The All Progressives Congress appears to have zeroed in on its strategy to deliver victory to its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, in the upcoming 2019 elections. Top officials and strategists are banking on significant advantages in the North West and South West geopolitical zones as their route to victory in the polls.
Why it matters: The North West and the South West are the most populous voting blocs and also home regions to President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo respectively. Most people in the APC high command are confident of the party’s sway over the region and are directing most of their energies into their strongholds.
Per Deputy DG of the Campaign Council, Waziri Bulama: “The APC is a national party – very strong throughout the country but most dominant in the North-west and South-west and more clearly we expect to have more votes there because of the presence of the governors and because the two zones have the largest number of registered voters. Our aim and target in the campaign has been to ensure that the vote counts. We are not taking anything for granted. We are going to fight for every available vote.”
Festus Keyamo, the Campaign spokesperson: “Buhari will win the seven northwest states by a wide margin. We’re talking about margins of more than a million because that has always been the traditional pattern.”
Party campaigners in the SW are advancing ethnic narratives, pitching the election as essential to the relevance of the Yoruba South West in the political play.
In the words of Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi: “Particularly, I urge you to cast your vote for President Muhammadu Buhari and Professor Yemi Osinbajo. A vote for them will be a vote for the continued relevance and prominence of the Yoruba nation in the Nigerian polity.”
PDP’s counter narrative:
The PDP believes APC is overestimating its chances. Presidential Campaign spokesperson, Buba Galadima expressed confidence that Atiku Abubakar, the party’s candidate would defeat Buhari at the polls in the North West region. “I want to say that in the northwest namely Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa and Kaduna, Atiku will defeat Buhari 60% to 40% on the minimum. The only place they may likely come in 50-50 will be Katsina.”
PDP Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Diran Odeyemi said the APC would be shocked. “Atiku will shock them in the South West. The people of the South West are waiting for the election to send them (APC) out because of the hardship and suffering the APC governors in the South West states have inflicted on them.”