UK’s Intelligence Unit predicts victory for PDP in 2023


President Muhammadu Buhari’s incompetence in combating the plethora of security challenges, worsening economic deprivation, among others, will in 2023 give the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a winning edge over the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) of London suggested.

“Frustration with high prices, declining living standards and perpetual instability will be directed at the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, giving the PDP a winning edge,” EIU said in its recent analysis that examined prevailing conditions in Nigeria.

EIU believes that as the next president is expected to come from the southern region, there would be an improvement over the low turnout that characterised the 2019 election results in the south, considered a stronghold of the opposition.

Before his assumption of office, as a candidate of the APC in 2015, Mr Buhari made over 30 campaign promises, some of which are: sustaining the anti-insurgency war and curb insecurity, rebuilding the economy, to fight corruption as well as include persons of integrity in the cabinet.

But the president has been under immense pressure for his failure to fulfill these promises, as security challenges ranging from banditry, kidnapping, farmers-herdsmen crisis worsen under his watch.

Several economic and human development indices, including from the World Bank, confirmed that Nigeria under Mr Buhari has been witnessing acute joblessness and poverty at a level never before seen.

EIU in its report released on July 21 stated that even as the president remains in office until 2023, “the security situation in many parts of Nigeria is in a state of continuous deterioration.”

It predicted that despite pressures mounted on the president, “myriad security threats will prove unmanageable, with the military and police overstretched and unable to tackle simultaneous security crises.”

The Economist projected that there would be unceasing conflict in the northeast region between the military and two Islamist terrorist groups, Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa Province.

Nonetheless, the report said that the Buhari regime will “be able to assert control over ‘core’ regions, such as Abuja, and other areas of economic or political importance, at the expense of ‘periphery’ regions that have been mired in conflict for many years.

“This system is resilient enough to keep the government in power, but will leave many parts of Nigeria highly dysfunctional,” it said, stating that myriad Security challenges will prevail in many areas, citing the unrest in the southeast.

The Economist stated that banditry and violent crime will remain pervasive due to recession in 2020, poverty and the rising unemployment rate which stands at 33.3 per cent, one of the highest in the world.

The rate of unemployment hit 33.3 percent as of the last quarter of 2020. A new report by the World Bank also indicated that the unemployment rate in Nigeria has risen more than ever in the history of the country under the Buhari-led administration.

EIU also predicted fresh stemming from the regime’s suspension of Twitter operations across the country in June, a decision many have termed a flagrant disregard for citizens’ freedom of speech.

Meanwhile, a recent report by BudgIT, a civic-tech non-profit revealed Mr Buhari’s unaudited humongous military spendings in unsuccessful campaign against Boko Haram and bandits since he assumed office in 2015.

BudgIT called for the president’s probe as its analysis exposed “over 316 capital projects of N39.5bn, among other loopholes for corruption.”

It disclosed that N1.9 trillion was allocated for the security sector in the 2021 budget, a 14 per cent increase from N1.78 trillion allocated in 2020.