President Goodluck Jonathan, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and his major rival, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have remarkably rewritten former assumptions putting the contest into what has become the most competitive election since the return of democratic rule in 1999.
It is a battle being fought on every inch of Nigerian territory. Buhari, who in his former contests practically ignored several areas, is going out meeting and soliciting for votes from all over the country. Besides the strategic meeting with governors, he is also expected to address the concerns of traders in Onitsha. President Jonathan, on the other hand, has practically laid siege on the Southwest with the prospect of winning over the people of the region. A state by state detail of the battle on the ground is presented hereunder.
By Our Reporters
2011: Jonathan 1,145,169 Buhari 4,223
Anambra was a state Jonathan won with more than 99 per cent in 2011 with 1,145,169 votes. The president is believably headed for another victory in the state in 2015, but only fools will believe that the president could get the kind of victory he got four years ago.
The momentum for Buhari has been tempered in Anambra by internal divisions within the Buhari campaign especially around the personality of the leaders of the campaign. Senator Chris Ngige, who is leading the campaign in the state, is not in the good books of a handful of many other supporters.
Dr. Jonathan is also boosted by the unqualified support he is receiving from the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA government in the state. Dr. Jonathan would win handsomely in the state, Buhari would not get 25 per cent but the bad news for the Jonathan campaign is that the swelled vote would not be obtained given the introduction of the card reader.
2011: Jonathan 480,592 Buhari 1,025
Jonathan got more than 99.5 per cent of the votes he got in 2011 and was helped by the fact that Buhari practically did not have an organisation in the state and the state opposition leader, Senator Julius Ucha was drained of resources.
However, with the reinvention of the opposition and the internal discord in the PDP that led to the movement of Governor Martin Elechi’s supporters to Labour Party, the APC could be tempted to smell an opportunity. However, chances of that were as at weekend not viable given recent efforts by the president to keep Elechi from being impeached.
Unless Elechi decides to play a rascal, Buhari will not get 25 per cent in Ebonyi
Dr. Jonathan got almost the entire 1,406, 289 votes in Imo State in 2011. However, the defeat of Ikedi Ohakim in the governorship election that took place about the same time by 290,496 votes to 336,859 votes in the same constituency has led many to believe that the presidential election results may have been bloated. Given that less than 600,000 persons voted in the governorship election has resulted in questions about where the voters in the presidential election came from.
With the opposition in control of the state, Imo looks the brightest opportunity for Buhari in the Southeast, but he would yet be lucky to smile home with 40 per cent of the votes.
Jonathan won here with 882,144 votes to Buhari’s 3753 while Ribadu went home with 1,755 votes.
The major players in the state are Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the deputy president of the Senate and Governor Sullivan Chime who are both on the surface rooting for the president. But given the wounds that the governor received and the fact that he has no stake in the presidential election he could decide to pay back the president with bad coins so that both of them could retire from public life together.
Also to the advantage of Buhari is the presence of Father Ejike Mbaka, who has openly endorsed Buhari against the president.
The prospects of Buhari getting 25 per cent in Enugu are not impossible despite the efforts of Ekweremadu.
Jonathan got 1,175,954 to the 3,608 votes Buhari received in 2011. Though with the introduction of the card reader the prospects of Jonathan getting that many votes have been seriously reduced, but there is little doubt he would easily trounce Buhari in Abia. The closest opposition is APGA which has interestingly adopted Jonathan as its presidential candidate.
The factors against Buhari could only be sentiments against the outgoing administration and the slowdown of the economy which has affected businesses in the state. Still, Buhari is not expected to get 25 per cent in Abia.
Remarkably, unlike the situation in many other states where losers in the PDP governorship primaries defected or went underground, many of those who lost out in the PDP including Emeka Wogu are fanatically working for the PDP.
Jonathan won here with 1, 378, 851 in 2011. However, since then a number of political shifts and miscalculations have been made to cause a radical alteration of the permutations.
While the PDP remains almost unified the humiliation the governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan suffered even after surrendering his senatorial ticket and inability to position his own man as governor has led some to believe he could seek vengeance. However, the governor has almost remained steadfastl in support of the Jonathan project.
Anyway, other issues including the reported overbearing attitude of Jonathan’s Ijaw kinsmen which has led to the repeated postponement of the groundbreaking of the EPZ in the state, and the sidelining of the Urhobo may hurt Jonathan .
Buhari is, however, not helped by the fact that his governorship candidate in the state, Otega Emerhor was not universally accepted by the party leaders. That nonetheless, Jonathan is no longer looked at as “our brother” by the non-Ijaws, a situation that has put Buhari in good look to get at least 30 per cent of the votes in Delta.
2011: Jonathan 542, 173 Buhari 17,795
The results in 2011 would be of little consequence in 2015 given that Governor Adams Oshiomhole practically sat on the fence that year. In 2015 the comrade governor has taken the Buhari project as a personal one. The challenges that have faced the Jonathan administration make it a tempting ground for Buhari to pull away victory. However, the PDP is marshalling several personalities including Chief Tony Anenih, Chief Tom Ikimi among others to help the president. Edo is too close to call.
Buhari got only 691 votes last time. He is destined to do better given the internal discord in the state chapter of the PDP but it would be a foolish guess to say he could score more than 5 per cent of the votes in the state.
2011 Jonathan 709,382 Buhari 4,002
Not much of change is expected for Buhari in Cross River given the absence of a strong internal party in the state. Jonathan should score a minimum of 80 per cent of the votes in Cross River. However, like in many other states the total number of votes is expected to be suppressed by the anti-rigging device, card reader.
2011: Jonathan 1,165,629 Buhari 5,348
Jonathan is expected to be seriously challenged in Akwa Ibom by the support Buhari is getting from the machine transferred to him by the APC governorship candidate, Umana Umana. The popularity Umana is getting and the largely unexpressed attitude of the Ibibio population towards Governor Godswill Akpabio would pose serious dangers for the president.
If the election goes smoothly, the president will win but Buhari would get more than 25 per cent of the votes.
2011 Jonathan 1, 817, 762 Buhari 13,182
This is where the president’s political problems started and it would come to a head in six days time as the president again seeks the support of his in-laws.
The PDP has traditionally harvested an approximate two million votes in presidential and governorship elections in Rivers State and that was when the PDP was in control of the Government House, Port Harcourt, where many of the winning strategies were formulated. But with the APC now in control of the Government House the PDP’s leverage has been greatly diminished.
The prospects of Governor Chibuke Amaechi delivering Rivers to Buhari are daunting as the president is expected to win again, but with a significantly suppressed number of votes. The votes will count if all goes well and the traditional two million votes will not be available to the PDP candidate. Buhari will smile home and be satisfied with at least 30 per cent of the votes.
Jonathan 1, 281, 688; Buhari 189, 983; Ribadu 427, 000
Buhari took third in 2011 largely on account of the support Ribadu got from the APC machine in Lagos. But with the same support now actively being shifted to Buhari and given the challenges of the president and the Osinbajo factor, the president is in danger of losing Lagos State to Buhari.
The president was politically shrewd to push forward a popular governorship candidate in the person of Jimi Agbaje, however, that is not going to be of much help to him given the erosion of the Islamic label on Buhari and the momentum he has received. Lagos is too close to call.
The president would be helped in Lagos by the sentiments of the vast Igbo population, majority of who are chorusing for him.
This is a state the president won in 2011, but he would need a miracle to help him overcome the challenges against him in 2015. Besides the strong support Buhari is getting from Governor Ibikunle Amosun, the president is not helped by the disarray that is in the state chapter of the PDP.
Even though he is not much of an asset on voting day, former President Olusegun Obasanjo is from Ogun State and would do everything to ensure the rejection of his one time political godson.
Buhari is projected to win Ogun convincingly and the president would be happy going away with 40 per cent of the votes.
This was the only southern state the president lost in 2011 and is headed towards the same direction in 2015 despite the increasing challenges facing the Rauf Aregbesola administration in Osogbo, notably the growing difficulties in payment of salaries.
The APC is, however, telling whoever cares to listen that many of the challenges they are having are coming from Jonathan in Abuja.
Dr. Jonathan is projected to score about 35 per cent of the votes in the state.
Jonathan 484, 758 Buhari 92, 396 Ribadu 252, 240
Jonathan won in Oyo with about 52 per cent of the votes in 2011 and that was when a PDP government was in office. With the reverse the case now and the challenges in office around the president, his ability to get the plurality of 2011 is in serious doubt. The president’s chances were not helped last week after a senior chief in Ibadan came out to endorse Buhari. Besides, the PDP seems to be doing well in covering its internal fractures, but that fact is obvious to many people.
The chances of the president in Ekiti have been boosted by the fanatical support he is receiving from Governor Ayodele Fayose. However, the support is almost matched by the recent reconciliation between Dr. Fayemi and Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele who are both working for Buhari. Nevertheless, there are still mutterings that the old progressives allegedly shut out by Dr. Fayemi while in office are still to be fully reintegrated into the APC.
Whatever, Ekiti is too close to call.
This is a state that ordinarily should go to Dr. Jonathan given the dominance of Governor Segun Mimiko in the affairs of the state. However, as with many second term office holders, the governor has caught the syndrome and his political invincibility once the subject of political folklore is no longer taken for granted. Dr. Jonathan will win handsomely in Ondo, but Buhari is in good position to get 25 per cent.
The choice of a relatively unpopular governorship candidate has not done the PDP good in Kwara. Many of the governorship aspirants who were in better position to Marshall the votes for the president are looking from the sidelines and so, giving opportunity for Senator Bukola Saraki to handsomely deliver Kwara to the APC presidential candidate.
Is a state that Buhari has never won in a presidential election, however, the troubles of the PDP administration and the choice by the APC of a grassroots governorship candidate has opened up the state to battle. Many voters could translate their fury at the non payment of salaries to the president.
Benue is too close to call.
This is a traditional PDP state and Jonathan is expected to win convincingly. However, Buhari would for the first time make an inroad as he taps on the groundswell of misgivings against Governor Jonah Jang. Such grudges include irregular payment of salaries and the governor’s decision to discard the zoning principle in the choice of his successor.
Many leading political stakeholders on the plateau are seriously embittered by the outgoing governor’s decision to enthrone someone from his senatorial constituency and his Berom tribe as his successor. Should the misgivings translate fully into votes, Jonathan could be in trouble.
Jonathan lost here in 2011 and despite the alleged schemes of some powerful generals in the state to stop Buhari and return the president, it would be a difficult task. The failure of the outgoing governor to adequately deliver democracy dividends is, of course, no help.
Governor Babangida Aliyu would be desperate for Jonathan to win despite his assertions in the past that the president signed a one term agreement. Victory for Jonathan would position Dr. Aliyu to run the presidential contest in 2019.
Given the judicial interpretation of the senatorial election that took place in Aliyu’s senatorial constituency that was won by the APC, the chances of Buhari winning are convincing.
The president won in Nasarawa last time, but that was when a PDP governor was in office. Now with an APC governor in office, the challenges against the president are obvious. The unity in the PDP was recently broken with the defection of Labran Maku to APGA. But that nonetheless, Nasarawa is too close to call.
The president lost his running mate’s state last time. The same configuration is in place the only difference is that Buhari has a better organisation in 2015 than he had in 2011.
Kaduna, as ever, remains too close to call and it is expected that people may vote according to religious lines.
Kaduna too close to call.
This is Buhari’s homeland and he is expected to sail comfortably to victory here. Jonathan is not expected to get much from here.
Governor Sule Lamido is working seriously to deliver Jonathan in Jigawa. In 2011, Jonathan narrowly missed getting 25 per cent in Jigawa. It is possible for the president to get that figure this time.
2011: Jonathan 369, 198; Buhari 501, 453
The president did well by scoring more than 25 per cent in Kebbi last time and he is projected to get about the same figure this time.
2011: Jonathan 238, 980 Buhari 624, 515
Buhari defeated Jonathan without much of an organisation in 2011 in Zamfara and he is expected to do the same this time.
2011: Jonathan 309, 057; Buhari 540, 769
In 2011, Jonathan was helped by the sentiments of the ruling PDP in the state. But given the discord that followed and the parting of ways, the president would have to face the serious challenge to get the 36 per cent he scored last time in the state.
Jonathan 258,000 Buhari 1, 300,000.
This was the state where the president’s convoy was pelted with stones and in the account of Governor Isa Yuguda, those who pelted him were renegade PDP members.
The president’s recent enthusiasm in other parts of the country is not helped by the division in the ranks of the PDP largely between the governor and the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed. Though they claim to be working together, there are underground insinuations that one party is not putting all his eggs in one basket.
2011: Jonathan 508,314 Buhari 344,526
The president’s victory here in 2011 could ordinary be replicated given the fact that unlike 2011 when he did it Ribadu, a son of the soil is not running. However, the Boko Haram factor is an issue for many people who are questioning the rationale it took the president until election time to decisively rid the state of the terrorists.
Adamawa is too close to call.
2011: Jonathan 290,347 Buhari 459, 898
Buhari won in 2011 despite the presence of a strong governor, Danjuma Goje who at that time was against him. With Goje now seriously backing him, it ordinarily would be a plus for the APC candidate. However, the incumbent governor, Ibarahim Damkwambo is the Northeast coordinator for Jonathan and is expected to put up a hard battle for the president especially as his re-election battle comes up in two weeks time after the presidential election.
Buhari is expected to win and Jonathan should get more than 25 per cent.
2011: Jonathan 451,354 Buhari 257,986
Jonathan won here in 2011 and is expected to win again despite the internal divisions that have lately arisen within the state chapter of the PDP.
2011 Jonathan 117,128 Buhari 337, 537
Buhari won Yobe and is expected to win again. Sentiments against the president’s handling of the Boko Haram crisis will not be a good omen for the president in Yobe.
However, one serious challenge for Buhari is the perceived failures of the incumbent governor in providing morale to the people of the state in the face of the crisis.
2011: Jonathan 207, 075 Buhari 909,763
Buhari won handsomely in 2011 and is expected to do the same despite the changed permutations that have seen the former governor, Senator Ali Sheriff (SAS) cross over to support the president in 2015.