An indication has emerged on how the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), plans to prosecute and win the 2023 general elections.
A competent source knowledgeable with the workings of the Strategy and Planning Committee of the party’s presidential candidate, said it is banking on demography or the voting patterns of the 2015 and 2019 elections, which it won as the opposition and ruling party, respectively.
It would be recalled that the then Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) as the party’s standard bearer , defeated then President Goodluck Jonathan of the then ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) with 15,191, 978 votes while the latter scored 11, 262, 978 votes. Four years later, APC consolidated its hold on power when it repeated the feat when Buhari polled 15,191,847 against Atiku Abubakar who scored 11,262,978.
According INEC’s Smart Card Reader Accreditation Backend Transmission System for the 2015 Presidential and National Assembly Elections’ document which Sunday Telegraph sighted, “9 Northern States and 1 Southern state had the highest number of citizens, who were allowed to vote by INEC without full biometric accreditation during the presidential election.
Kano State was the highest beneficiary of the policy with 83 per cent while Bayelsa State had 77 per cent. In Kano State, APC polled 1, 464, 768 as against PDP’s 391, 593 votes. In 2019, a total of 84,004, 084 Nigerians registered as voters while 72, 775, 502 collected PVC’s as at 11 February, 2019 out of which Buhari scored 56 per cent of the votes to win the presidential election.
Also, the North west had the highest number of those who registered with 20, 158, 100 or 24 per cent , the South West had 16, 292, 212 or 19.39 per cent , followed by North Central with 13, 366,070 or 15.91 per cent; South South had 12, 841279 or 15.29 per cent, North East had 11, 289, 293 or13.44 per cent and South East had 10, 057, 130 or 11.97 per cent. Of these, 44, 405 439 were males and 39, 598, 645 females.
Talking about demography (age group), 51.11per cent were youths, whose ages ranged between 18 and 35 years. Those between the middle ages of 36 – 50 were 29, 97 per cent, the elderly from 51 – 70 years were 15. 22 per cent and 3.69 per cent were 70+.
“It is based on these figures that the APC wants to prosecute the 2023 general elections, especially the presidential,” our source who did not want to be named volunteered because he is not allowed to talk to the press.
When reminded that the dynamics have changed especially with the Peter Obi phenomenon and that most of the people who were either with the APC or PDP in 2015 have since changed dumped the party for PDP or have joined other political parties, another source said: “The margin of difference will be minimal as APC still has the magic wand as the odds are in our favour.”
Also, our source was stated that INEC would no longer allow the use of incident forms, instead a Bimodal Identification Verification System (BIVAS), will be in use, insisting that it will be minimal margin and will not be different from the previous elections.
“The North Central bloc is still intact, while the North East, especially Adamawa, will be split between the APC and the PDP. In the South East, Imo and Ebonyi are there for picks as the PDP traditional home of the opposition will be split. Anambra, Enugu and Abia are not too sure for PDP following the defection of some chieftains whose names I do not want to mention.
“If you come to the South South, it is only Delta and Akwa Ibom that will go for PDP. Cross River is there for the taking while Rivers too is slipping out of the hands of the PDP due to its internal crisis following the aftermath of the presidential Convention and choice of the running mate.
“Going to the North East, you have Borno Yobe, Bauchi, which are the strong holds of the APC. By the time we take a chunk of the votes in Adamawa, APC may not make a clean sweep of Taraba and Adamawa, but we will surely get 25 per cent of the votes there.
“Now coming to the South West, with the exception of Oyo which may not deliver 100 per cent, others are there for picking as our candidate has the track record of wresting those states from the hands of the ruling party in the past. This was also demonstrated recently with the Ekiti State governorship election.”
In the meantime, the same faith ticket strategy which the APC adopted in order to win the bloc votes in Borno and other parts of the North, has not only attracted opprobrium from the Christian faithful, it also suffered a setback, as the party had to shift the unveiling of Senator Kashim Shettima as Bola Tinubu’s running mate.
The party had fixed Thursday, July 14 for the event, but had to hurriedly put it off indefinitely due to the general uproar which it had generated. Former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal, who also chaired the Strategy and Planning Committee of the APC, was the first to oppose Shetima’s nomination. He told a national television station in an interview: “Tinubu is in trouble, it’s clear to everyone outside the party.”