An elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai, has expressed optimism that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu, will defeat his fellow contenders in a free and fair election.
He also said none of the candidates will secure 70 percent of the northern votes in the February 25 presidential election.
Mr Yakasai stated this during an interview with the Punch Newspaper published on Sunday.
“My belief is that if the election is conducted freely and fairly, nothing will stop [Asiwaju Bola Ahmed] Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, from winning the election.
“But I see some bigwigs expressing disapproval of his ambition. Some of them are within the APC and some are in opposition parties.
“My belief is that such people, if they find it difficult to win the election, may resort to malpractices, which may include rigging,” he said.
Mr Yakasai noted that the northern votes might be equally shared among the four major presidential candidates.
“I don’t see any candidate taking maybe 70 percent of the total northern votes in this election.
“I know many of the votes will be shared, and at worst, equally between the candidates.
“The candidates coming from the north, in my opinion, are rarely going to be on the ballot.
“They will split the vote in the north and chances are that the chunk of votes Tinubu will get from the voters in the north will be higher than those of the other strong three candidates.
“The three people being mentioned are very strong contenders. The possibility is that the votes in the north will be split into so many places.
“If that happens, the likelihood is that the chunk of votes will go to Tinubu compared to any one of them. He is likely to get more votes than any of them.”