..Why he is Nigeria’s next President
IF there were concerns that Nigeria’s presidential election was going to be a cliff_hanger, those concerns evaporated 72 hours to the presidential elections on Saturday, April 16, 2011, with the failed last ditch attempt at rescuing the alliance talks between the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, and the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC.
Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu led the ACN team while former military leader and presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, led the CPC, his party. No other luck could have been much more than Goodluck Jonathan’s.
In a country where the prized position of President and Commander_in_Chief was once described as a do_or_die affair, the sudden break down of the alliance talks dealt a heavy blow to the chances of the opposition at routing the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from power. It was also the fillip that PDP needed to be less anxious of victory.
In the build up to the presidential elections, results from the legislative polls held penultimate Saturday, April 9, had showed that the PDP had an edge. But following the flogging of the dead horse that was the alliance talks, even the surefootedness of the PDP became suspect.
The low turn out which greeted the legislative elections was not surprising. Put conversely, the massive turnout in the presidential elections which contrasted with the legislative elections was expected.
Mobilisation of the North
Muhammadu Buhari of the CPC had more than mobilized the North for his candidacy, especially in the wake of the zoning brouhaha of the PDP.
President Goodluck Jonathan, coming from the South South geo-political zone, had his aspiration serve as a catalyst for many other minority groups in Nigeria that when you dare to dream, possibilities would not be far from you.
Then there was the ACN of the South West geo_political zone which could not forge an alliance with the CPC. Therefore, whereas the North was fully charged to sympathise with the aspiration of Buhari, while not discounting the efforts of the PDP state governors in some states of the North, the South was also sufficiently primed to ensure that the South South zone, from whence Jonathan cometh, produces the President and Commander-in-Chief for the first time through an election.
Very high figures
It should not be surprising that the South South and the South East recorded very high figures for Jonathan.
This is because in the instance of the South South, it was a vote for their son and in the case of the South east, the state governors are PDP’s and, as a leader in the zone told Vanguard, it is a way of demonstrating good faith ahead of the politics that would herald the 2015 presidential contest.
From the results so far released, President Jonathan’s PDP appears to be coasting home to victory and there are reasons for that.
First is the breakdown of the alliance talks. Had the alliance talks succeeded, it would probably have made the race keener than expected but not alter, significantly, the eventual outcome for its own reasons. One of its own reasons was the fact that those who voted for the ACN in some parts of the South specifically and the country in general were going to vote for Jonathan. This was proved in the South West, South East and South South zones.
Another factor which worked in the favour of Jonathan is the size of the PDP.
For the Nay Sayers who were banking on a run-off election or a second ballot, the only possibility of such would have been a scenario whereby Buhari’s CPC came up with a numerical strength of popular votes than Jonathan. That would have equally come with its complexities.
Buhari’s popular votes
This is because from the results so far declared a Buhari’s popular votes would also have needed the benefit of Section 134. (1). The section states: “A candidate for an election to the office of President shall be deemed to have be been duly elected, where, there being only two candidates for the election _
(a) he has the majority of votes cast at the election; and
(b) he has not less than one_quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two_thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
(2) A candidate for an election to the office of President shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being more than two candidates for the election_
(a) he has the highest number of votes cast at the election;
(b) he has not less than one_quarter of the votes cast at the election each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
(3) In a default of a candidate duly elected in accordance with subsection (2) of this section there shall be a second election in accordance with subsection (4) of this section at which the only candidate shall be _
(a) the candidate who scored the highest number of votes at any election held in accordance with the said subsection (2) of this section; and
(b) one among the remaining candidates who has a majority of votes in the highest number of States, so however that where there are more than one candidate with majority of votes in the highest number of States, the candidate among them with the highest total of votes cast at the election shall be the second candidate for the election.
(4) In default of a candidate duly elected under the foregoing subsections, the Independent National Electoral Commission shall, within seven days of the result of the election held under the said subsections, arrange for an election between the two candidates and a candidate at such election shall be deemed elected to the office of President if _
(a) he has a majority of votes cast at the election; and
(b) he has not less than one_quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two_thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja
(5) In default of a candidate duly elected under subsection (4) of this section, the Independent National Electoral Commission shall, within seven days of the result of the election held under the aforesaid subsection (4), arrange for another election between the two candidates to which the subsection relates and a candidate at such election shall be deemed to have been duly elected to the office of President, if he has a majority of the votes cast at the election.”
From the results so far declared, it is emerging that Buhari would never have close to 20 per cent of votes cast in all the 17 states of the South; and this is in sharp contrast to Jonathan’s incremental performance of not only securing more than 25 per cent of votes cast in the North having secured victory in all the 17 states of the South but also going ahead to win in some states of the North.
The prognoses present a very clear and imminent victory for incumbent President Jonathan.
And whereas the Electoral Act 2010 as amended forbids any other declaration of presidential results other than its Chief Returning Officer, Professor Attahiru Jega, National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Vanguard can authoritatively declare that from results announced in the states and especially going by the voting pattern and the constitutional requirement of Section 134, incumbent President Jonathan is merely going through a process of CORONATION.
Therefore, Vanguard is giving the 2011 Presidential Election Victory to incumbent President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, without prejudice to provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended and the powers of Professor Attahiru Jega of INEC.