The president-elect, Bola Tinubu emerged through a highly contested presidential election and he is expected to be sworn in as the 16th president of Nigeria.
The former Lagos State governor emerged despite several polls by different organizations that wrote him off. Also, the naira redesigning policy almost torpedoed his presidential ambition at the last minute but barring any court pronouncement, he will be sworn in as president on 29 May.
In this piece, It will review the five major factors that paved the way for him to emerge against all odds.
A divided opposition
Tinubu went into the election against a fragmented opposition. In 2019, Abubakar Atiku, Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso all worked together in PDP but they were defeated by the force of Muhammadu Buhari.
Despite the defeat, PDP maintained its stronghold in the Southeast and Southsouth and also put out good showings in Southwest and Northcentral.
On Saturday, the APC instead faced Obi in Labour Party, Kwankwaso in NNPP and Atiku in PDP. In addition, some members of the G5 governors were believed to have worked for the ruling party.
At the close of the poll, Kwankwaso maintained its hold on Kano, Obi held on to Southeast and Southsouth while Atiku had a good outing in the North, however, their individual performances were not sufficient to defeat the ruling party.
Northcentral came to rescue
Several opinion polls before the election ceded Northcentral to the candidate of the Labour Party but the ruling party pulled a surprise in the region by winning four states, including Benue State.
The party won Kwara, Kogi, Niger, and Benue States. It would be recalled that no one has won the presidential election without winning the Northcentral.
Second position is good
One other factor that helped the ruling party was the ability to secure the second position in a worst-case scenario.
For instance, in Kano State, the NNPP won the state with a wide margin, however, the margin between Tinubu and Atiku was over 380,000 votes. Considering that Atiku was the main contender to Tinubu in the Northwest, the second position was good enough.
In a four-horse race, winning your stronghold is important but how you perform in your opponent’s territory matters.
In the Northwest, Tinubu lost Katsina, Sokoto and Kebbi States by slim margins to Atiku.
In Plateau, Akwa-Ibom, Nasarawa—he was also able to maintain second position.
The victory of Tinubu in Benue State could be credited to the influence of Father Hyacinth Alia, the APC governorship candidate in Benue State.
In Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko ensured that the Director General of the Atiku Campaign, Governor Aminu Tambuwal was unable to deliver Sokoto to Atiku with a wide margin.
In Katsina, President Muhammadu Buhari had to show his ballot to voters to give them a signal on how to vote.
The presence of Godswill Akpabio in Akwa-Ibom helped to get the second position while Governor Nyesom Wike pulled what could have been considered impossible—for the first time, APC won in Rivers State.
Poor performance of Atiku in the South
Some supporters of the former Vice President had in the course of the campaign bragged about the 11 million votes. However, what they failed to consider was that bulk of it came from the south.
Unlike the 2019 election, Atiku performed poorly in the South and Northcentral.
He failed to win a single state in Northcentral and won only three states out of the 17 states in the south—Osun, Akwa- and Bayelsa.
Even his running mate, Ifeanyi Okowa failed to win his state, Delta State.
All these factors gave Tinubu a win at the polls.