APC lauds US Institute’s prediction of Buhari’s 2019 victory

Buhari and Atiku

 
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) says the prediction of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, will win the 2019 election, is credible and authentic. Patrick Andrew recalls how the APC and its members celebrated
 
The BMO praised the Institute for stating that President Buhari stands even a better chance than he had in 2015 to beat the Peoples Democratic Party flag bearer, Alhaji Atiku Abbubakar in the forthcoming presidential election.
 
The USIP said though many Nigerians feel that the current administration has not met their expectations, this is not likely to cost the All Progressives Congress (APC) government its hold on power.
“Many Nigerians feel their hopes have not been met. Some respondents suggest the electorate is sufficiently disappointed that voter apathy will be greater in 2019 than in 2015, with the unifying narrative of change that helped elect the APC in 2015 much less compelling as a factor in mobilising the electorate, and perceptions that another defeat of the presidential incumbent is less likely to happen in 2019,” the report read.
Comparing the 2015 elections to the forthcoming one, the report said there is a greater chance of the occurrence of election violence, listing Adamawa, Anambra, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Plateau, Rivers as the eight of 36 states with greater risks of election violence.
While it stated that it is up to the combined efforts of political parties, security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to curb violence in the election, it said the greater work lies with the electoral body.
“Important shifts in Nigeria’s political and security context have occurred since the 2015 elections, presenting both evolving, and new, risks to the 2019 elections,” it read.
“Of all the state’s institutions, most respondents felt that peaceful elections in 2019 are contingent on the performance of Nigeria’s INEC.
“Given the relative success of the 2015 elections, they felt that INEC ought to be able to deliver credible elections again in 2019. They feared, however, that any regression from the level of performance achieved in 2015 could lead to violence because some would view the failings not as a result of incompetence but as deliberate attempts to frustrate the will of the voters.
“INEC should at least match the standards it set in 2015, and any regression could set the stage for violence.
“Yet, while the potential for election violence exists, there are signs of hope. Some states have developed successful election conflict-mitigation practices. In the short amount of time remaining, INEC and the police should undertake a number of key reforms,” it said.
“The United States, along with other international supporters of the electoral process, should also intensify their efforts to reinforce the work of these key Nigerian institutions.
“Beyond institutional support, rather than apply a conventional approach to electoral violence mitigation, donor programming should adapt to Nigeria’s current context, political shifts, and opportunities, and be sufficiently flexible to respond to the risks distinct in each of Nigeria’s states”.
No, you goofed, we never said so- Institute
Perhaps, embarrassed by the public condemnation of its claimed prediction that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate will defeat the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) says it did not remotely made such predictions.  Patrick Andrew recaptures the institute’s statement.
The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has denied widespread reports of predicting a victory for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential election. 
A few Nigerian newspapers had reported as much because of a part of the report that read: “Many Nigerians feel their hopes have not been met. Some respondents suggest the electorate is sufficiently disappointed that voter apathy will be greater in 2019 than it was in 2015, with the unifying narrative of change that helped elect the APC in 2015 much less compelling as a factor in mobilising the electorate, and perceptions that another defeat of the presidential incumbent is less likely to happen in 2019.”
However, in a clarification issued very late on Tuesday night, USIP said it made no prediction at all about the outcome of the presidential election, but only presented the thoughts of the Nigerians it interviewed.
“A few Nigerian newspapers reported erroneously this week that the U.S. Institute of Peace has made a prediction about the possible outcome of Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election,” it said in the statement.
“USIP never makes predictions about election outcomes and has not done so in this case. The Institute’s work on elections is confined to helping nations avoid electoral violence.
“The erroneous news accounts misrepresent USIP’s recent 20-page report on the risks to a peaceful 2019 election in Nigeria.
“This study is based on interviews across the country with more than 200 Nigerian respondents—election administrators, political party representatives, security officials, civil society and youth groups, the media, traditional and religious leaders, prominent community figures, business people, academics and others.
“The USIP report noted that, in the interviews, “some respondents” discussed their own views of Nigerian public perceptions about an election outcome. A Nigerian news account mis-reported this passage as a USIP prediction of the outcome, and other Nigerian news organizations repeated the error. As USIP is a strictly nonpartisan institution, its work on elections focuses entirely on preventing violence.”

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