The war merchants, prophets of doom, pen-for-hire journalist, corruption czars, gullible masses and every other name under the aegis of the forces of darkness, despite numbering above 11 million, were given a crushing defeat by 15 million of us that believed in the sincerity of purpose and commitment to Buhari’s agenda in ridding our country of corruption and taking it to the next level.
The journey to this victory started 4 years ago when Buhari defeated the ruling party, PDP, and clinched the presidency. From day one, PDP began scheming on how to wrest power back thus send its teeming agent into APC and under Saraki unleashed their ungodly plan to scuttle the Government.
It was indeed rough and difficult years especially for the Nigerian masses. Despite all the campaign of calumny against Buhari and negative portrayal of everything he did and the congregation of all the elites including Obasanjo, IBB, Danjuma, Gumi, Kukah, Oyedepo, Galadima, CAN, SH’ITES, NEF, USA, UK, EU, Afenifere, Ohaneze, Middle Belt Forum, Niger Delta Groups and millions of their supporters, in the end as always, Good prevail over evil and Buhari was returned for second term.
This election is a clear testimony that our democracy has never got an impetus and a nudge towards maturity like under Buhari’s 4 years. The election was the smoothest since 1999, the most peaceful, devoid of ballot snatching, doctoring figures and use of money. That alone is one of the greatest achievement of Buhari so far.
What impressed me most about the elections were the results we received that would have never been possible under the PDP. To begin with the top, we have seen how the mighty Kwara politician, de facto broker of power in the state, number 3 man in the country serving as the senate President, Bukola Saraki lost woefully for his re-election bid. His defeat was so crushing leaving no room for any complaint.
The man had risen to become the most powerful senate president ever, with a staggering 80 senators behind him that gave him the leverage to hold the country and government in ransom.
The most inglorious senate, the 8th senate which he presided over, held the record of holding the national budget for good seven months without passing it as a means to strangle the Executives. Fortunately for the country, his constituency decided “e to ge” enough is enough and booted him out of the senate and a possible retirement from politics.
That was indeed the beauty of democracy, the power of the electorates to vote in or boot out. In the same vein, Dino Melaye, a politician that I personally doesn’t like the way he do his politics, was returned as a senator in the same Kwara state despite the might of the Federal Government and powerful politicians against him in the state, yet as his people believes in his representation they returned him to the senate albeit without his principal.
Further up north, in Gombe State, despite Dankwambo’s massive infrastructural development and good governance in the state, his people doesn’t see him worthy of representing them in the senate and gave him a crushing defeat too, simply because they are APC people and prefer an APC representation.
Down south, in Akwa Ibom, despite being a two-time governor with an impressive tenure and another term in the senate, Akpabio lost a return ticket to senate under APC, a party he reinvigorate in the state with his defection from the PDP.
Another big looser in the South-South is the immediate past governor of Delta State, Uduaghan. In the South West Former Senator and former Governor Ajimobi lost his bid to return to the senate where he once served his constituency in Oyo State from 2003 to 2007.
Going back to the North, another winner has emerged in Bauchi State despite the might of both the state and federal governments against his bid. That was the current speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara. His win was unassailable as his people believed in his representation.
In a nutshell, there has never been an election with such surprises since the beginning of democracy in Nigeria and it is a great victory for the people to make their voice matters despite all odds. This trend is very healthy in our democracy and if we can sustain it, I believe our democracy will begin to take shape and our elected official will really understand the meaning of accountability.
With the Governors and State assemblies around the corner, I look forward to a repeat of such voting patterns across the country and going by the precedent of the last polls I look forward to APC governors in the north, especially the non performing ones lose out.
Kano is one such state that a scenario of the incumbent losing is very possible. The bribery scandal had tarnished the image of the governor and the complacency of all stakeholders in bringing him to book had gingered the electorates to cast their verdict and it is only time will tell if Kanawa will judge him with their PVC’S. Bauchi is another state where the APC governor had lost so many of his admirers along the way and the opposition are gaining momentum.
Kogi State too is at risk of losing the governorship elections to the opposition. All three state had one thing in common, their governors performed below expectation of the electorates and they only believed that holding Buhari’s hand is enough to return them to their respective government house.
Fortunately, the President had informed voters to choose candidates of their liking, as there would be no SAK anymore in the gubernatorial elections. Since 2003, governors like Malam Ibrahim Shekarau had ride along the tide of Buhari’s popularity to get elected (SAK) and turn back and bite the hands that feeds them.
That is why when Buhari clinched the presidency, made sure the days of governors riding behind his popularity to win elections becomes a thing of the past. He allowed INEC to change the format by separating the Presidential and Governorship elections so that people could vote on merit of the candidates.
The voting trend in the Presidential and Legislators election had, without doubt, ushered a new beginning in our election result that throws several surprises, and I expect the trend to continue next weekend as Nigerians across the 36 states elect their governors.
Ali Abubakar Sadiq