•Says current geopolitical permutations favour ex-VP
*Insists north won’t vote for ‘fake Muslim’ as president
*Says reliance on bribing electorate will fail
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Ahead of the February 25 presidential election, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) has said that the North would not vote a “fake Muslim” in the name of a pretentious and mischievous Muslim-Muslim ticket.
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, a southern Muslim, chose former Governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima, a northern Muslim, as his running mate in the forthcoming election.
The decision of the ruling party to float a Muslim-Muslim ticket generated uproar in the country, while some Christian leaders within the party had to quit.
But the Director of Strategic Communications, PDP PCC, Dele Momodu, in a statement issued Monday said the Muslim-Muslim ticket “scam” was dead on arrival.
He said he had read with bemusement many of the polls about the forthcoming presidential election and had come to the conclusion that the elitist polls had failed monumentally due to the over-reliance on technology in a largely illiterate population.
Momodu said he decided to help situate the forecasts based on the established political history of Nigeria and empirical data.
The PDP chieftain explained that the Presidential candidate cannot depend totally on votes from outside his home base to win the forthcoming election.
He said it was a fact of history that whenever the South produced two strong candidates, the dominant Northern candidate won, such as in 1979 and 1983, when both Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe from the South contested alongside Shehu Shagari.
Momodu explained that Tinubu was far weaker today in the South-West and Awolowo was by far more formidable.
He described the presidential candidate of Labour Party, Peter Obi as the new Azikiwe –the first Governor General and President of Nigeria in the South East, and the presidential candidate of New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso as the current Aminu Kano.
Momodu pointed out that the the presidential candidate of PDP, Atiku Abubakar would dominate the North-East, North-West, North-Central and South-South, while Tinubu might pick a few states in the North and South-West but won’t have enough to win.
He noted that the bridges required to cross to victory has taken Atiku 30 years to build, while Tinubu has not been able to lock down the entire South-West not to talk of the whole of Nigeria.
Momodu noted: “Over-reliance on bribing the electorates will fail. Hoping to rig brazenly will also fail spectacularly. I repeat, the entire North and the South South will make Atiku the next President. Atiku will still be competitive in the South East and South West.
“Wherever Obi is number one in the East, Atiku will be number two. Wherever Tinubu is number one in the South West, Atiku will be number two or vice versa.”
Momodu posited that Atiku would be the first to cross the line of recording 25 percent in 24 states and would also get 25 percent automatically in the 19 states of Northern Regions and would pick six in South-South automatically.
He added that Atiku would also get 25 percent in all of the five states in the South-East – a traditional base of PDP, and would get same in the South West.
The PDP chieftain said wherever Obi is number one, Atiku would be number two or vice versa.
Momodu noted: “I do not know of any state PDP will not record 25 percent and eventually win the overall popular votes. Nigeria has become so polarizingly divided (pardon my tautology) that the “peoples” are going to vote majorly along ethnic lines as well as primordial sentiments.
“The North will not vote a “fake Muslim” in the name of a pretentious and mischievous Muslim/Muslim ticket. The scam is dead on arrival.”
Momodu emphasised that the North-East would never vote for a number two position when they’ve been chasing the number one since 1966.
According to him, “The North-West will not abandon an Atiku for a Tinubu who’s well known for his iron grip on Lagos State since 1999. The South-West itself knows it has the most controversial and palpably weakest candidate in this race this time and would humbly and readily accept its fate with equanimity.
Momodu stressed that it would also dawn on the South-East that Obi’s raving popularity alone cannot carry him across the winning line, adding that many of their traditional voters would willingly settle for Atiku and Ifeanyi Okowa.
He said he predicted that Atiku would be the next President of Nigeria, saying he’s the most prepared, experienced candidate in the race who’s ready to hit the ground running from day one.