In 1952 General Dwight ‘Ike’ Eisenhower, Former Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe (SCAFE) and war hero of the famed Allied amphibious landing in Normandy, France which precipitated the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945, ran for the American presidency on the platform of the Republican Party and so enormous was his popularity and widespread acceptance throughout the country that he defeated his Democratic Party opponent, Senator Adlai Stevenson by a landslide even though he, Eisenhower was a virtual unknown to the influential American political establishment. In 1956 President Eisenhower was re-elected for a second term on the strength of his accomplishments, unvarnished integrity and still rock solid popularity and mass appeal across all segments of the American populace.
In Nigeria a similar scenario has played out and is still unfolding in the personage of President Mohammadu Buhari a war hero of unimpeachable integrity, unassailable credibility and mass support among the Nigerian populace both in the Northern and Southern parts of the country where he won 17 states in the North and 5 states in the South, the areas that were left out where the South-east and South-south who voted purely on ethnic and linguistic grounds for former President Goodluck Jonathan. President Buhari has all along enjoyed widespread popularity and massive acceptance more than any other living politician, individual or personality in the country thus placing him in the pantheon of history as the first candidate to defeat an incumbent President successfully in Africa’s most populous nation.
However, self styled pundits and sundry acolytes of emergency decampees and politicians desperate to seek relevance at all costs have lately ascribed his outstanding victory in 2015 to other factors and personalities notably the members of the new PDP namely Senator Bukola Saraki, Rabiu Kwankwanso, Aminu Tambuwal, Kawu Baraje, Yakubu Dogara amongst others. Those pundits have turned facts upside down by positing erroneously that the support and influence of the new PDP members was a crucial factor in the victory of PMB in 2015, otherwise he would have faced certain defeat as in 2003, 2007 and 2011. However, a brief analysis of the electoral outcomes in states like Kano, Sokoto, Kebbi, Bauchi, Kwara from 2003 – 2011 will put a lie to the facile assertions of the nPDP while revealing the undisputed mass appeal of PMB that has placed him irrevocably as Nigeria’s Mass Leader of All Times.
In the 2003 elections despite the overwhelming rigging machinery deployed by the Obasanjo administration, an ebullient General Muhammadu Buhari still emerged victorious by wide margins in the Northern parts of the country particularly Kano, Kebbi, Bauchi, Yobe, Borno, Katsina, Zamfara, Gombe states etc.
In Kano, General Buhari polled 1, 628, 085 votes representing 74.9% of the votes cast to defeat President Obasanjo who came a distant second with 492, 755 representing 22.7% of the votes cast. In Sokoto State, General Buhari polled 681, 153 (73.3%) while President Obasanjo lagged behind with 233, 258 barely 25% of votes cast. In Kebbi state, General Buhari emerged victorious with 529, 512 votes (65%) while President Obasanjo got 272, 564 (33.4%) votes. In Bauchi state General Buhari obtained a record shattering 1, 430, 442 (62.1%) votes while President Obasanjo polled 617, 219 (36.7%) votes.
As then President Obasanjo was desperate to install his anointed successor, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua,(now late), he deployed a ruthless rigging regime unprecedented in Nigeria’s history to manipulate and falsify the 2007 presidential election results to the extent that local, regional and international observers roundly condemned the conduct and outcome of the polls. Even the main beneficiary of the 2007 election heist, President Umar Yar’ Adua (of blessed memory) candidly admitted that the elections that brought him to power was fatally flawed and went ahead to set up an electoral reform commission to remedy the electoral process.
Therefore the 2007 election results will not be deployed for our analysis, rather the 2011 election results will be tabulated and it shows that General Mohammadu Buhari under the newly formed Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) managed to secure over 11 million votes despite the fact that it had barely established party structures in the 36 states of the federation particularly in the southern part of the country. In continuation of his incredible winning streak, General Buhari took Kano state with over 1, 624, 543 votes, Kebbi state 501, 453 votes, Sokoto state with 540, 769 and Bauchi with 1, 315, 209 votes when there was no nPDP structure or personalities in contention. In the case of Kwara state where Senator Bukola Saraki claims to have swung votes for him, the situation is more ambiguous. The foregoing analysis has shown irrefutably that PMB consistently won in states where Kwankwanso, Tambuwal, Dogara etc claims to have influenced his electoral victory in 2015 which means that PMB will still emerge triumphant in those states with or without the remnants of the nPDP, rAPC or any other hastily contrived political acronym for that matter.
And crucially, PMB’s fast moving political machine and the APC has made significant inroads in the Southeast and Southsouth regions of the country where he previously scored 25% only in Edo and Imo states in 2015. Thus with the spectre of PMB scoring 25% and above in the 11 states of the Southeast and Southsouth combined with his solid majority in the Southwest, Northcentral, Northeast and Northwestern parts of the country, the stage is once more set for 4 more years for Nigeria’s Eisenhower. Indeed President Buhari has come, he has triumphed and he will continue to emerge victorious to the glory of the Almighty God who alone gives and taketh power, position, prestige and influence.
– Gyakyor lives in Abuja.
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