Myths Busted by the 2019 Nigerian Presidential Elections


The alternative


The 2019 elections have come and gone. The riggers have rigged and exposed their fabled integrity as a myth, and the cheated have declared their position.

But there are many things that have been brought to the fore by this election. A pattern that has exposed inconvenient truths in Nigeria’s body politics. But as the case a lot of times, we as a people, are more likely to emote than to reason. Thus, these patterns are showing up and are hardly noticed by Nigerians, but they are there and they are what they are.

One of the myths that the consistent patterns of elections in Nigeria puts to lie is the myth about our population.
2015 was a highly contested election and 2019 did not disappoint. Some might say it was even keener than 2015. In both, Nigeria was so mobilised, that it almost looked as if we were preparing for war, rather than elections. People were charged. Both elections trended on Twitter and Google worldwide and not just in Nigeria. Yet in both instances, less than 30 million people voted.

Nigeria’s population is NOT 190 million. Our population is exaggerated because of the politics we play. UK has a population of 66 million and 33 million voted in Brexit. How come Nigeria, with 190 million population consistently has less than 30 million voters in highly contested elections?
Consider that only slightly more people (5.5 million) voted in Nigeria’s February Presidential elections than the number that voted in Egypt’s Presidential elections that returned Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as President. Yet, we are expected to believe our population is twice that of Egypt’s

Mind you, the 28 million people who ‘voted’ in Nigeria, consist of perhaps 20 million real people and maybe 8 million ‘ghost voters’. When you consider this fact, you will see that we have just about the same electorate as Egypt. Let’s stop deceiving ourselves that we are 190 million people
The reason why ALL the elections in Nigeria since 1999 have registered low voter turnouts (always less than 50%), is not because people do not want to vote. It is because the people who are expected to vote do not exist. We exaggerate our population like we do almost every other thing in Nigeria.

Get the Bank Verification Number data from the CBN, which is available online and you would notice that outside of Lagos, BVN enrolment does not correspond to population figures for allegedly populated states. Even Lagos’ enrolment does not correspond, but it is less suspicious.
I do not know how much we are. But I know how much we are not. It is almost certainly a fact that our population is not 190 million. That population figure is a myth and as long as we play our brand of Nigerian politics, we will never know our true population.
That is one myth busted. Another myth is the legend that President Buhari is popular in Nigeria. This election proves that to be false even with the inflated numbers. And I will let the votes speak for themselves.

The total votes casted for the two main parties in the 17 Southern states were 9,195,201. PDP had 5,703,387 even with the voter suppression in Akwa-Ibom, Delta and Rivers. APC had 3,491,814. This data reveals that Buhari is NOT popular in the South. He IS a regional leader.
If Southern Nigeria were like Zanzibar, which chooses its own President separately from the rest of Tanzania (that is how the Tanzanian Constitution works), Buhari and the APC would be minorities. Buhari is a Northern leader, not a Nigerian leader.
And then even in the North of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari is popular. True. But his popularity is concentrated in the Northwest and Northeast. And that popularity is tied to ethnicity and religion, not to capacity and vision. The votes prove this.

The total votes cast for the two main parties In nineteen Northern States is 16,847,403 with the APC getting 11,547,809, while PDP got 5,299,594. Almost all of Buhari’s Northern votes were from the NW/NE. In Seventeen years, Buhari has not been able to extend his popularity beyond these zones.
If Southern Nigeria were like Zanzibar, which chooses its own President separately from the rest of Tanzania (that is how the Tanzanian Constitution works), Buhari and the APC would be minorities. Buhari is a Northern leader, not a Nigerian leader.
But perhaps my best take from the election is the behaviour of voters in the Southwest and what that means for Nigeria going forward, especially when you take into consideration that as the Southwest goes, so goes the nation, in terms of trends.

The Yorubas of the Southwest proved again that they are the most sophisticated voters in Nigeria. This election was fraught with massive rigging, but there is redemption. Notice how Yoruba voters gave their votes to PDP even though APC has a Yoruba Vice President?
I doff my hat to the Yoruba nation. They are not a tribalistic people. By voting for an Igbo PDP Vice President even when APC had a Yoruba Vice President, they showed political maturity. And it is unfair to them to say it was Igbos in the SW that gave the PDP this 50%. PDP won in Oyo and Ondo, solid monolithic Yoruba States,
The voting pattern of the Yoruba in this election shows that merit is more important to them than ethnicity. Other regions have to learn from them. In terms of political maturity and tolerance, they are light years ahead of other regions of Nigeria. Don’t allow any separatist leader to deceive you that Yorubas hate Igbos. Look at the facts. The behaviour of the Yoruba this election season should be appreciated by the SE. Drop whatever animosity you have against the Yoruba.

By their voting pattern in this election, the Yoruba proved that when they see competence, they ignore tribe. Let us learn how to play politics from the SW. Don’t confuse the desperation of Bola Tinubu with the behaviour of the Yoruba this election. They voted their conscience. They did not vote their tribe. I am so impressed that almost 50% of them voted for Peter Obi over Yemi Osinbajo. I acquired a new respect for them.
The Igbo of the Southeast would do well to learn from the SW. They had a good hand in this election, but they did not post it well and a lot of the blame goes to Nnamdi Kanu.

I saw his tweet condemning foreign election observers and it was obvious to me that like his arch nemesis, Muhammadu Buhari, Nnamdi Kanu is blame focused rather than solution centred.
Nnamdi Kanu shouldnt heap blame on foreign observers. True, the APC rigged. But Nnamdi has his share of massive blame on how this election turned out. His unwise call for election boycott dampened voter enthusiasm in the SE. Yes, he called it off, but the damage was done. Why did he make such a move? The ONLY person it helped was Buhari. It did not help Atiku Abubakar and it certainly DID NOT help the Igbos.

Reno’s Nuggets
There are 2 big scams in the world. The first scam is the belief that pain killers actually kill pain. No they don’t. They just manage pain. The second is the belief that a salary can cure poverty. No it doesn’t. It just manages poverty. Stop being scammed. When a rat is eating your toes, it blows air on it so you dont feel pain till it is too late. You job is the rat. Your salary is the air. Your sack is the time when it is too late. Salary cant make you rich. Save your toes. kill the rat by starting your own business #RenosNuggets

Reno’s Darts
Dear President Buhari,
Congratulations on your stolen mandate. You DID NOT win an election. You won a selection, but lost integrity. I congratulate you for your theft. If God spares my life and yours, I will torment you every step of the way. Congrats for revealing your true nature. There is now no difference between you and the politicians you look down on with disdain. You are corrupt, like them. You rig, like them (only less intelligently). Unlike them, you pretend to be a saint.

Reno Omokri
#1 Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: True Story of the Jonathan Years. Avid traveler. Table Shaker. Buhari’s Tormentor. PhD, London School of Savagery.