WADOO!!NEWS: 2011 and 2015: What has changed for Jonathan and Buhari?
The two major contenders in the Saturday presidential election are no strangers to each other. The two men first encountered themselves on the ballot in 2007 when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was running mate in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP ticket headed by late Alhaji Umaru Yar‘Adua and General Muhammadu Buhari was at the head of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP ticket.
The PDP easily won that election that even the victor, Yar‘Adua admitted to some extent was tainted and thus pushed forward the momentum for electoral reforms which were consolidated after Dr. Jonathan succeeded him in office.
In 2011, the two men again faced off with Jonathan coasting home to victory with 22.19 million votes and Buhari running second with 11.98 million votes. The candidate of the then Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu polled about 2 million votes. Jonathan went home after polling day in 2011 with 23 states and Abuja, while Buhari won 12 states. Ribadu managed to win only in Osun State.
The Jonathan victory in 2011 was remarkable as he won all but one state (Osun) in the South; won all but one state in the North-Central (Niger) and pulled off victory in two states in the Northeast -Taraba and Adamawa.
The only geopolitical zone he did not win a state was in the Northwest and even then, the president made some remarkable scores polling of 25 per cent in all but Jigawa and Kano in the Northwest base of his major challenger.
Remarkably, the president polled more than 20 per cent in all the seven Northwest states.
WHAT HAS CHANGED FOR JONATHAN
Two of the seven states in the Northwest, Sokoto and Zamfara where the president had incumbent PDP governors to mobilise for him have changed to the APC. But given that the president did not win the two states even with the support of those governors, it really would not matter much for Team Jonathan. What would bother his capacity to mobilise 25 per cent of the votes could be a threat by the hostility of the Sokoto and Zamfara governors.
LOSS OF SIX GOVERNORS
A major change in the political permutation for Team Jonathan is that six states Jonathan won in 2011 with incumbent PDP governors to mobilise votes for him have changed loyalties to Buhari. The six states are Rivers, Kwara, Nasarawa, Imo, Ogun and Oyo. Jonathan won handsomely in 2011 in the six states but governors in those states are now actively pushing for Buhari.
The inclination of some governors such as Ebonyi remain suspicious given their lack of control in the affairs of their state chapters of the PDP.
On the brighter side for the president is that his party’s chances in the Southwest have between 2011 and now improved with the enthronement of Governor Ayodele Fayose in Ekiti State.
Also, quite unlike before, the president’s hands on campaign especially in the Southwest has brought him out as a more personable president.
The most remarkable positive change for Jonathan is the fact that in 2011 he contested against three major candidates, Buhari (CPC), Ribadu (ACN) and Shekarau (ANPP).
Between 2011 and 2015, two of his major rivals, Ribadu and Shekarau have dramatically altered their political perspectives to shape in with that of Jonathan and the two men are today actively backing him.
In 2011, Buhari won in 12 states all of which were in the North. Nine of the states he won were at that time controlled by PDP governors, namely: Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Gombe, Bauchi and Niger.
The other three states, Kano which also had a presidential candidate in the person of Ibrahim Shekarau, Yobe and Borno were controlled by the defunct ANPP.
Going into the 2015 election, Buhari now has the five governors of Sokoto, Zamfara, Borno, Yobe and Kano actively pushing for him.
What is going good for Team GMB is the fact that without much of an organisation and support from any governor he was able to win 12 states in 2011.
He, however, has to contend with the fact that one of the big states he won in 2011, Borno is now politically fractured. Though the governor is actively supporting Buhari, the governor’s former main man, Senator Ali Sheriff, SAS is now actively backing Jonathan.
What Has Changed For Jonathan And Buhari?
ONE main thing that has changed for the two main candidates is the introduction of the card reader, a device that practically limits the capacity of parties to manipulate votes in areas where they are strong.
In one state in 2011 the difference in votes cast between the hotly contested governorship election and the presidential was more than 500,000.
Such incidents would now be limited by the ability of the card reader to ensure that only voter’s cards that pass through the card reader are allotted ballot papers.