Shekarau: The President –In- Waiting - April 9, 2011 Presidential Election In Nigeria

26 January 2011

By Saka Raji Audu 

Recently, two prominent political parties, namely; the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) went to poll to elect their various presidential candidates for the scheduled  April 9, 2011 presidential election in Nigeria. Apart from these two prominent political parties, others adopted consensus candidates without election. Though this method did not go against the electoral law, it is however not the best form of allowing individual party members to freely express his or her choice.  

In the recent past, I have variously authored some articles asserting that Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau is more acceptable and qualified to win the forthcoming presidential election in Nigeria. Between December 22, 2010 and January 5, 2011, there was also a consistent enlightenment campaign mounted by the Patriotic Front for Shekarau (PFS) 2011 through the GSM bulk messages across the country, enhancing the acceptability of Shekarau's choice for President. All these were taking place when President Goodluck Jonathan and the defeated Alhaji Atiku Abubakar were busy exposing their incompetency through various media and became the laughing stock of Nigerians. 

Still, on 6th January, 2011, a nation wide opinion poll was also conducted to know what Nigerians have in mind as their preference among the presidential aspirants namely; Jonathan, Shekarau, Buhari and Atiku. The result of this opinion poll conducted by a private researcher, which was published via GSM bulk messages across the country, indicated that both Shekarau and Buhari were on the lead, having polled 31% each while Jonathan and Atiku had 20% and 10% respectively with 8% undecided. The result of the opinion poll was acknowledged and commended by the National Secretary of SDMP, Dr. Sadiq because it tallied with their independent survey. 

Looking at the recent presidential primaries of PDP and ANPP of 13th and 16th January, 2011 respectively, it further justifies that Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau of ANPP has more spread of acceptance than the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of PDP. The result of the presidential primaries show that Shekarau polled 4,178 votes, which represent 79% of the total vote cast by ANPP delegates while Jonathan polled 2,736 votes, which represent 76% of the total vote cast by PDP delegates. In addition to this fact, it is axiomatic to point out that President Jonathan lost more than five states to his rival Atiku whereas Governor Shekarau only lost a state for technical reason to his closest rival, Chief Harry Akande. This is how Shekarau of ANPP had comfortably wide spread acceptance than Jonathan of PDP. This is also despite the fact that the result of the PDP presidential primary is still being challenged in some quarters. Be as it may, it is very clear that the odds favour Governor Shekarau of Kano State for many reasons. First, it is a well known fact that Shekarau is an achiever per excellence, ambassador of peace, consistent, democratic, detribalized, impeccably transparent, security conscious, technology personified, and vibrant reconciler as well as people's leader. He easily forgives, empowers women and youth, allows freedom of expression, justice and equity and gives respect to traditional leaders. None of his opponents can lay claim to all of these. 

Secondly, in view of the present circumstance, it is only Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau who has no carry over of grudges against any body in the country. Look at the way Jonathan and Atiku destroyed and finished themselves on the pages of newspaper before the presidential primary election. Do you think there will be fairness in the leadership of either of the two becoming the next President? There is still resentment among the two camps and therefore, Nigerians will be willing to throw them out of the ring. What about Mallam Nuhu Ribadu of ACN who dogged every one a thief but himself? People have not forgotten the molestation and his dark days of being used by ex-President Obasanjo as hunting dog to chase away perceived foes. Many people and their apologists are earnestly waiting to take their own pond of fresh. Remember that a man who forgets his past mistakes is bound to repeat them.  

General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) of CPC is trust wordy and has unblemished past in view of his past record of achievements as Head of State. This might be one of the reasons why people rated him equal with Malam Shekarau in an independent research poll recently conducted. But one will not be in hurry to quickly remember that while Buhari was Head of State, he clamped politicians in cell and changed the country's currency and also gave seven days within which the old currency seized to exist. Many politicians could not beat the deadline and therefore lost their money. These people took their sweet revenge in 2003, 2007 and will be willing to still take it in 2011. This is not all. Buhari found himself in a party whose big time loyalists have vaulting ambition to clinch power at all costs. The inability of such loyalists to get the power, in view of the recent primaries across the country, has caused more harm than good for the party. Some of these people are ready to pay back in the same coin.  

Thirdly and from the look of things, the Adamu Ciroma led NPFL seems to be sad about the defeat of its PDP consensus candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Already, people are expressing grudges against the role played by some PDP governors in the recent concluded PDP presidential primary election in which the governors gave their quantum votes to Jonathan. Even though the Bauchi State Governor and the Campaign Coordinator of Goodluck/Sambo ticket in the North East narrowly escaped defeat in his state, viewing the outcome of the PDP presidential primary result. Sensing the danger ahead, it was recently reported in the media that President Jonathan called the losers for a meeting, probably to mend fences with them.  But people seem to be saying that the deeds have been done and described such meeting as undressing some one in the public and clothing him in private. It therefore appears too that the people are telling PDP to look for its coffin because all is over.  

In viewing of foregoing, it is now clear that Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau, Sardaunan Kano has an upper hand in the scheme of things. He is the most favoured candidate among the presidential candidates to win the forthcoming April 9, 2011 presidential election in Nigeria. As a result of this comparative advantage, some pockets of oppositions are now using ethnic and religious badge as subterfuge to create false impression. Incidentally, Shekarau as three Special Advisers, a Yoruba and Ibo Christians and one from the north central in his administration. Still, Shekarau had been a guest at a Pentecostal church gathering where he delivered speech on the unity of Nigeria. Therefore, the religious bigots and ethnic chauvinists should know that Shekarau is already in the mix of Nigerians and no amount of religious misconception will make any meaningful impact.  

 Certainly, Shekarau is the Nigerian President-in-waiting because he is born to win and he has been winning. In April 2003, he won his governorship election to unseat an incumbent governor. In April 2007, he won his second term governorship election to break the Kano political jinx, In October 2010, he was blackmailed and he took his blackmailer to court for defamation of character, he won the case and the court awarded N1B damages to be paid to him. In January 2011, he had a landslide victory at the ANPP presidential primary where he defeated three other candidates to pick the presidential candidate slot for the forthcoming presidential election, which by the grace of God, he will win because Shekarau is born to win.


Saka Raji Audu writes from Kano and can be reached on his email:


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