By Farooq Kperogi
Apparently, I gave up too soon. A clearer picture of the voting pattern has now emerged, and it shows that Atiku is winning handily. In spite of the active state-aided voter suppression in PDP strongholds, murderous violence against PDP agents, ballot paper snatching, and sundry electoral malpractices, Atiku is still in a comfortable lead. (And, contrary to initial reports, he didn’t lose his polling unit; But Buhari, like Jonathan, DID LOSE the Aso Rock Presidential polling unit, just as Osinbajo lost his unit).
Atiku is winning southern and northcentral states with a wider margin than Buhari did his strongholds in 2015, and losing northwestern and northeastern states by a far narrower margin than Jonathan did his weak spots in 2015. That, right there, is victory, folks. So in spite of the violence, the unprecedented vote-buying, the suppression, APC might not pull it off.
I just read the two press statements by APC and PDP, and it’s apparent that APC’s press statement already betrays defeat. Festus Keyamo’s last paragraph in the release, written in all caps (which means yelling), reads: NOBODY SHOULD JUBILATE NOW…UNTIL FINAL RESULTS ARE DECLARED BY INEC.” That’s the smell of defeat. Obviously, their own results show that Buhari is losing this election.
PDP, on the other hand, is upbeat. Its press release ends with the following words: “President Buhari should be prepared to take his defeat in good faith. After all, he will not be the first sitting president to lose in an election.”
Now, APC governors and other APC honchos are working actively to inflate results in their favor after the fact. Sadly for them, however, Atiku’s and international observers’ cloud-based systems have already captured existing results of the election as announced in polling units nationwide.
My only anxiety for Nigeria now is that Buhari will not hand over peacefully. As I’ve said repeatedly, he’d rather go down with the whole nation than go down alone. Here’s precisely where Nigeria’s international partners should come in. Buhari is now the proverbial bull in a china shop. We need to be delicate in taking him out so we don’t destroy the entire shop in the process.