The Economist has reported that President Muhammadu Buhari will win the 2019 presidential election. It also predicted that the opposition coalition may collapse before the general election.
According to The Economist in its latest edition, “The World in 2019”, there is little hope that Islamist insurgency in the Northeast will end.
In a country appraisal for Nigeria under “The world in numbers”, the magazine said: “The president, Muhammadu Buhari, will win re-election in February, as a new opposition coalition may collapse before the vote.
“Given the outlook for continuing political weakness, there is little prospect of progress in the fight against the Islamist insurgency in the north, nationalism in the oil-producing Delta and secessionism in the Biafra region.
“Market-based reforms will languish, holding back growth yet again.”
The magazine’s other predictions for Nigeria are: GDP growth (1.9%); GDP per head-$2, 410(PPP: $6,020); inflation (13.6%); Budget balance (5GDP) is -2.0 and population (201.0m).
In a separate report, the Foreign Correspondent of The Economist, Aman Rizvi, distanced himself from the official position of his magazine.
He said the election will be close, with the PDP having a slight edge.
Rizvi said: “Mr. Buhari’s approval ratings have languished below 50 % for most of 2018. Ominously, he has been hit by a wave of defections to the PDP.
“Desertions to the APC four years ago, by many of the same people, felled ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Mr. Buhari’s electoral opponent in 2019, Atiku Abubakar, is one such double-turncoat. He is also a septuagenarian, billionaire businessman, former vice president and three-time presidential aspirant.
“With Mr. Abubakar distrusted for his wealth and opportunism, the election will be close. Its outcome will hinge on who arouses less apathy.
“So, who will win? Many Nigerians do not care. The back-and-forth floor-crossing has convinced them that the same people will be in charge either way. The PDP holds a slight edge, if only because expectations for Mr. Buhari were higher and his failure to meet them was more recent.”