By Sylvester Thompson
Mr Realwan Okpanachi, a legal practitioner and political analyst, says President Muhammadu Buhari will defeat Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential elections.
Okpanachi said Buhari will win his traditional strongholds, the North East and North West with a landslide because the people trusted and believed in his integrity, his greatest asset.
The lawyer said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Outlining reasons for his position, Okpanachi said that the president has recorded some laudable achievements in the last three years.
“The president has provided infrastructures in the North East and North West; has also met their desire in terms of security with the decimation of Boko Haram and cattle rustlers.
“He has been able to institutionalise agriculture across the country, particularly in the two zones, whose economy depends largely on agriculture,’’ he said.
The analyst said Buhari is well loved in these two zones because the common people display the pictures of leaders they love on their tricycles, bikes and buses.
“Pictures or photographs they largely display are those of Buhari and in some cases, that of Rabiu Kwankwaso and the late Gen. Sani Abacha.
“You hardly see pictures of Atiku, and by their conduct the late Abacha is even more popular than Atiku in these two zones,’’ he said.
He opined that as far as these two zones are concerned, Atiku is only sure of winning Taraba, and that he is not even sure of winning his home state, Adamawa.
Analysing further, Okpanachi said in 2019, Buhari will win the south west because his party, the APC, is in total control of the zone.
He stressed that the president’s performance in the south west which in term of infrastructure include; the Lagos-Ibadan rail line, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Oworoshoki-Apapa road.
He pointed out that president Buhari has “been able to resolve the perennial problem of pipeline vandals in Ilepo-Ikorodu within Ogun-Lagos.
According to the analyst, more importantly there is a realistic hope that someone from that zone will succeed Buhari in 2023.
“It is pertinent to state that the PDP is not on ground in the south west and they cannot depend on an association like Afenifere to win elections.
“Obasanjo is no longer in power and his relevance and power is very limited,’’ Okpanachi said.
He maintained that Lagos, with the highest number of registered voters in Nigeria is largely a free zone for the APC as “PDP is dead in the state.’’
Regarding the north central zone, the analyst said it used to be the PDP stronghold until it was conquered by the APC in 2015.
Okpanachi said the president will emerge victorious in Niger, Nasarawa, and may win Kogi, while Atiku will win Benue, Kwara and may likely win Plateau state.
He said the south south and south east zones are traditionally PDP zones, yet the APC has made some serious incursion into these zones.
He said such states include; Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Imo, Enugu as well as Rivers.
“Besides, the president has provided important infrastructure in these zones which include, but not limited to Enugu-Aba road, Enugu-Aba-Porthacourt road.
“Others are: East-West road, 2nd Niger bridge and coastal rail line. Even the Ogoni land is being cleaned up by president Buhari.’’ he said.