By Ehichioya Ezomon
It’s five days to the crucial presidential election, the first of a two-part balloting that begins at 8 a.m. on Saturday, February 16; and Nigerians are about to test the veracity of the “predictions” of “prophets” of God, and pollsters for the poll.
The prognosticators have given their verdict: “The poll would go to President Muhammadu Buhari,” some said. “No, it would favour Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, others countered. Which camp would be vindicated, as the predictions look like the normal debate of “for” and “against” a topic at issue?
Why should there be conflict or contradiction in a message God “directed” these prophets to deliver to Nigerians regarding the outcome of the contest by 73 presidential candidates?
Similarly, how did the ordinary predictors arrive at their varying conclusions on who would win the contest? Did they work with empirical evidence or weighted partisan or other interests?
As regards the prophets’ prophecies, we know that “God is not the author of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33); and His “Word is very explicit” (Exodus 20:13). As such, how could God give differing messages, on the same subject, to these prophets “chosen by God to say the things that God wants to tell people” concerning the election?
Anyway, let’s take snippets of some of the decipherable prophecies, and see which side they swing between Buhari of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Atiku of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Primate Elijah Ayodele: Head of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church, Oke-Afa, Isolo, Lagos, predicted victory for Buhari because the PDP “refused to do the right thing from the beginning,” which’s to give the ticket to Senate President Bukola Saraki instead of Atiku.
Prophet Ekong Ituen: Spiritual leader of Christ Deliverance Ministries in Lagos, said: “Let me start by telling Nigerians that election results will spring surprises. But in my revelation, it has been established that President Muhammadu Buhari of All Progressives Congress (APC) will win the election.”
Prophet Christopher Owolabi: General Overseer of Christ Apostolic Church, Ori-Oke, Irapada, Omu-Aran, Kwara State, declared: “The present leadership in piloting the affairs of this great nation, as was revealed to me, will extend beyond 2019.”
Dr. Emmanuel Omole: Founder of the Devine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry, said: “Atiku will show amazing efforts in the coming elections, but I see President Buhari ruling again.”
Apostle Joshua Mone: General Overseer of the Voice of Liberty Intercessors Ministry in Delta State, said: “Nigerians must pray. I see a conspiracy to postpone election dates. I see the nation ‘Atikulated’ in 2019.”
Apostle Johnson Suleiman: President of Omega Fire Ministries Worldwide, said: “Abubakar Atiku should focus on the North during campaign… I saw most Eastern states won by APC at the national level… 2019 Nigerian election – 100% rigged.”
Rev. Fr Ejike Mbaka: Spiritual Director, Adoration Ministry, Enugu, declared: “Among all the presidential aspirants, Buhari stands in the best position in winning the presidential election.”
Pastor Gabriel O. Adegboye: Senior Pastor of Worksword of God Church, said neither Buhari nor Atiku would win the 2019 poll, but “God has ordained a particular man of God, with supernatural wisdom, to be appointed to pilot the affairs of this great nation, to restore normalcy in the land.”
Now, to the ordinary predictors. Both the APC and PDP, and the “minor” political parties, have awarded “landslide” or “Moon-slide” victories to their candidates. Such projections, though, are meant for the consumption of members, the so-called “undecided” voters or “dissatisfied” supporters of rival parties.
However, of the surveys under focus, two (or three) by “foreign” entities gave victory to Atiku and the PDP, while a local newspaper predicted triumph for Buhari and the APC. All the polls were published in early February 2019.
The Economist magazine (like the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a company in The Economist group) envisioned that Atiku would win, stressing, “We retain our forecast for #Abubakar to win, but expected margin of victory is narrowing as the poll approaches,” a reference to a previous forecast favouring Atiku.
The magazine, which boasts of a similar 2015 prediction of win for Buhari over the then-incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, said while Atiku and PDP would win “despite numerous allegations of corrupt practices against the former Vice President,” Buhari was “the least awful choice,” which would be chosen “with a heavy heart.”
The most astounding prediction comes from Williams and Associates, which gave Atiku “45 per cent of the total vote cast, 12 per cent higher than his closest opponent, incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, who got 33 per cent.”
Also bragging of reportedly forecasting victory for Buhari over Jonathan in 2015, the company conducted its survey of “Public Attitude in Nigeria January 2019” interviewing 1,550 respondents between January 11 and 16.
“Fifty-four (54) per cent of the respondents also say that regardless of who they support in the election, Atiku stands a better chance of winning the election compared to 38 per cent who believe that incumbent President Buhari will win.”
Surprisingly, the company that claimed Atiku would win nationwide, including in Buhari’s strongholds of North-West, South-West and North-East, stated on its website, Williamspolls.com, that Atiku is its “client” from 2017 till date.
Meaning that the poll was commissioned by and conducted on behalf of the PDP candidate, who the pollster sent, on February 1, 2019, an analysis of its findings before posting the entire opinion poll on February 3, 2019.
On the contrary, the Leadership newspaper has called the election for Buhari, estimating that “the president will win with about 60% of the votes, with an error margin of plus or minus 5%.”
The tabloid did not base its findings on a scientific poll, but “the result of observations and wide-ranging interviews by our political editors and senior correspondents across the country,” which its “Board of Editors” analyzed to arrive at its conclusion.
The poser: Which of these “spiritual” predictions and opinion surveys and observations do Nigerians believe are true or plausible, and will come to pass on February 16? Thus, the election is not only a referendum on the candidates and their parties, but also on the “prophets” and pollsters as predictors of future events.
* Mr. Ezomon, Journalist and Media Consultant, writes from Lagos, Nigeria.