Previously, one of the rules of successful presidential politics in Nigeria was that you must have governors on your side. Tinubu of the APC has 22 governors on his team, and PDP’s Atiku has 13, I mean 8. Obi of the Labour Party has none, but that has not appeared to be an issue so far, as his popularity—which Nigerians are waiting to see whether or not will translate to votes—has surprised readers of our poll.
One of the well-known reasons for his popularity is his huge support in Christian-dominated southern Nigerian, and specifically south-eastern Nigeria, which is his home base. Given that he was a two-term governor of Anambra State and is viewed quite favourably by one of the major ethnic groups, his popularity is not surprising. It shows up in the polls, where he has the biggest lead of any major candidate in his geopolitical zone.
However, there are concerns about whether the South-East can provide a solid platform for his presidential bid. For one, the region has only five states and the smallest number of registered voters (Lagos and Kano combined have more voters than the entire South East). Winning a national election requires national support, and this is a test he is yet to pass.