PDP will win all Northern States — Bwala
As campaign activities ahead of the February 25 presidential and National Assembly election hit the crescendo, Daniel Bwala the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) campaign spokesperson has boasted that his party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar will win all the states in the Northern part of Nigeria.
His claim is a reaction to polls and analysis that have projected Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), to win most of the states in the north.
As a guest on Channels Television’s “The 2023 Verdict” programme on Thursday, the former special adviser to the Deputy Senate President on Legal and Constitutional Matters at the National Assembly of Nigeria (NASS) rejected analytical propositions giving Tinubu and his political party a leading position in several polls conducted. He argued that only Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, had the potential to have a less significant impact on the chances of Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the PDP, of a resounding victory at the February 25 election.
“There is not a single state in the Northwest that is happy with the APC,” he said. “The reason being that they are traditionally farmers. Point at any state in the northwest where the people can go to their farms? As a matter of fact, it is not just about farming, which they can no longer do. It has even aggravated to the point that bandits in the northwest send messages to villages and ask them to send their wives to them and after two weeks they are going to take them back.”
Aside from the terrible state of insecurity and lawlessness in most states in the northwest, Bwala said that recent social unrest accompanying President Buhari’s visits to some northwest states was evidence enough that the APC isn’t welcomed anymore in the region.
“Have you not noticed that even as powerful as President Buhari is, he would appear in states in the Northwest, and the energy and reaction he gets is different?
“Let me predict that we will win the entire Northwest. If we lose, it would be one state, and even then, we still have ways to make it. Not a single state in the northern Nigeria PDP will miss. Out of the 19 states in northern Nigeria, if there is any party that would create a problem for the PDP, it is the Labour Party. It is not APC,” he boasted.
On Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso’s emergence and its effect on PDP performance, especially in the north, Bwala said, “That is where the problem is. People have given a one-sided analysis; they don’t look at the flip side. Peter Obi is a southerner, and if Obi is going to get votes in southern Nigeria, whose votes is that going to affect? The votes of Tinubu.”
On the permutations where the votes in the Southwest will likely swing, Bwala agreed that because of religious sentiment, most Christians in the Southwest will vote against Tinubu. He also argued that sentiments titling votes in the north in favour of Tinubu aren’t accurate because of his state of health. “Are we going to vote for a president who says something now and then forgets it?” he wondered. “Somebody will have to fill up the space. Are we going to have a president that will show up in a meeting now and we won’t see him after three weeks?”
“We have seen it before. Are we going to have a president who has drug-related cases that people have accused him of and he hasn’t been able to respond to?” he asked.
He asked again if Tinubu had the capacity to unite Nigeria, not showing any visible effort to bring Nigerians together. “This is what Tinubu said: ‘I never believe in Nigeria,'” he explained.
He also accused Tinubu of dividing the country along tribal and religious lines. On the economy, he expressed his fears of Tinubu trying to replicate Lagos in Nigeria, where family and friends would control federal resources. “In Lagos, Alpha Beta took over the state agency’s role in collecting revenue. His wife supplies diesel to the government,” he argued.
On all other factors to judge his capacity to govern, he argued that the Southsouth won’t abandon their brother because of Tinubu. “If you go to the southsouth, the vice presidential candidate of the PDP is from there; are they going to abandon their brother?”
He also added that the Southeast will equally pitch its tent with the PDP because Okowa, the vice presidential candidate, is from the region. “Convincingly, we are going to get the southeast,” he said.