President Muhammadu Buhari will win Saturday’s election, according to opinion polls conducted by two research organisations, NOI Poll and British Business Group.
Their findings confirm that President Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are clearly in a two-horse race, adding that other presidential candidates are not in serious contention.
Also, the findings did not contradict the report of New York-based global research firm, Eurasia Group, which predicted that the President will win by 60 percent.
The NOI Poll, which was commissioned by the Anap Foundation, led by Atedo Peterside, analysed respondents’ support for President Buhari, based on six factors – continuity, fight against corruption, integrity, improving security, helping the poor and preferred choice.
Also, participants’ preference for Atiku were analysed, based on the criteria of “better economy, better governance, preferred choice, past political records, and restructuring”.
However, the findings suggested voter apathy, particularly in the Southeast and Southwest, unlike the Northwest, Northeast and Northcentral zones.
The organisation noted that the apathy was not surprising, stressing that the choice of two elderly Muslim candidates for the presidential election may have alienated quite a few in the South.
“That President Muhammadu Buhari actually had an overall lead in our polls is cold comfort for his supporters because further analysis confirms that only approximately one-third of the electorate nationwide claimed to be backing his candidacy. Atiku is lagging behind President Muhammadu Buhari.”
It added: “The strongest argument against Atiku were also those that were brandied around by some of his new friends, who were his erstwhile political enemies. All of a sudden, they would have us forget everything bad that they told us about Atiku….So, PMB is in the lead, but Atiku has momentum.”
It stressed: “Buhari will secure a win…Buhari maintains support in the North and Southwest, the same regions with the largest share of registered voters.”
The British Business Group said President Buhari’s support base in the North and Southwest zones cannot be penetrated by the opposition.
The group said: “Buhari maintains support in the North and Southwest, the same regions with the largest share of registered voters. Institutional bias towards the ruling party will also favour an APC victory. PDP will struggle to mobilise support outside its traditional strongholds, but will face difficulties in funding its campaigns and internal divisions among ambitious governors.”
According to the Eurasia Group, the former vice president faces certain odds, even as he enjoys a divided support from key elements in the opposition party.
It noted that while these elements were working to retain their seats in their various constituencies, they were not dissipating the same energies and resources on the presidential contest.
The research firm also ruled out the possibility of protests and violence, if President Buhari is re-elected.