Buhari Breaks New Ground In The South-East

By Ikenga Chronicles March 4, 2019

Buhari Breaks New Ground In The South-East

It is no more news that President Muhammadu Buhari was declared the winner of the recently held Presidential election.

The result of the poll which returned Buhari for his second term gives some interesting food for thought compared to 2015 figures.

Recall that Buhari won the poll over former President, Goodluck Jonathan, with about 3 million votes in 2015.

It is a fact that the Northern part of Nigeria has the population and the land mass. For you to emerge President, you need to get a significant number of states from the 19 States.

From available statistics, Buhari has been polling over six million votes from the region since he started contesting for the number one seat in the land since 2003.

In a bid to achieve the aim of getting the seat, Buhari’s party then, All Nigeria Peoples Party(ANPP) in 2014 had to form a merger with the Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) to dislodge the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) in 2015. This led to the birth of the All Progressives Congress(APC).

With the South-West already being controlled by the ACN, Buhari got three million votes from the region. This added to the 12 million he got from the North, having failed woefully in all his years of running for office in the South-East, polling just 198,248 in 2015.

In 2019, following the opposition’s decision to nominate Peter Obi, former South-Eastern Governor, as its Vice-Presidential candidate. Buhari surprisingly went on to poll 403,968 votes in the South-East, making it his highest ever.

As a result of this feat, he scored 25 percent or more in three States for the first time in the South-Eastern.

This alluded to the fact that some of the Governors from the zone are his friends and had done projects many could identify with. His political appointees also worked hard for him. This led to him polling over a million votes from the South-South, making it the highest he ever recorded from the zone.

Meanwhile, the result of the same poll showed that the Sai Baba! slang became less popular in the Northern region of the country which is Buhari’s stronghold.

Recall that in 2015, Buhari polled 12,374,890 votes from the region. But in 2019,  despite the addition of over five million registered voters in the region, Buhari was only able to get 11,700,033 votes. This shows the President could not keep his 2015 followership, neither could he woo new voters to come his way.

Another reason that could be attributed to the reduction in the number of the vote he got in the region could be because another Northerner, Atiku Abubakar, was his core opposition.

When contesting for the Presidency, core States like Lagos, Rivers, Kaduna, Katsina come to mind as they are among the States with large voters registration.

Recall that former President, Goodluck Jonathan, emerged President without winning Kano, Kaduna, and Katsina in 2011, but lost in 2015 when he failed to win Lagos.

Jigawa State came to the forefront as over 70 percent of the registered voters cast their votes with their PVCs, as opposed to some using only ID cards, as seen in many southern states.

Ironically, while some were throwing abusive words at southerners for not voting, many were blessing northerners for coming out to make Buhari president.

Constitutionally, you need a minimum of 25% of votes in 25 states and the highest number of votes to win a presidential election in Nigeria. But northern Nigeria has continually determined the way Nigerian elections pan out.

Buhari was able to achieve that in more than 25 states and got reelected for another four-year term.