Will the Nigerian electorate in 2019 choose on the basis of the incumbent government’s performance or on their expectations of a new administration?
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, who mounted the saddle on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) but currently seeking re-election on the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the Nigerian people will either choose failure or liberation in next year’s elections.
What the speaker is pressing for has a place in political science theories. Scholars in the field of political choice say voters essentially choose parties that they expect to produce outcomes -economic growth, competent government, lack of corruption, low inflation- that they prefer.
According to them, often the best indicator of whether a government like that of President Muhammadu Buhari’s APC can achieve these kinds of things is how they have performed in the past. Although it is just as consistent with the assumptions of rational choice, the logic is quite different from that of issue models of voter choice.
In issue models, voter preferences are positional—they prefer the parties whose positions are closest to their own. In the performance models, the issues are valence issues—people agree that, a booming economy is a good thing or growing unemployment/abject poverty is a bad thing.
As 2019 approaches, and given what have been manifesting in the country since 2015, the primary question at the moment is, which party or presidential candidate is best able to deliver a booming economy? It is however, possible to combine valence and issues into a single model, and the interaction could produce very interesting results next year.
Meanwhile, Dogara is calling on Nigerians to liberate themselves from the shackles of the present leadership which he said is characterised by failure to make things work by voting massively for the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, who has a proven record of success in whatever endeavour he ventures into.
He was speaking at the wedding reception of his nephew Hassan Ishaya Hassan & Mafeng in Abuja with Atiku in attendance. Dogara said that, facts and figures reveal that the man is the right candidate that can uplift Nigeria from the present state of decay that it has been plunged into because of bad leadership, having consistently broken limits in his enterprises.
Arguing, he said, ‘’if you look at the Wazirin Adamawa as a leader in this country, and if you were to make summation of the people he has grown across Nigeria, I am not talking about Adamawa but across the country, you will labour for days, for months without coming to an end as to the number of people he has grown.
‘’The secret is that whatever you put in his hands, in the hands of Atiku doesn’t die. If you put education in his hands, it graduates to a university. One of the best universities in this country, obviously, he founded.
‘’If you put money in his hands, it doesn’t die. Those who are envious because of the fact that anything they hold in their hands die will always insinuate many things about him but hardly does anything you put in his hands die.
‘’So, if we are smart in this country, we have so many things that are dying, so many things that are dying in this land or in this country, as smart as we are as Nigerians, we will look for the person in whose hands nothing dies to bring all those things into life.
‘’I can tell you that if you put the economy in his hands, forget about it, go and sleep, you will see what will happen. If you give him the meagre resources we are getting from oil, he will multiply them. So, I am telling us here, this is not a venue for political campaign but I am telling us, as smart people, we’ve got to be smart this time around.
‘’If you have a tooth problem, you do not go to a shoe maker, you go to a dentist. Nigeria has a lot of problems and we have to go to that person who by training, by wisdom, has the required dexterity to fix it and I tell you, you will not find anyone better in the field than the Wazirin Adamawa.
‘’So, if you take Nigeria, her economy and lack of jobs, everything and put it in the hands of people who will kill it, then you have yourself to blame but for us, God has shown us a man who has done exceptionally well, a man who has grown so many people, a man who will grow Nigeria, grow our economy, take us out of poverty, end lack of education; a situation where we have over 13 million children out of school in Nigeria, the man who will end it is here.’’
Atiku who drew from his over 40 years experience in marriage prayed that the couple Mr & Mrs Hassan Ishaya Hassan will have an enduring marriage, bear fruits and live to see their children’s children.