SIR:  On the face of happenings towards the 2023 presidential elections, there is some true underlying degree of belief in the assertion ‘Tinubu will be the next President’ of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Since 2003, Nigeria’s presidential elections voting patterns seem to have been largely a contest between the ruling party and the main opposition party of the moment, although not without manly strides by a few ‘regionally based’ political parties. As a deduction, you can take it to the bank that 2023 presidential election is going to be between the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), even as Labour Party (LP) and New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) will make vigorous pace.

Granting that certain narratives be allowed influencing groups of people here and there at the moment, it is worth pointing out that going by the long standing tradition of presidential electioneering in Nigeria, all other narratives will fade away before the election proper, and in the end, everything will fall back to conventional voting pattern in the country. The conventional presidential voting pattern since 1999 revealed that Nigeria seems to have created political identities along three blocs namely; Northern Alliance, Southern Alliance, and Yoruba Alliance.

The Northern Alliance consist of Northwest and North-eastern states, in addition to Nassarawa, Niger, and Plateau states from the North-central. The Southern Alliance consist of Southeast and South-south states, while the Yoruba Alliance consist of the Southwest states plus Kwara, Kogi and Benue states from the Northcentral. Whereas the Northern and the Southern blocs maintained a fix voting pattern since 1999, the Yoruba bloc is known by its unique behavior that sees the bloc swing one way or the other during each presidential election. This means that the Yoruba bloc always decide the presidential election outcome in Nigeria.

In 2019 presidential election for instance, the Northern bloc presented about 11 million votes to the ruling APC while the Southern bloc presented about 10 million votes to the main opposition PDP. And on average, it would be strange if these figures change come 2023. Therefore, with such a difference that close, it simply means that the Yoruba bloc (about seven million votes) would remain the deciding factor for either the APC or the PDP to win the presidential election.

Ironically, the 2023 presidential election will be decided by the Yoruba bloc votes which will be shared, largely between a Yoruba Tinubu of APC and a Fulani Atiku of PDP. One does not need the knowledge of rocket science to predict the outcome of next year’s presidential election then. As for me, the assertion that ‘Atiku will make a great outing, but Tinubu will be the next President of Nigeria’, has some true underlying degree of belief.

 

Yobe State University, Damaturu.