It is perhaps a little too early to predict exactly what will happen in 2019 at the presidential election, but many indications as explained below point to an uncertain future for President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid.
State Of The Economy
No doubt the poor state of Nigerian economy has impacted heavily on the lives of more Nigerians. Numbers from the Bureau of Statistics have revealed that millions of Nigerians have lost their jobs since Buhari’s emergence as President, further worsening hardship across the country. Not to mention a recent UN report that says Nigeria has the highest number of poor people in the world. Well, this is simply not theory, it’s evident in the streets and in homes all over the country. This major factor will most certainly impact on the polls in 2019.
Dashed Hope For Many
Buhari was elected with so much hope for a better Nigeria. When I say better, I mean better in terms of better police and government institutions, better road networks, better electricity and infrastructure, better resource distribution and so on. While the President and his party tried so hard to douse the high hopes and keep the blame game on PDP on, the truth is, these tactics only last for a while before people realize they are still hungry, unemployed, mistreated by police,unable to afford healthcare etc. All the hopes that were replaced with hopelessness are likely to spur action in the 2019 election.
Many young people thought Buhari was the only living saint among his generation of politicians. Nigerians thought they had one chance to get things right be electing Buhari. He seemed to be the only who could rescue Nigeria, he has this messianic aura which caught with many Nigerians in the face of what was seen as endemic corruption in the country, however, President Buhari seems to have done little or nothing to turn the wake of corruption around. Budget padding, abuse of office allegations by cronies, disregard to rule of law, the APC party embracing and shielding politicians under corruption investigations, Minister Kemi Adeosun’s scandal, just to mention very few, may also haunt Buhari’s government eventually as his zero tolerance on corruption seems to be a facade after all.
While many have come to accept that the war against Boko Haram may never be an easy task to accomplish so soon regardless of promises, the issue of the Fulani herdsmen and clashes with farmers and natives seems to present a new form of security challenge around the country especially in the North Central states.
It might be a little unfair to say this problem started with Buhari’s government, but the fact that the President himself has openly sympathized or boldly risen in defence of the situation rather than condemnation and quick action, has given Buhari’s government very bad reputation and might turn out to be a deal breaker for many in those parts of the country ahead of the 2019 elections.
Generally speaking, the security situation throughout the country seems not to have improved either, or has the conduct and response and responsibility of the security agencies improved.
While the odds seems to still favor President Buhari at this time because of power of incumbency, opposition parties unable or yet to unite like it happened in 2015, in addition to the rigged election system characterized by vote buying aided by police in collusion with the ruling party at the polling units (as seen from the just concluded Ekiti gubernatorial election), President Buhari, just like his predecessor, may still lose the 2019 Presidential election, after all, the decision is that of the majority of Nigerians.
2019 is by no means a foregone conclusion and may offer yet another surprise for President Muhammadu Buhari.