Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –
Religious and political loyalties appear to have determined the outcome of Nigeria’s presidential poll during the past weekend with northern states throwing their support to former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari of the predominantly Muslim north, while the southern states backed incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, of the predominantly Christian south.
Jonathan, who was accused of spreading billions in “walking around money” as it is called in the U.S., was declared the winner after a recent landmark vote. He allegedly garnered 31% of the vote total or 22.5 million votes to Buhari, who received 12.2 million votes or just under 60 percent.
Buhari’s loss could sound the death knell to an unwritten power-sharing arrangement, which had handed the presidency back and forth between the Muslim north and Christian and animist south every two years.
A president from the north should have been in power until 2015 but plans went awry when the previous president Umaru Yar'Adua, died in office. Jonathan, a vice-president from the south, should have stepped down after completing his predecessor's term of office. He did not, and went on to defeat a northern Muslim challenger, former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, for the party's presidential nomination.
Buhari’s party is rejecting the vote totals and has filed a challenge. They have also issued a call to law and order as deadly riots spread through several northern cities in an apparent protest of the result.
Meanwhile, social media groups that monitored reports of electoral abuse, mostly gave thumbs up to the vote. “Nigerians need to be commended, along with elected/appointed officials who were saddled with delivering hitch-free elections,” wrote the watchdog Enough is Enough on their website. “We look forward to the last set of elections on Tuesday, April 26, so that we can have a honest review of the impact of our work – and also plan for the journey ahead.
“This is 2011, our votes will count!”
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