Buhari or Atiku victory risky for Nigeria, group warns

A United States political risk consultancy corporation, Eurasia Group, says a victory for either President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress or Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples’ Democratic Party poses risks for Nigeria.

In a report by the group seen by National Daily, victory for either of the two might not best serve the country as they both have limitations that might prove troublesome in the future.

The report stated that incumbent President Buhari, 76 lack the energy to solve Nigeria’s while his main opponent, Atiku is likely to enrich himself and his associates if elected.

The report concluded, “A Buhari reelection also carries tail risks. A politically weak president, for health or other reasons, would open the floodgates for political infighting, increasing the chances that his ruling All Progressives Congress implodes.

“That would turn a policy slowdown into paralysis. The risk of attacks on oil infrastructure would also rise, because the absence of strong leadership in Abuja would make it harder to negotiate with the Niger Delta’s various militant groups.”

Eurasia also poured cold water on the possible victory of Atiku, a former vice president, noting that his policy priorities are unclear and untested even though he’s credited with keener intellect than Buhari.

The group noted that his victory would create a brief, superficial boost to the country’s image, even at the risk of Nigeria returning to “an even more rent-seeking governing style”.

“He’s also unlikely to champion a tax reform that’s critical to Nigeria’s fiscal sustainability. Atiku would face significant infighting within his People’s Democratic Party as well, as leaders try to hold him to his promise to serve only one term (a pledge he’s likely to retract).”

Eurasia also expressed worry over a possible crisis that’ll trail the results of the election which it noted will be close and might be challenged or inconclusive.

The report read, “Then there’s a dangerous wildcard outcome. The election will be close, and a challenged or inconclusive result is possible.

“That, in turn, could trigger a political crisis in which neither candidate has a legitimate claim to power.

Even though the February 16, 2019 election is expected to be keenly-contested between Atiku and Buhari, they face competition from other candidates including Kingsley Moghalu of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), Obiageli Ezekwesili of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Fela Durotoye of the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), and Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC).

Others are Tope Fasua of the Abundance Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Eunice Atuejide of the National Interest Party (NIP), Adesina Fagbenro-Byron of the Kowa Party (KP), Chike Ukaegbu of the Advanced Allied Party (AAP), Hamza Al-Mustapha of the People’s Party of Nigeria (PPN), Obadiah Mailafia of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), and many more.

79 candidates will contest in the election, the highest number ever in Nigeria’s electoral history.

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