many of them to jail to retrieving questionable funds and corrupt investments. Despite all these efforts the larger centrifugal forces of the forthcoming election are still running against the government and favoring ‘change.’


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DaMina Advisors Nigeria Elections VERITAS Model State 2006 Pop Census 2015 INEC Registered Voters PVC (Permanent Voter Cards Collected by Voters) % of Pop with PVCs 2003 Turnout 2011 Turnout DaMina VERITAS MODEL Likely 2015 Turnout DaMina VERITAS MODEL Likely 2015 PDP Vote Share DaMina VERITAS MODEL Likely 2015 APC Vote Share DaMina Advisors Analytic Comment
Abia 2,845,380 1,396,162 1,183,127 42% 59.80% 77.95% 69% 692,647 122,232 Abia and most of the pan-ethnic Igbo eastern states to firmly re-elect Jonathan
Abuja (FCT) 1,406,239 881,472 569,109 40% 43.70% 42.19% 40% 100,163 127,480 Capital Abuja to tilt towards Buhari
Adamawa 3,178,950 1,559,012 1,381,571 43% 77.60% 49.98% 60% 298,419 530,523 Boko Haram attacks; PDP elite confusion and unpopular Ribadu governorship quest
Akwa Ibom 3,902,051 1,680,759 1,587,566 41% 80.50% 76.22% 83% 1,185,912 131,768 Presidential stalwart Gov Akpabio to ensure PDP victory
Anambra 4,177,828 1,963,173 1,658,967 40% 48.20% 57.52% 55% 775,567 136,865 New Gov Obiano and pan-Igbo APGA party rooting heavily for Jonathan
Bauchi 4,653,066 2,054,125 1,967,081 42% 81.60% 63.80% 77% 151,465 1,363,187 PDP Party Chairman Muaazu's home state, but the anti-Jonathan wave strong
Bayelsa 1,704,515 610,373 548,585 32% 97.00% 85.61% 95% 469,040 52,116 Jonathan to win home state massively, but Buhari to make small in-roads
Benue 4,253,641 2,015,452 1,607,800 38% 71.10% 43.82% 55% 495,202 389,088 Senate President Mark stays in PDP and rallies state for Jonathan
Borno 4,171,104 1,934,079 1,407,777 34% 62.00% 49.46% 45% 82,355 551,145 Heart of Boko Haram insurgency; PDP will get very few votes
Cross Rivers 2,892,988 1,175,623 983,968 34% 96.00% 63.24% 85% 736,008 100,365 Cross Rivers and other pan-ethnic Igbo eastern states are firmly behind Jonathan
Delta 4,112,445 2,275,264 1,939,952 47% 72.90% 68.82% 75% 1,309,468 145,496 PDP Gov Uduaghan to assure Jonathan victory with large margin
Ebonyi 2,176,947 1,074,273 848,392 39% 80.50% 47.87% 66% 481,547 78,391 Ebonyi firmly behind Jonathan; but PDP Gov Elechi unpopularity to give APC room
Edo 3,233,366 1,779,738 1,224,608 38% 78.00% 37.52% 55% 383,915 289,620 Popular Gov Oshiomole will pull large parts of state to APC, but PDP still strong
Ekiti 2,398,957 732,021 522,107 22% 43.20% 34.24% 40% 98,156 110,687 Ekiti despite recent PDP governorship gain will tilt towards APC
Enugu 3,267,837 1,429,221 1,223,606 37% 77.40% 62.46% 70% 735,874 119,793 Enugu, a major ethnic Igbo state is firmly behind Jonathan
Gombe 2,365,040 1,120,023 1,070,198 45% 80.00% 58.41% 73% 218,748 562,496 Buhari to carry Gombe as he did in 2011; Boko Haram sinks Jonathan further here
Imo 3,927,563 1,803,030 1,707,449 43% 64.60% 83.56% 78% 599,315 732,496 Opposition Gov Rochas Okorochas cottails to help Buhari
Jigawa 4,361,002 1,831,276 1,757,658 40% 70.10% 56.64% 65% 434,142 708,336 Gov Lamido is in PDP, but heart is with Buhari/Obasanjo; APC wins
Kaduna 6,113,503 3,407,222 3,174,519 52% 83.60% 65.81% 75% 904,738 1,476,151 Opposition to topple PDP in Kaduna with pro-Buhari Muslim wave

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