A former US Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, has warned that Nigeria is likely to experience large scale violence as a result of the upcoming general elections.
Campbell stated this in a report titled ‘Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential Election: Contingency Planning Memorandum Update,’ which was published and released by the US Council on Foreign Relations.
Campbell also predicts that incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan is likely to beat strongest opponent, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the polls.
Although, due to the Johnathan government inability to defeat Boko Haram, the economic hardships brought on by falling oil prices, and a growing public perception that the Jonathan administration is weak have fueled support for the All Progressives Congress. Though the APC’s voter base is in the North, it enjoys support all over the country, unlike the opposition in 2011.
Campbell however notes that Jonathan is still at an advantage due to the fact that he is “is at the centre of extensive patronage networks; he has access to the government’s oil revenue; and he and his party largely control the election machinery and ballot-counting infrastructure.”
“It is uncertain whether any provisions will be made for voters in the three northern states placed under a state of emergency because of Boko Haram, as well as the estimated one million people displaced by the insurgency. These displaced voters would likely support Buhari and the APC; their exclusion would benefit Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Thus despite the strength of the opposition, Jonathan remains the likely—but not certain—winner,” Campbell stated.