Adamawa-born politician Babachir Lawal has projected opposition candidate Atiku Abubakar to win the first ballot in the 2023 presidential election, a poll he had predicted will go into a run-off.
Mr Babachir, a former chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress who switched camp to support Peter Obi of the Labour Party, asserted that Mr Abubakar of Peoples Democratic Party will sweep votes in the North where he hails from.
The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, in an Hausa interview seen by Peoples Gazette on Thursday, asserted that “Atiku will sweep the northern states and obtain the required 25 per cent in all states and the FCT.”
Explaining the rationale behind his projection, Mr Lawal said “The 2023 election has gone fully tribal and people are likely to vote along ethnic lines.
“Yoruba will for a candidate from the West, (Asiwaju Bola Tinubu) of the All Progressives Congress; Igbo will vote candidate from the East, (Peter Obi of the Labour Party) and Hausa will vote for a candidate from the north, (Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party).
Until recently, Mr Lawal was a strong ally of Mr Tinubu but he fell out with the latter of his decision to choose a Muslim running mate, Kashim Shettima. Mr Lawal, an acclaimed pastor, maintained that the APC Muslim-Muslim ticket is a grave slight on northern Christians and would not stand.
Last week, he officially announced his support for Mr Obi, saying the Labour Party flag bearer and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed represented a national agenda that befit multi ethnic, religion-diverse Nigeria.
“We want Obi to win this election, and must win this election. If we lose this election, we’ll migrate to Cameroon because of the shame and failure to win… Peter Obi must win this election,” Mr Lawal said days ago.