Nigeria’s former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has done it…
By Kurtis Adigba
In a big country like Nigeria, with many tribes and tongues, diverse religious beliefs, deeply ingrained regional interests, and a steep constitutional requirements, it takes more than merit to win a presidential election. Merit, is just one factor. Other factors are, religion, ethnicity, interests, and sentiments.
In an election, the best and most qualified, is not always the winner. We have seen this happen in our country so many times. In the 2016 presidential election in the USA, President Obama crowed: ”Hillary is the most qualified person to be president. Not Bill, not me, no one, is more qualified than her. I’m with her”. But the voters, made in their in President Trump, a man without government experience, and who would lose the merit pitch argument anyway. He is president. Hillary is not.
In Nigeria, some folks, from a certain part of the country (I refer to them as social media janjaweed, after the Sudanese terrorist horse riding group) who hold the erroneous belief that they and their part of the country, are superior to others, push the merit arguments to a ridiculous extent. In a democracy, the major currency of transactions are votes, not sentiments. Your relevance or strength, depends on the votes you have, and can bring to the table. Merit is not the only thing needed to win. Anger, is not the strategy to win. Anger and more of it, will only leave you guys more frustrated. Stop your slash and burn commentaries on the timelines of everyone that do not agree with your views. No part of Nigeria, can elect a president for the country alone. The North can’t do it. The South can’t either. Not to talk about a few states in a region or zone. We all need each other to win.
In 1999, the Southwest of the country, rejected Obasanjo, their own son overwhelmingly but he won because the North (Central, East, and West), the Southeast, and South-South, supported and voted for him. In 2011, Jonathan was elected because he was supported by every part of Nigeria. He lost in 2015 because he lost the support of the Southwest and the North. He won overwhelmingly in the Southeast and South-South, but it wasn’t enough to pull him across the finishing line. President Buhari, has won in the North in every election before 2015 but he was not elected president. In 2015, with the support of the North and the Southwest, he was elected president.
The constitution provides that for a person to be elected president, he or she must score a simple majority of votes, and obtain 25% of votes in Two-Third of 36 states plus Abuja. Two-Third of 36 is 24 plus Abuja. If all the 19 states in the North will vote for a candidate from that part of the country, he or she cannot win. If all the 17 states in the South decides to vote for a candidate from the South, he or she, will lose. We need each other to win. The winning coalition, is one that will bring Nigerians of all faiths, tribes and tongues, and with their interests and sentiments, recognized and protected.
Stop coming to my timeline to talk about superiority. About how you are not a Nigerian but some phony Jews. If you are not a Nigerian, stop talking and worrying about Nigeria.