The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the major opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have disagreed over the report by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) Africa which projected that the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, will win the February 16 presidential election with a slim margin.

While the APC dismissed the report as spurious, the PDP said the report reflects the reality, which is that Nigerians are yearning for a change in administration.

The EIU Africa had on Friday asserted that the presidential candidate of the PDP would win the February 16 presidential election, but cautioned that the margin of victory was getting narrower as the election approaches.

The EIU Africa tweeted: “Less than two weeks before #Nigeria‘s presidential election. Abubakar has floated the idea of corruption amnesty. It is arguably an impolitic time for such a delicate proposal. Abubakar is hard-pressed to convince voters that he is a clean politician, having been on the receiving end of numerous graft allegations in the past.

“We retain our forecast for #Abubakar to win but expect the margin of victory is narrowing as the poll approaches.

“With the vote likely to be split in the North, Abubakar will find it easier to garner support from the country’s south, which has traditionally been a safe haven for the PDP. This gives Abubakar an edge, as does popular frustration over the rise in joblessness and poverty (two of the biggest voter concerns) on Mr. Buhari’s watch, as well as growing insecurity in central Nigeria.”

But in its reaction, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu, stated that the ruling party was confident of victory, even as he faulted the submission by the group.

The APC spokesman said, “As a party I ordinarily won’t respond to such spurious report from whatever organisation or newspaper publication. We are not in the same league with PDP as far as this election is concerned. APC is going through this election with absolute confidence that we are going to achieve victory.”

“So it doesn’t matter to us whatever publication or what a publication is talking about. At the end of the day it is about Nigerians who are going to vote on February 16 and March 2 and we are certain of victory.”

However, his PDP counterpart, Kola Ologbondiyan, stated that the report reflects the wishes of Nigerians.

Ologbondiyan, who expressed the belief that the report was the outcome of a well researched study, said, “Like our party has always said, Nigerians have moved beyond the current administration of President Buhari. They want a new thinking and a new life because they believe that this administration has failed and it has no ingenuity to move the nation beyond where it is.

“Only a new government with a new initiative like that of the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, can salvage our nation from the economic woes into which it has been sunk by the current administration.''

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Speaking also, the media aide to Atiku, Paul Ibe, noted that the report was yet another indication that the vision of Atiku in creating opportunity and ensuring a united Nigeria resonates with Nigerians.

He added that Nigerians are already primed to take back their country from the state of hopelessness, joblessness and insecurity.

“Nigerians are saying clearly that the only person that has the wherewithal and is fired up for the situation, who has the competence and the skills to take us out of the current situation we are in, and make Nigeria great again is Atiku Abubakar. I think that is what it is all about. The fact is that Nigerians are prepared for a departure from the current state of affairs and situation of life, “ Ibe said.

He however added that the party was not resting on its oars with the election barely weeks away.

“We will continue to work hard. There is still some days ahead. We will continue to call on Nigerians to be vigilant and ensure the protection of their votes,” he said.

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