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BREAKING: Tribunal will not Sack Tinubu – Economist Predicts, Gives Obi’s 2027 Prospect

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a British research firm and an appendage of the Economist Newspaper, has predicted that the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal will not sack President Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the EIU also predicted that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Mr Peter Obi, would emerge as a strong force in 2027.

The EIU said in its latest report that Tinubu won the February 25 presidential election with only 36.6 per cent of the vote but that the result is unlikely to be overturned by the court.

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,” EIU said in its latest report.

The report said that 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 EIU added that Tinubu 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.

It further said the capacity to shield households from rising prices is limited owing to a tiny fiscal footprint.

The EIU said that in a country already grappling with multiple security crises fuelled by high unemployment 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.

The report said that inflation, when Tinubu came to power in May was 22.6 per cent and will rise sharply over 2023 and into 2024.

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 report explained.

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 added.

Tinubu emerged the winner in the 2023 presidential election, defeating 17 other candidates with a total of 8,794,726 votes. Announcing the final results, INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, revealed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar, secured second place with 6,984,520 votes, and Obi came third with 6,101,533 votes. Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria’s People Party (NNPP) obtained 1,496,687 votes, securing fourth place.

However, both Atiku and Obi are challenging Tinubu’s victory at the Presidential Election Petitions Court.