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Court Won’t Overturn President’s Victory, Economist Intelligence Unit Predicts

Says Obi will emerge formidable force in 2027

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The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) has predicted that the victory of President Bola Tinubu in the February 25 presidential election will not be overturned by the court.

EIU, which had projected that Tinubu would win the presidential poll, also predicted in its latest report that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi would emerge a formidable force in 2027.The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the last presidential election.

Tinubu defeated 17 other candidates who took part in the election. He scored a total of 8,794,726 votes to emerge victorious.INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who announced the final results, said the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar came second with a total of 6,984,520 votes in the election.

Obi came third in the election with a total of 6,101,533 votes while Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria’s People Party (NNPP) came fourth with 1,496,687 votes.Both Atiku and Obi are challenging Tinubu’s victory at the Presidential Election Petitions Court.

EIU had predicted before the 2023 general election that Tinubu would win the presidential poll. In its latest report released at the weekend, EIU noted that the presidential candidate of the LP, Obi would emerge a formidable force in 2027, pointing out that the court would not overturn Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential poll.

“Bola Tinubu, the candidate of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, won the February presidential election with only 36.6 per cent of the vote. The result is being contested in court, but EIU does not expect it to be overturned. Mr. Tinubu prioritised winning the Muslim north, and calls for secession from the Christian-majority south will grow louder,” EIU said in its latest report.

The report noted that Tinubu came to power in May after an election in February in which he won 37 per cent of the vote on a turnout of 27 per cent. According to EIU, Tinubu took over from Muhammadu Buhari, his predecessor from the same party, the APC. The report added that Tinubu has shrugged off low popularity to begin a campaign of market reform on a scale and intensity that is virtually unparalleled in Nigerian history.

“He has deregulated the foreign-exchange market and petrol pricing -reforms that will deliver a stronger economy in the medium to long run but that mean short-term pain for consumers. The capacity to shield households from rising prices is limited owing to a tiny fiscal footprint. In a country already grappling with multiple security crises that are fuelled by high unemployment (a third of the workforce in 2020, the most recent official data) and widespread poverty, the potential for mass unrest is a major risk to both the smooth implementation of reforms and the ability of the government to survive its first term. Inflation when Mr. Tinubu came to power in May was 22.6 per cent and will rise sharply over 2023 and into 2024. As the president’s low level of political capital erodes, EIU expects his reform agenda to lose momentum,” the report explained.

“The APC won a majority in the upper house and the largest number of seats in the lower house. Nigerian politics is fluid, with party allegiances often more about political convenience than ideology. Frustration with the two-party system was made evident by support for Peter Obi of the fringe Labour Party in the presidential election. Backed by unions, he will undoubtedly build the party’s profile and become a more formidable force ahead of the next election, in 2027,” EIU added.

Founded in 1946, EIU forecasts economic trends, political forces and industry developments in countries of the world.They combine data, analysis and forecasting to guide informed decisions by businesses and policymakers.

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