PEPC: Atiku kicks as Economist Intelligence Unit predicts victory for Tinubu - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Sunday, July 30, 2023

PEPC: Atiku kicks as Economist Intelligence Unit predicts victory for Tinubu

The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, has rejected  a report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, EIU, predicting victory for President Bola Tinubu, at the Presidential Election Petition Court, PEPC, in its final judgment on the disputed February 25, 2023, Presidential election. 

The EIU, is a think tank founded  in 1946, it forecasts economic trends, political forces and industry developments in countries around the world.

It combines data, analysis and forecasting to guide informed decisions by businesses and policymakers.

In its latest report on the ongoing court case on the disputed Presidential Election, released over the weekend, the body said among other things, “Bola Tinubu, the candidate of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, won the February presidential election with only 36.6 per cent of the vote. 

“The result is being contested in court, but EIU does not expect it to be overturned. Mr. Tinubu prioritised winning the Muslim north, and calls for secession from the Christian-majority south will grow louder,” 

In response, however, Atiku in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, said the report “is an embarrassment to the think tank body.”

Ibe said, “What is also obvious in the report is that it is a merchant purchased by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to confuse the country in an uphill task to defend the sham election of February 25, which only retained the ruling party in office.

“Notwithstanding the preponderance of salient issues raised on the credibility of the so-called election by local and foreign observers, it is disappointing that the EIU would condescend to ballot laundering for the ruling party in the most populous Black country.

“While we wish to express our intention to apply cautious restraint in responding to the EIU on this disgraceful outing, let this be considered as a stern warning to the body to respect Nigeria’s democracy and the institution of our judiciary, and that next time, they should be more circumspect before they jump on any trade by barter jaundiced reports about Nigeria.”

He accused the ruling All Progressives Congress of “going cap in hand” begging for legitimacy at all impossible places. 

Ibe equally said, the ruling party needed to be reminded of a popular local proverb which states: “he who steals a drum from the palace carries the unenviable burden of where to beat it.”

He noted that, “A government that goes around to buy anything at sight to award legitimacy unto itself leaves much to the imagination of the people. 

“President Tinubu and his team of lawyers had all the opportunity at the court to present his case of legitimacy before the parties closed their cases at the election petition tribunal.

“ But rather than explore that opportunity, his lawyers were busy signing counter motions on subpoenas that seek to shed more light on his personal information.

“We therefore consider it a breach of due process anything that is being done outside the walls of the court that seeks to make short circuited testimony about the outcome of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.”

The EIU, had prior to the 2023 election, projected that Tinubu would win the presidential poll.

Also in its latest report, the think tank projects that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr. Peter Obi, would emerge a formidable force in 2027.

Recall that Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared Tinubu, as the winner of the presidential election in dispute. 

The APC candidate had defeated 17 other candidates who took part in the election. He scored a total of 8,794,726 votes to emerge victorious.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who announced the final results, said the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar came second with a total of 6,984,520 votes in the election.

Obi came third in the election with a total of 6,101,533 votes while Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria’s People Party (NNPP) came fourth with 1,496,687 votes.
Both Atiku and Obi are challenging Tinubu’s victory at the Presidential Election Petitions Court.

The report equally noted that Tinubu came to power in May after an election in February in which he won 37 per cent of the vote on a turnout of 27 per cent.

It went on to say, Tinubu has shrugged off low popularity to begin a campaign of market reform on a scale and intensity that is virtually unparalleled in Nigerian history.

The report read in part, “He has deregulated the foreign-exchange market and petrol pricing -reforms that will deliver a stronger economy in the medium to long run but that mean short-term pain for consumers. 

“The capacity to shield households from rising prices is limited owing to a tiny fiscal footprint. In a country already grappling with multiple security crises that are fuelled by high unemployment (a third of the workforce in 2020, the most recent official data) and widespread poverty, the potential for mass unrest is a major risk to both the smooth implementation of reforms and the ability of the government to survive its first term.

 Inflation when Mr. Tinubu came to power in May was 22.6 per cent and will rise sharply over 2023 and into 2024. As the president’s low level of political capital erodes, EIU expects his reform agenda to lose momentum.

“The APC won a majority in the upper house and the largest number of seats in the lower house. Nigerian politics is fluid, with party allegiances often more about political convenience than ideology.”

“ Frustration with the two-party system was made evident by support for Peter Obi of the fringe Labour Party in the presidential election. Backed by unions, he will undoubtedly build the party’s profile and become a more formidable force ahead of the next election, in 2027,” EIU report  added.

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