In 2015, Jonathan was leading Buhari as the votes were being counted. By default, the votes from most of the southern states were being announced, and Jonathan was in the lead. President Olusegun Obasanjo, an adherent believer in Buhari in 2015, posted on Twitter.
He tweeted that votes from the north would wipe out Jonathan’s lead and give victory to Buhari. Events that happened a day after his tweets justified the assertion that Obasanjo knows Nigeria’s political landscape, structure and the impacts of the northern influence and votes in our leadership selection process.
I was privy to information leading to the selection of Buhari as the APC presidential candidate in 2015. It was all about someone who could deliver the north and manage to secure victory in any of the regions in the south. In the north, a population of people are a valuable political and voting asset.
They include the underaged voters and those who need help to logically think of who to vote for outside what they were told. The primary voting parameters are religion and ethnicity. Is he a Muslim and a northerner? If yes, and with the affirmation of the political and religious heavyweights, the deal is done.
You will see a long queue of qualified and unqualified voters in the sun on election day, including those likely to have been imported from Chad or Upper Niger. The southern voters are mostly educated but politically naïve. They win elections with arguments, are not united and will sit in front of the television watching series on biassed analyses.
Everything outside the court due process is an emotional outcry of the political class for self-interest and not in the interest of Nigerians
I am still surprised by Obasanjo’s initial outcry. Nigerians should realise that our current crop of leaders is self-seeking. There is no national interest but self-interest clothes in regional and religious parachutes. Obasanjo wants to be relevant always, and that is why Baba’s sense of judgement is beclouding what he knows to be the reality of the lopsidedly structured country bequeathed to us by the colonial masters.
But we must keep pushing for fairness, equity, and a shift in current arrangements. Do you know who should be blamed? The blame is on Awolowo, Azikwe, Balewa and all the so-called founding fathers whose names and legacies are fast fading. What are their achievements?
Who is benefitting from their past endeavours and decisions? Could you mention their names and see if any youth of forty-five years and below will be excited? They made decisions and sought self-interests that led us to the current state of descendants and shame as a country with enormous resources.
It is good to acknowledge the heroism of the youth and the end-SARs protest that culminated into a platform for the Labour Party and Peter Obi. We should applaud Obi for being a man with one eye in the land of the blind.
However, we should recognize that changing an established society with a vast preference for nepotism, self-aggrandisement, sectionalisms, and unnecessary proliferation of ideologies against building an equitable society is gradual.
If Obi sees himself as Martin Luther King Jr, our Obama is on the way, not Obi. He is preparing the ground for a gradual change and peaceful revolution. I will write about that and its impact on another day. One clear thing is the Obi and Labour Party’s leverage on the fault lines in Nigeria. Obi’s campaigns leveraged religion, ethnicity, and youth restlessness. That is a setback to the type of electoral process and leadership any country needs in this age of equality, diversity, and inclusion.
Let’s quickly do the presidential election mathematics and data analysis and see if Tinubu’s victory is justified. This does not foreclose that INEC failed to fulfil its promise to transfer election results electronically. Does that invalidate the efforts, time and money spent on the project? Should we not be happy that a clueless president will leave space for another person?
In the 2019 election, People Deceiving Party (we are now being deceived with protests in black dresses) got 11,262,978 (41.22 per cent of the total votes) votes against 15,191847 for the All Promises Cancelled votes (55.60 per cent of the total votes).
Suppose the combination of Atiku, Obi, Kwankwaso and Wike, represented by the G5, polled 41.2 per cent of the votes in 2019. In that case, the 2023 outcome reflects the strengths and unity of the political parties.
To you who won the election for Obi on social media, elections are won by the number of people who waited tirelessly and exercised their civic responsibility with their thumbs. No doubt, there is no saint between APC and PDP. Both parties, including their past apologists, are election riggers.
The 2023 election result shows Tinubu with 8,794,726 votes, Atiku with 6,984,520, Obi with 6,101,553 and Kwankwaso with 1,496,687 votes. The sum of Atiku, Obi and Kwankwaso’s votes is 17, 275,933.
The election result shows how unpopular the ruling APC’s brand had degenerated due to poor performance, nepotism, and lack of capacity of the president. He was described as the most aloof president in the world, with massive disconnection from the reality of time.
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Suppose you doubt that; consider his policies on the naira redesign, his lack of decisiveness in the herders’ killing of innocent farmers, and his clamour for Ruga and taking over people’s land, among others. Given his performance in eight years- in security, economy, and the unity of people that constitute Nigeria, APC is not a good platform for anyone’s election or re-election.
The fact the APC governors are at loggerheads against the imposition of the northern candidate preferred by Buhari, against his police on naira redesign and their victory at the Supreme Court is a pointer that the president is lonely at the top and never should Nigerians make the same mistake again.
We should accept the election outcome even when there are irregularities, but they are not outside the maturity stage and norms in our leadership selection process.
I want to say congratulations to the winners-G5 Wike’s governors, Asiwaju President-elect and Peter Obi. Let’s shelve our self-interest and work for the masses who surfer as the grass if our big elephants continue to fight. Everything outside the court due process is an emotional outcry of the political class for self-interest and not in the interest of Nigerians.