Nigeria's presidential election could be a cliffhanger

As unpredictable as the weather, could be another metaphor that describes the upcoming Nigeria presidential election on 16 February in which the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari will stand against Atiku Abubakar, a former-vice president and candidate of the opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP). As at the time of going to press, the campaign and push towards election has shown an indication of a race that will be too tough or close to call.

According to Verisk Maplecroft a sister company to Wood Mackenzie's predicts that Buhari, whose presidency has been lacklustre has only a little above 45% chance of success, so the election result could be very close. The election could be a cliffhanger, as expressed by Verisk Maplecroft.

While the “Buharians” are stuck with a promise to eradicate or minimize corruption in Nigeria, ensure sanity and security as preached by the President Buhari, the “Atikulated “ masses look forward to a more friendly and progressive business environment if Atiku wins.

Political analysts and social observers are keen to project whether a Buhari win will maintain the status quo, or biff up security and ensure the coming of a new economic –corrupt free kingdom. The opponent of Buhari articulates that a Buhari win would mean business as usual and could set Nigeria way back.

The implications that Atiku triumph will generate massive change in the Ministry of Petroleum, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Central Bank of Nigeria have not gone well with many and many still sense such statements as ”political statements as usual that may not hold water”.  However, such statements have continued to send cold jitters in the oil and gas industry.  There are severe implications for the upstream industry should Abubakar Atiku triumph. Atiku supporters have gladly continued to look forward to a more robust and progressive business environment and his opponents stamp that per chance if Atiku comes into power it will amount to a glorification of a culture of immense corruption.

Whether Buhari or Atiku wins, they issue for a changed Nigeria may not totally be in the hands of the duo based on experience. The problem with Nigeria is not about security or corruption . Neither is unavailability of business friendly environment. Nigeria is still in search of a leadership with will and purpose and that is the future which Nigerians should seek for.

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