DaMina Advisors Special NIGERIA’s Elections Forecast & Analysis Report I: Retired General Muhammadu Buhari poised to narrowly unseat incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan

 On Saint Valentine’s Day
February 14 2015 Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and largest economy is
poised to likely witness a major revolution in its two-decade democratic
politics. According to DaMina Advisors’s proprietary ‘VERITAS Frontier Markets
Electoral Forecast Statistical Model,’ (reproduced in full below) the
opposition candidate Retired General Muhammadu Buhari will narrowly unseat
incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in an unprecedented electoral upset.
Nigeria, since 1999 predominantly a one party state, is poised for change.

Buhari’s victory will likely see him snatching the
commercial capital, Lagos, away from the opposition as well as racking up
double digit gains in the Muslim north and single digit gains in the south
western ethnic Yoruba states. Jonathan is set to maintain his very high margins
in the oil producing Niger Delta south-south region, his home region, as well
as strong margins in the eastern pan-ethnic Igbo states. Jonathan will likely
also hang on to some religiously mixed middle-belt northern states adjoining
the capital, Abuja. However abandoned by his political godfather, influential
former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and beset by an active Boko Haram
insurgency in the north eastern parts of the country that has sapped his middle
class and female support even in many southern Christian states, Jonathan is
poised to likely receive a cold Valentine’s Day gift of ejection from the
presidential palace at Aso Rock in Abuja. Jonathan’s defeat, if it happens,
will be unprecedented in Nigeria’s political history.
A Buhari win on the 14th followed by a strong showing by the opposition All
Progressives Congress (APC) party at the 28
th February governorship races will see Nigeria edge closer and closer to
a more normal bifurcated two-party system with the APC on the center-left and
the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on the center-right. While the
complex and tortured histories of both parties is too long to recount here,
essentially while the APC looks to the build a strong decentralized managed
capitalist social democratic state, with a slight leftward Pan-African tilt
towards China-Russia; the PDP looks to continue its generally centralized,
pro-Western neoliberal free market capitalist democratic state, with a more
insular Pan Nigerian nationalist neo colonial tilt.
In terms of policy changes, the
shift will not be that dramatic. However Buhari will likely launch several
corruption probes, target local oligarchs in a Putinesque way, push for a more
interventionist central bank, prosecute an intense anti-Boko Haram counter
insurgency strategy and tilt Nigeria’s foreign policy towards Russia and China,
if new entreaties to the US and UK for arms are rejected. If Jonathan
surprisingly retains his presidential seat he is likely to do a major cabinet
reshuffle and seek to co-opt the opposition. Either way, Nigeria is on course
to finally enter the league of mature African democracies.

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