A Washington-based influential think-tank in the United States of America (USA), the Brookings Institution, has said the odds in the February 14 presidential election favour President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The institution, regarded as the most influential, most quoted and most trusted think-tank in the US said in an article published under the Africa Growth Initiative said that Jonathan’s PDP is more likely to win the February election.
The paper, which dwells on several aspects of the Nigerian election in the article titled: “The 2015 Presidential Elections in Nigeria: The Issues and Challenges,” said “though the election is expected to be very competitive, the odds still favor President Jonathan.”
The report gives the PDP victory in 24 states and predicts victory for the APC in 12.
It identified the strongholds of the two contending parties.
While it gave the APC victory in the North-west and North-east as well as Niger State, it gave PDP victory in all the southern states except Osun.
It also gave the PDP victory in the North-central states except Niger as well as North-eastern states of Taraba and Adamawa and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
While further highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the two main political parties, the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC), the institute said the APC would be unable to unseat the PDP in the February election.
The paper said: “After suffering a wave of defections to the APC last year, including five of its governors, the PDP seems to have rebounded strongly. In the battleground South-east, for instance the party won recent governorship elections in Ekiti State and got the governor of Ondo State to defect from the Labour Party to the PDP.
“The party is especially strong in the South-south where Jonathan comes from, the South-east and among Christians in the North. Again, while the PDP remains weak in the Muslim North, it has gained new influential members who decamped from the APC including the former governors of Kano and Borno States. And, of course, the PDP has power of incumbency.
“APC gets much of its strength from tapping into Jonathan sentiments in the Muslim-dominated North and grievances among the Yoruba who feel that the Jonathan administration has ignored them in key political appointments. Allegations of corruption against top officials will be powerful ammunition in the hands of APC, especially with the choice of Buhari, widely seen as not corrupt, as the party’s presidential candidate.
“The party is, however, a fragile one that seems united only in its quest to wrest the presidency from Jonathan or to have power “returned” to the North. Though the election is expected to be very competitive, the odds still favor President Jonathan.”
The paper said one of the challenges that could arise is if the election becomes stalemated, adding however that the country needed to develop robust and effective strategies for dealing with crises.