File: AFP ~ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Lagos – Ethnicity, regionalism and religion are going to be very prominent factors in the upcoming elections, Academic Abubakar Kari of the University of Abuja has said.
Speaking in a video posted on YouTube, Kari said religion and ethnicity would be on the minds of voters when they go to cast their ballot.
Watch the video below.
The country is set to vote in a crucial election on 14 February.
The elections are expected to be the most closely contested since the end of military rule in 1999.
Kari said it was clear that the two leading candidates, President Goodluck Jonathan and his rival Muhammadu Buhari, were going to perform "very well" in their immediate homelands.
The reason for this, according to political analyst Chris Ngwodo could be explained in a psychological and material sense.
"What we have is a situation where identity is the access key to social and economic opportunities. So it matters in a psychological and material sense when someone looks to the presidency and sees someone of his faith or someone of his ethnicity there," said Ngwodo.
The elections come at a time when it is widely feared that Boko Haram insurgents will disrupt the voting process, as the Islamist group continues with its assaults in the north east.