By Dapo Akinrefon
THE Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) as the winner of the 2015 presidential election.
There is no doubt that the outcome of the polls has thrown up winners and losers.
The first winners of the elections are Nigerians, who despite all odds were determined to ensure that their votes counted. In previous elections, the will of the people had been undermined by politicians but they were unperturbed in ensuring they throw up their leaders through the ballot box on March 28.
With the malfunctioning of the Smart Card Readers and late arrival of election materials for the March 28 presidential and parliamentary polls, Nigerians patiently waited to cast their votes. Kudos must be given to Nigerians for their doggedness and peaceful conduct during the polls.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
The former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is another winner in the elections. His consistency and support for the Buhari candidacy proved fruitful. He was able to spread his political tentacles and influence to project Buhari before Nigerians and this culminated to victory at the polls.
Governors of the APC duly contributed to Buhari’s victory at the polls. This is because they mobilised support for Buhari in their respective states which resulted to the emergence of the APC presidential candidate as president-elect.
Former governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi was consistent portraying the Buhari candidacy before the international community. Fayemi was able to use his international connection to sell the Buhari project before Nigerians in the diaspora.
Though he lost out during the June 21, governorship elections, Fayemi was drafted into the Buhari Campaign Organisation
Governor Amaechi was in the forefront of the Project Buhari.
Amaechi, had before now been in the eye of the storm especially from the outgoing First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan in Rivers state. He also contended with the PDP force led by Nyesom Wike.
The continued face-off between him and President Goodluck Jonathan left him with no other option than to seek solace in the APC. With Buhari’s emergence, Amaechi will not be left out in the scheme of things especially being the Director General of Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is another victor in the election. He was an influential personality to Buhari’s ascendancy to Aso Rock considering the cold war that existed between him and Jonathan.
This climaxed with the latter publicly shredding his PDP card and his eventual exit from the party. It is considered that Obasanjo’s exit from the party sent a strong signal to Nigerians that Jonathan was on his own.
Governor Rabiu Kwakwano of Kano State was the runner-up in the APC presidential primary and his image which looms large in Kano State contributed to Buhari’s success at the polls. Kwakwanso was able to mobilise not only Kano State, which has one of the highest voting population in the country. He won his Senatorial seat.
Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the governor of Osun State, has a perceived deep hatred for the PDP. In the 2011 presidential elections, Aregbesola refused to toe the path of others, who allowed the PDP a free hand in the state. For a state that receives one of the lowest amount as federal allocation, the coast is clear for a Federal government assistance.
Owelle Rochas Okorocha is the governor of Imo State and the only APC governor in the South East. Okorocha workde hard convincing his Igbo folks to support the Buhari presidency. Okorocha’s support for Buhari would lead to a dawn of new things for both APC supporters and South easterners.
Former Vice President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is another northern figure who ensured the Buhari victory came into reality. Atiku was one of the party bigwigs who supported Buhari with financial assistance. He was actively working behind the scene.
Chief John Odigie Oyegun, a former governor of Edo State is the national chairman of the APC.
Interestingly, Oyegun’s era as the APC chairman led to the end of the PDP’s 16 year rule.
Perhaps, it would be apt to state that his tenure as chairman would usher in the birth of a new era for the party and Nigerians.