By Ikenna Asomba
Did you know that the 2019 Presidential Election is just some 435 days to go? Nigeria’s electoral umpire, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has scheduled the General Election for Saturday, February 16, 2019.
So, yesterday, Wednesday, December 7, 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari paid a 2-day Working Visit to Kano State, a state where he got over 1.9 million votes as the All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential candidate at the 2015 Presidential elections.
You remember that through the influence of former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, et al, using what has been described as the “Almajiri Factor,” Buhari got such amount of votes from Kano State in 2015.
It was former Governor Kwankwaso (now Senator representing Kano Central Senatorial District ), who on April 13, 2015, revealed in a live-interview on Channels TV that Almajiri votes (1.9 million) were responsible for kicking former President Goodluck Jonathan out of the presidential villa in Abuja. Wow! 1.9 million Votes? That’s massive.
Ladies and Gentlemen, is it still certain that given the changed political dynamics ahead of 2019, that President Buhari will still get such amount of Votes from Kano?
In 2015, Kano State had:
Registered Voters: 4, 943, 862
Accredited Voters: 2, 364, 434
APC/Buhari Received: 1, 903, 999 Votes
PDP/Jonathan Received: 215, 779 Votes
Assuming that Kano State in 2019, still has 4, 943, 862 Registered Voters and 2, 364, 434 Accredited Voters, I state that the stark reality remains- Buhari won’t have up to 1.9 million Votes in Kano on a free and fair election.
1. Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso a winning machine in Kano State politics presently has been having running battles with his ex-deputy and now Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
President Buhari has not helped matters to settle this rift since after the 2015 General elections. Rather, President Buhari has been favourably disposed to Governor Ganduje, jettisoning Senator Kwankwaso who boasted he used Almajiri votes totalling over 1.9 million to help Buhari to power. Today, Kwankwaso is no longer Buhari’s man-Friday and the rest is history.
Even the Returning Electoral Officer, REC, who facilitated this whopping 1.9 million “Almajiri” votes died in a mysterious fire accident alongside his entire family. The then Kano State Police Commissioner, now Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, promised a thorough investigation, but till date, nothing has been heard of that matter. The rest is history.
If Senator Kwankwaso is not appeased by President Buhari before the 2019 elections, he is a factor that will act as a spoiler to Buhari’s votes in Kano State. Take this to the banks.
2. The people of Kano State, I have independently gathered, are angry with President Buhari on two major grounds.
A. Since May 29, 2015, they can’t point to one Federal Project President Muhammadu Buhari had started, completed and commissioned in Kano State, which gave him his highest votes at the 2015 Presidential elections. They are asking, will President Buhari finally commission a Federal Government project or projects before 2019?
B. Since July 3, 2017, when former Nigerian Ambassador to United States, Dr Yusuf Maitama Sule (Dan Masanin Kano) passed on, President Buhari never personally visited Kano to condole with them. Although President Buhari wrote a condolence letter to Governor Ganduje, delivered by the Federal Government delegation to the burial as constituted by Vice Presdent Yemi Osinbajo. Why some of these Kano residents are angry over this particular issue leaves me astonished until the outcome of 2019 Presidential elections billed for Saturday, February 16, 2019.
These are the issues. President Buhari, his handlers and dyed-in-the-wool supporters (Buharists and Buharideens), may disregard this with a wave of the hand, but they are pertinent issues that will shape 2019 for President Buhari in Kano State, particularly as the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has zoned its Presidential ticket to the North. A Northern Political Bulldozer like Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, all the things being equal, will equitably share the Kano’s 2million votes with President Buhari in 2019.
The 2019 election is no longer about North or South again; it’s not about Islam or Christianity again. The dynamics have since changed.
It’s not going to be business as usual for Buhari in Kano State. Take it to the banks.
2015: Buhari Campaigns In Kano
Be that as it may, since yesterday’s visit, Buharists and Buharideens have continued to regale their audiences with photos of what they have described as the mammoth crowd that welcomed President Buhari in Kano State.
In their usual characteristics, they have also been sending out photos of the mammoth crowd former Governor Kwankwaso facilitated to attend the Buhari 2015 campaign rally at the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano, on January 20, 2015.
See link- http://thenationonlineng.net/huge-crowd-buhari-campaigns-kano/
Buhari Visits Kano For 2-Day Working Visit
If you want to see Verified and Authentic photos of yesterday’s visit to ascertain that the DIFFERENCE IS NOW CLEAR, two years and six months after, see link- https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/251645-photo-story-kano-welcomes-president-buhari-grand-style.html
Yours Truly says, indeed, it’s not yet UHURU for President Muhammadu Buhari in Kano State.
Ikenna Asomba is a Social Commentator.