File: AFP ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Lagos – Boko Haram's continued attacks on three-north eastern states may stifle the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) party's presidential Muhammadu Buhari's chances of winning the upcoming elections, an analyst has said.
South African Institute of International Affairs political analyst, Ola Bello, told News24 that the three states in the north east - namely Bono, Yobe and Adamawa - were an opposition bastion and they remained a target for Boko Haram.
Bello said a presidential contestant needed to win majority votes in two thirds of the country's 36 states for him to be "properly" elected.
"To be properly elected, a presidential contestant needs to win majority votes in two thirds of the 36 states. Boko Haram violence on three north-eastern states – an opposition bastion – makes the arithmetic more difficult for the challenger, Muhammadu Buhari of the APC," Bello said.
At least 13 000 people have been killed and more than a million forced from their homes since Boko Haram launched an insurgency in 2009.
Bello said there was also the "traditional concern about rigging and other electoral malpractices", which he said could lead to a "de-legitimisation" of the election result.
Bello said rigged elections risked exacerbating the existing insecurity in the country.
He said although it was difficult to be sure about a peaceful acceptance of the election result by both sides, a smooth transition of power, in the event that the opposition wins, could work positively for the development of the country.
"I'm optimistic that peaceful acceptance of an outright win by the APC opposition - or even APC's success in capturing a greater number of states in the gubernatorial elections - will help strengthen and mature Nigeria’s democracy," said Bello.
The country goes to the polls on 14 February.
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