The Winners, the Losers
With eyes fixed on next week’s governorship and state houses of assembly elections, identifying some of the crucial winners and losers from the presidential and national assembly elections could be a good way to close that chapter, at least, for now, writes Olawale Olaleye
As it is with every contest, there is always a winner and a loser and so, the February 23, presidential and national assembly elections did not fail to produce individuals for the two categories.
Although the elections have been largely disputed by the opposition and others who share their sentiments, what is not in doubt is that winners have been declared from the polls, whilst the losers are by their standing identified.
It is also worthy of mention that INEC has fixed next weekend for the supplementary presidential elections, the import of which no one can tell as it is. Indeed, a majority of the people had asked to what end was a supplementary election needed, when Mr. Muhammadu Buhari had been returned as president-elect.
Perhaps, the supplementary election is being considered to merely fulfill all righteousness, it does not appear it is a process that would alter the current situation, in terms of recognising the winners and identifying the losers.
Traditionally, this idea recognises not only those individual, who ran for office, but also those who made their victory as much as their defeat possible. This is why the list is not limited to the occupiers of elective offices that were contested, won and lost.
Candidate of the All Progressives Congress and president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari is the biggest winner in this election. Whilst it is correct that his victory is already being challenged, by his closest rival, Atiku Abubakar, he has however won a keenly contested election with 15,191,847 votes according to INEC.
His victory is particularly instructive, because he had been dismissed on account of age, poor health, unimpressive performance – all of which were confirmed by many of the polls conducted ahead of the elections.
But against all of these odds, he has been declared winner of the election and remains the number one winner.
As the running mate to Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo shares in the collective victory of their joint ticket. Osinbajo comes across as a major asset to the Buhari presidency, providing the intellectual bulwark needed for the business of governance.
As an ally worthy of Buhari’s trust and confidence, it is a general belief that Osinbajo earned it and not a status attributable to him, having had his fair share of the internal politics of the power house. That he could weather it through also confirms his loyalty and the reason he was re-nominated for the office. Although unable to deliver his polling unit in Lagos, he shares as much joy as Buhari in their victory.
The National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole is another crucial winner in the Buhari victory. Although he would naturally pass for a liability than an asset given the way he has tended the party since assuming office, not to talk of the fact that he could not win his home state for the president, he still shares in the collective victory of the party as its head. It is therefore understandable why he has been so happy since the results were announced.
The Co-chairman of Buhari’s presidential campaign council and one of the national leaders of the APC, Bola Tinubu is another important winner. The South-west has always been considered a critical state, Lagos being at the centre of action and so, its leaders are natural winners in the election.
Unfortunately, the results posted by Lagos and South-west in general were not commensurate with the expectations from a crucial swing state. At this point, victory has been earned and so, the winners must be counted. Tinubu is a winner!
He was the director-general of the campaign and so had a great stake in its outcome. Unfortunately, Amaechi may not be excited about next weekend’s elections, because his party would not be fielding candidates for any of the offices in his Rivers State, he however, approached the presidential elections with all that it deserved.
Indeed, his efforts paid off, when he was able to reduce the Rivers naturally intimidating votes to almost nothing, thus giving Buhari a competitive advantage in an area he otherwise stood no chance. He is definitely a winner.
Outside Buhari’s running mate, the individual whose place is first in the heart of the president is his better half, Aisha Buhari. There was no doubting the fact that the First Lady has not been happy about a few things in the government of her husband, she still desired his victory and so, when results were announced, ‘she danced like David danced’ in celebration of their victory. She is a winner by all standards.
Here is a group of people believed to be the engine of the power house – those who literally call the shots. There is no doubt about the fact that the people in this category are almost faceless and of course unpopular before the average Nigerians, they are believed to be part of those who plotted the Buhari victory and as such, deserve their accolades as winners.
APC Governors and Members
Governors elected on the platform of the APC, whether or not they delivered their states are part of the natural winners of the election. In addition are all members of the party, including their representatives at all levels, who worked tirelessly to see that the president emerged victorious at the end of the day. They are by their reckoning winners and it is incontrovertible.
Buhari Support Groups
Across the federation are uncountable support groups, a majority of whom claimed to have volunteered to work for the president’s reelection. It was no surprise that they saturated everywhere, particularly, the social and traditional media, canvassing for Buahri’s election, even when some of them merely supported as a result of bandwagon effect. Whatever informed their choice, the truth is that they have won too and deserved to be called their names – winners.
Truth is that if anyone had told the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar that he lost the election, he would still disagree at this stage and explain that it was the reason he had challenged the results. Unfortunately, the subsisting reality is that by polling 11,262,978, he lost the election to Buhari with and remains so until the courts he has approached say otherwise.
It is unlikely that even the supplementary election slated for next weekend would change anything. It is however worthy of mention that in spite of the character assassination that typified the campaigns, Atiku put up a good fight and rattled Buhari in many places. That nonetheless, he is the number one loser.
Former Anambra State governor and Atiku’s running mate, Peter Obi is another loser. Although the whole of South-east was delivered for his sake having come from that part of the country, his home state posting the best result in the zone, he could not do more than that and so, their entire votes from the zone didn’t change the fate of their aspiration. He is a loser.
He is though not satisfied with the conduct of the election, having earlier complained of harassment by security operatives, this changes nothing.
The loss of the outgoing Senate President, Bukola Saraki is overwhelming. Not only did he fail to deliver Atiku as the DG of the PDP campaign, he also failed to deliver his own election and those of others in his state.
Sadly, he lost across the board following a movement that was lacking both in ideology and focus – o’to ge, and without any leadership direction. He is in fact, the next big loser after Atiku and Obi.
Former President Olusegun was one of the few, who stuck out their necks for the PDP candidate, because of their beliefs in the fact that Buhari was no longer suitable for the country. Apart from writing letters and granting interviews, he made up with Atiku after almost 15 years of standing in his way for the same office.
But with Buhari’s victory, Obasanjo naturally falls in the category of losers – a big time loser he is.
An old ally of Buhari, who fell out with him, because he believed he was not the kind of leader Nigeria deserved, Buba Galadima, held nothing back in opposing his friend. In fact, they are so close that one of his daughters currently works with the president.
That he was picked up by security operatives on the day of the election showed how bitter their rivalry had become. But at the end of the day, Buhari won, leaving him as just another loser.
A group of generals and top military officers including former president Ibrahim Babangida, Gen. Aliyu Gusau and Lt-Col TY Danjuma were believed to be some of the strongest backers of Atiku. But as it turned out, Buhari won.
Although Babangida has said only last night that Atiku should close ranks and work with Buhari, meaning he’s already moved on in the spirit of the ongoing rapprochement. They are all losers.
Afenifere, Ohanaeze and PANDEF
Some prominent socio-cultural and political groups like the Afenifere, Ohanaeze and Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), rose during one of their meetings in the lead up to the elections and declared support for Atiku. Indeed, they received bashing from many of Buhari’s intolerant supporters, who could not stand the opposition.
And now that their preferred candidate has lost, they also remain losers pending when anything changes.
PDP Governors and Members
Governors of the opposition PDP, their lawmakers at the state and federal levels as well as other members of the party across the nation are classified losers in this election. It does not matter whether or not some of the governors delivered their states, that their candidates did not win makes them share in the defeat.
Predictions from renowned pollsters across the world had projected an Atiku victory. But like the American scenario of 2016, which said the election was Hilary Clinton’s to lose, but where all predictions failed at the end of the day, Nigeria too caught that bug as their predictions of an Atiku win did not come to fruition. They can’t but share in the loss too.