It is a topic of conversation: how much power did Tinubu wield and how much power does he have in the current APC government. Of course Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, so his role in the recently concluded and won, party elections cannot be denied, however it is useful to evaluate exactly how much he contributed to Nigeria’s new leadership choice.
Did Tinubu win this for Buhari and us? The answer to that is No. There is no denying that the Nigerian people did this. It was our decision to kick out Goodluck Jonathan and the truth is, through whichever rival party or alternate revolutionary means, Nigerians were determined at, and would not have stopped till the PDP-Goodluck, bad luck regime was out. Some of us were even ready to fight to free our country.
The real people to whom this victory is credited are INEC, the masses and the social media warriors who refused to be bribed or intimidated and fought with dedication from start to finish. The Omojuwas, the Sowores, the Ogundamisis. These are the people who had they swung the other way, Nigeria would still be under Jonathan.
When analysing the results of the presidential polls, one immediately notices the low turnout. Buhari’s victory was by a mere 2 million votes. In 2011, Goodluck Jonathan purportedly scored 22 million votes to Buhari’s 12 million. In 2015, Buhari pulled 15.5 million votes to Jonathan’s 13 million.
The reason for the difference in the polls and Buhari’s victory was two things: firstly, INEC plugged a considerable amount of rigging apertures. This cut Jonathan’s 2011 miracle victory which was largely from rigging an also plugged much of Tinubu’s erstwhile influence, controlling the manipulation machinery. Buhari barely won in Lagos, illustrating what the real votes are without the full rigging machines deployed.
Buhari’s numbers between 2011 and 2015 only increased by about 3 million votes. And most of Buhari’s votes have always been raw votes hence his confidence to go to court at the end of all past elections.
When it was said in 2011 that Tinubu sold off to Jonathan, it was not by influencing the people, no, he does not wield such magical influence and after all his party still presented Nuhu Ribadu; Tinubu assisting Jonathan’s victory is credited to the manipulation of the then functional rigging apparatus.
So what inspired Buhari’s new victory in the Southwest if not by a wave of a Jagaban’s magic wand? It was the will of the people and the result of the next generation social media campaigns.
This victory should not be read by the votes won but by the votes lost. With a less than 30% turnout compared to the alleged 53% voter turnout in 2011, the truth is INEC shoring up the process and the result of social media aggressive campaigns which exposed the rot in the Jonathan PDP administration is what led to many people not bothering to vote and Buhari’s victory in these areas.
While Jonathan campaigned aggressively in Churches and invested billions in slander campaigns against the person of President Muhammadu Buhari, the social media and next generation Nigerians cleared up the mess and mud and where we could not make people vote for Buhari, we made them not vote at all, and this is what led to Jonathan’s loss.
President Buhari or any other strong opposition would have won this election in any party whatsoever.
The influence of people like Tinubu can maybe be equalled with the influence of other elite like Saraki, Amaechi, Rochas, Soyinka, Obasanjo, Kwankwaso and every other public speaking politician. More factually, while people like Kwankwaso wielded massive influence, Tinubu was a drag for Buhari.
During pre-election campaigns, it was noticed that when surveyed many Nigerians said they will not vote for Buhari because of the very Tinubu who they accused of corruption and said owned half of Lagos and Ogun state.
It was the stench of Jonathan that gave a narrow victory to Ambode in Lagos. The greatest obstacle and hurdle governor Ambode had to surmount was the very Tinubu.
It was also not foreign partners that did it in this election.
It would be useful this administration further strengthens INEC and recognizes, employs and gives proper accord and answers to the real powers that brought it to power and will keep it there: us next generation masses and media activists…to the Everyone. It cannot afford not to.
Written by Dr. Peregrino Brimah.