President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will struggle with accepting defeat, according to an analysis of the Saturday presidential poll by the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London
The analysis, however said “how they (Buhari and Atiku) express their disappointment is the key issue.”
An Associate Fellow of the Africa Programme of the institute, Dr. Lena Koni Hoffman, also said the open popularity contests on the campaign trail through a succession of open-air rallies by Buhari and Atiku “are fundamentally uninspiring.”
She said, “The upside of the 2019 elections is that it has shown that Nigerians are tired of the two main parties that have dominated the last 20 years since the country returned to democracy and have an appetite for more capable candidates emerging through more credible and transparent processes.
“This means that 2019 may be significant not because of who wins but because it’s the threshold for politics-as-usual and the beginning of a transition to a different kind of politics and crop of candidates in 2023.”
Dr Hoffman added that “Lost in the intensity of this focus on the top ticket is the down ballot vote for the 360 members of the House of Representatives and the 109 members of the Senate.”
She said members of the National Assembly “are arguably the most crucial actors after the elections because of their role in addressing constitutional and legislative issues…”