In political science, there is a topic called VOTE SPLITTING.
According to Wikipedia, vote splitting is an electoral effect in which the distribution of votes among multiple similar candidates reduces the chance of winning for any of the similar candidates, and increases the chance of winning for a dissimilar candidate.
In simpler English, vote splitting occurs when candidates in an election who are supposed to be pursuing similar objective of unseating a particular political office holder chose to reduce the block votes desperately needed to defeat that common opponent by contesting individually (rather than standing behind one candidate) even when they know that doing that will only reduce their chance of winning while increasing the chance of winning for that common opponent.
In most democracies, politicians deploy this tactics by sponsoring mushroom candidates from the political parties and areas where they fear they might not get much vote.
These sponsored candidates will now play the spoiler by contesting for that same office thereby reducing the block votes that would have gone into defeating that politician who sponsor them.
It bears emphasizing here that the aim of the politicians being used to effect this Vote Splitting objective is not winning. Far from it. They always know they may not even score up to 2% of the vote not to talk of winning.
For the sake of honesty, I must point out here that in some cases, politicians who play this role of Vote Splitting do it without being sponsored for that purpose but simply because they want to increase their profile by adding “former presidential/governorship aspirant/candidate” which will increase their political value.
Now let’s break it down by contextualizing it within the scope of our current reality.
We have a general election coming up February 2019 which is a couple of months from now. And we have an incumbent President who most Nigerians have agreed is grossly and criminally unfit to preside over a village Umunna meeting.
This President has numberless opponents jostling to take his place. And each of these opponents of his has their own supporters as well as other resources they bring to the table.
Ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar has the money, enough to match the current President. Ex Kano state governor Rabiu Kwankwaso and ex Jigawa governor Sule Lamido both have the almajiri crowd willing to match the Buhari’s almajiri crowd which is the major political capital that brought the Daura ex-soldier to power. Senate President Bukola Saraki has the brain.
He’s demonstrated this on numberless occasion. Gombe state governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo has the intellectual weapon.
Should the aforementioned Presidential Aspirants agree to pull all their human and financial resources into supporting just one of them after the PDP primary election, the current President will most certainly lose the 2019 poll, his unholy intercourse with INEC and the security agencies notwithstanding.
Now, consider a situation where after the PDP primary election which will produce just one person as presidential candidate out of the numerous aspirants, the rest chose NOT to support the candidate but jump over to smaller political parties to contest the Presidential election even when they know they stand little or no chance of winning, that is a classic example of Vote Splitting strategy and it is the fastest way to ensure victory for president Muhammadu Buhari.
A good example of Vote Splitting is what happened at the just concluded Osun state gubernatorial election where Senator Iyiola Omisore contested under the platform of SDP and ended up scoring over 128,000 votes which did nothing but split the block votes needed by his former party the PDP to conclusively win the election even in the midst of INEC manipulation.
Let me editorialize a little, President Buhari represents a grave existential threat to everyone in this country. Those who are not yet affected by his inhuman nature will ultimately be affected because history has proven that tyranny knows its way home.
The only sure way to defeat Buhari is via a block vote for a candidate presented by an opposition party with the National structure and resources to defeat him. The only party that can pull off this is the PDP. This is not just an opinion. This is a statement of fact. To be clear, this is not an endorsement for the PDP.
That party is ALMOST the same as the APC. Difference is just the presence of Muhammadu Buhari who institutionalize ethnic cleansing and ethno-religious irredentism as official government policy. But within the limited options our fundamentally flawed structure present us with, PDP remains the only practical option for sacking the Daura death merchant from Aso Rock.
Should Buhari win the 2019 poll, it will not be because he rigged with the help of INEC and the Police. It will be either because the PDP presented a candidate considered as dangerous as Buhari or because his opponents engaged in Vote Splitting intentionally or unintentionally.