Two things are certain about this article; it will not be published by Sahara Reporters (they have proven to be a completely anti-Jonathan media outlet who are now so far from objectivity that one wonders if they sit back and realise that the media is supposed to be unbiased). Secondly, all the people who are opposed to Jonathan being re-elected will say that I have been paid. One sometimes wonders why they attack all the people who support Jonathan as being sycophants while only the supporters of the opposition are deemed to be the only patriotic people in the country. You see what you see and believe it, and I see what I see and believe it. What you believe probably informed your choice, and my own belief informed my choice too. It is the height of conceit for one to believe that his own choice is informed by patriotism while another’s is informed by something else.
It would have been easier to just go to sleep under the fear of the antagonism of the opposition thus drowning my own voice. But I have not collected money from anybody, and so, I can speak from my heart and accept the repercussions.
There is a belief that the incumbent president of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will lose the presidential election. People who say this gauge the pulse of the social media, and the general belief of people from certain parts of the country and use those as the reason for making the assertion. Also, they look at the information from people who occupy a certain social status, who are domiciled in a certain part of the country. So based on all the information derived from these group, Jonathan stands no chance of winning the election. But this is inherently wrong.
The truth then is that Jonathan’s unpopularity rests mainly on social media; or rather the media. And the media is by far not representative of 20% of Nigerian voters. The real voters are of course not swayed by the media and the truth is, they seem to be for Jonathan. Go back a bit and ask the supporters of Atiku and they will tell you that owing to the type of noise and support he generated on social media especially twitter, Atiku would have been the winner of the APC presidential primaries. But the reality was that he did not win and that is simply because elections are not won on social media.
Majority of the people leading the campaign against Jonathan on social media will not vote that day. In fact, most of them do not have their PVCs! I have had the chance to talk to a few of them and almost all of them have no PVCs. So how then will they vote in their preferred candidate? To win the election, online oratory does not count. Online polls will not count. What will count will be the number of qualified electorates who in actuality cast their votes. And it is on this aspect that Jonathan has been working–appealing to serious Nigerian electorates, and getting their vote of confidence.
It is important that I point out that the loudest voices in the campaign against a Jonathan re-election have been those of Yorubas. Most of them in typical Yoruba impeccable culture are only crying for change because some of their elders have dictated that they do so. So in deference to the elders, they clamour for change (for the sake of change) and deride Jonathan as vociferously as they can. If you ask most of them why Buhari will be better, they simply say (as cracked CDs are wont to) “we want change o”. It does not matter if the change is retrogressive. The slightly brighter ones will take you up on security (and by this they refer to the Boko Haram menace which is essentially an issue of terrorism perpetrated by religious fundamentalists. Beating such religious fundamentalists is something no government in the world can boast of having gained victory on), corruption, and the often over flogged assertion” he is clueless”. Sometimes, they say he is weak. Of course he is weak, because he allows people talk about him as they please in the spirit of freedom of speech and democracy. That is weakness my people.
Let us not argue that a clueless person would have since cluelessly found himself out of government by now, or somehow led us to irredeemable ruin in the course of six years. No need also to argue that Jonathan did not birth corruption in Nigeria. We should rather focus on why every Dick, Tom and Harry can confidently come out openly and insult the president. And why we are even aware of what government officials earn, and indeed the nature of our finances. Both were possible because for the first time we have a president that truly believes in the tenets of democracy. A president who believes in respecting everyone’s human rights. A president that signed into law the Freedom of Information bill thus giving us access to information which hitherto was privileged.
The problem is not that Goodluck Jonathan has been the worst president in our history(on the contrary, he seems to be the best so far).The problem is that unlike the others before him, nobody wants to talk about his achievements. Instead, attention is repeatedly drawn to only his failures top of which was his rather poor reaction to the kidnap of the Chibok girls. The problem is also that for Olusegun Obasanjo, whom with his fellow Yorubas are championing Jonathan’s exit, the man has refused to be a puppet. So now he is the worst president ever even though recent history even shows that Obasanjo cannot stand and talk where Jonathan stands in terms of good governance. I will not talk about Obasanjo here because frankly, talking about him is not worth my time.
I am also not here to talk about the achievements of Jonathan. I only mentioned the ones in the last paragraph because they form part of the reason why Goodluck Jonathan will win the presidential election. He will win because to a large section of Nigerians, he represents what real democratic leadership should be. He is not perfect, but he respects the rights of people. Nigerians do not want to risk this freedom for another quasi-military democracy.
Goodluck Jonathan will win because the All Progressives Congress chose the wrong candidate to be their flag bearer. A Fashola ticket for instance would have given Jonathan the kayoo punch (I for one would have voted for a Fashola presidency). So in choosing a former dictator, they quenched our thirsts for change. Better to stick with someone who will at least respect our rights than risk descending to the abyss we just managed to climb out of (Buhari’s case was not helped by the fact that Obasanjo when he was given a chance still showed he was military at heart).
He will win because Nigeria is not made up of a certain ethnic group alone. It is a country of diverse ethnic groups whose views and beliefs will come into play in deciding who rules the country from May 29th.
Let us now run some predictions and calculations on why Jonathan will win. First of all, there is no argument that Jonathan will win all the Eastern and South South states. Some may argue that in Rivers state, Buhari stands a chance. That is completely untrue. I live in Rivers state and even though a lot of Rivers people will vote for APC for the governorship election, almost all of them will vote Jonathan for the presidency. It is not a question of ethnicism, it is a case of voting a democrat.
My calculations which are based on discussions with people from the South West also show that Buhari is not going to win all the states there. Where it is believed that he will win comfortably are Lagos and Ogun state. I however found out from all those I communicated with that Lagos is not a given. Projections also show that the middle belt would be claimed mainly by Jonathan while he will also have some votes from the core North. The votes he will get from the core North will come mainly from PDP fundamentalists. Now given all these, I do not see Buhari winning up to 24 states.
One cannot argue that this election will be very close. But the projections on social media and in fact the electronic and print media are by far inaccurate representations of what is the true situation. The true situation is that Jonathan holds the edge and that is mainly because of whom the APC chose as their presidential candidate. People always believe that Nigerians forget easily, but the truth is, we just do not forget.
I read through Yahoo News (a link from Associated Press or Reuters. Cannot remember which one exactly) an interview where General Buhari was asked what he will do if he loses the election and he said he will not answer the question because he knows he will not lose*. I hope that he has not been confused by the projections from the mainly Yoruba dominated media. If he has, I fear what will happen if he loses and suddenly had to face reality.
*There has since been another interview where he said he will accept the loss if it happens. I am worried though that the second interview was more of a political statement than an assertion straight from the heart.