The Geopolitical Climate of Nigeria's Presidential Election

As ongoing cash shortages drive protests ahead of election day, presidential candidates are likely to engage in increasingly divisive rhetoric as they look to appeal to their support bases, potentially fueling an uptick in unrest amidst the evolving geopolitical climate. Seerist’s intelligence team has tracked incidents alongside Control Risks’ geopolitical longer-term risk analysis in the lead-up to the polls. In addition, Seerist’s AI-derived data continues to alert users to any real-time events and allow them to monitor overall stability at a country, regional, and city level.

February 9, 2023

Security Threats Persist Ahead of Elections Despite Lifting of Stay-at-Home Order (Analysis*)

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) suspended stay-at-home orders ahead of the upcoming general elections, which should somewhat de-escalate tensions in the southeast region

Other secessionist groups, however, will continue to enforce stay-at-home orders and carry out attacks in the coming weeks, sustaining a volatile security environment

Attacks will primarily target the electoral process and government security forces, but business personnel using security force escorts will face incidental security threats if escort personnel are targeted

Secessionist groups are likely to target polling stations to discourage the public from voting, and threats are likely to be highest in Imo and Anambra states

February 13, 2023

Analysts Identify Two Likely Scenarios
for Presidential Election (Analysis*)


Bola Tinubu, of the All Progressives Congress (APC) remains the frontrunner to secure a narrow win, though this depends on two critical factors:

  • The APC’s ability to retain support in its geopolitical strongholds (the northwest,northeast, and southwest)
  • Continued internal rifts within the People’s Democr atic Party (PDP)
    • Governors of PDP – controlled states have been polarized over Atiku Abubakar’s candidacy, with some refusing to participate in PDP campaigns across their states


A second round of elections could see the PDP return to power following the conclusion of last-minute political alliances

  • Tinubu and Abubakar could face formidable challenges in their traditional strongholds from Peter Obi and Rabiu Kwankwaso, both of whom are backed by powerful grassroots political movements and key voter demographics
  • Obi and Kwankwaso are likely to garner enough votes to erode the winning margins of both parties, thereby reducing the chances of a clear winner emerging after the first round

February 16, 2023

Hotspot is Triggered Amid Ongoing Protests (Hotspot)

As protests spike amid the banknote redesign fiasco, the Director General of the APC accused the state government and PDP of sponsoring riots to stop an APC rally

Prince Adewole Adebayo, Social Democrat Party (SDP) candidate, speculated there is an agenda to postpone the election and install an interim government

February 24, 2023

Tinubu Favored to Secure Presidential Victory (Elections Watch)

Abubakar has been weakened by infighting within the PDP party

Obi, The Labour Party (LP) candidate, struggles to compete with APC’s and PDP’s nationwide party infrastructure, though his campaign has gained momentum

Maneuvering by candidates is likely to slow government decision making and trigger political violence in major cities ahead of the polls, causing operational disruption and localized incidental security threats

February 25, 2023

Widespread security incidents, voting delays prompt protests (Events, Verified Events)

Voting was delayed in many places due to logistical, technical and security challenges. Several polling stations were forced to close after being attacked by armed gangs

Unrest marred the election across the country as armed groups raided and vandalized polling stations, set fire to ballot boxes, and destroyed vehicles and property. At least three people were killed, but casualty numbers are still being confirmed for all incidents

In the wake of attacks on polling locations, citizens took to the streets to protest the political violence, disruptions to voting, and early electoral results

February 27, 2023

Threat of Unrest Will Persist in the Coming Week Amid Ongoing Reporting of Election Results and the Shifting Geopolitical Climate (Analysis*)

Reporting of results has begun but have only been confirmed in a handful of states; results are expected in the coming days

Opposition voters’ perceptions of interference will drive political tensions in the coming week, sustaining the threat of unrest around electoral commission offices

Existing political and socioeconomic grievances will also continue to create scope for unrest to escalate; protests will primarily pose incidental security threats and cause operational disruption for businesses

The threat of unrest and political violence will persist ahead of gubernatorial and state-level elections on March 11

March 1, 2023

Ruling Party Candidate’s Narrow Presidential Victory Likely to Drive Unrest and Operational Disruption (Analysis*)

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared that Tinubu won the presidential election, narrowly defeating Abubakar and Obi

Legal challenges to the presidential election result are likely and will drive heightened tensions and uncertainty in the coming weeks ahead of the transition to the new government on May 29

Businesses should anticipate increased operational disruption stemming from politically motivated unrest and a slowdown in decision making ahead of the government transition

As election day approaches, electoral violence will continue to rise as political parties conclude their campaigns and as vote collation gets underway. Protests by supporters of losing candidates will likely follow the results announcement, and legal challenges to the outcome could heighten tensions and drive unrest and uncertainty.

Seerist’s expert pre- and post-election analysis, coupled with stability forecasts and near-real-time event alerting, will provide users with a holistic view of Nigeria’s political landscape, giving them information they need to make quick, strategic decisions for their organization.

Use Case

As cash scarcity in Nigeria spurs protests around the country, monitoring events around the areas where your organization operates is crucial.

Seerist’s platform utilizes real-time, AI-detected events and on-the-ground, human-verified events to provide a holistic view of the threat landscape. As the presidential election approaches while cash shortage protests still rage, users can utilize EventsAI and Verified Events to monitor incidents around operational sites to keep their people and assets safe.

*Analysis provided by strategic partnership with Control Risks

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