The Governor of Kano state earlier promised to deliver five million votes to the Jubril, the impostor being paraded as Nigeria’s president, however facts gathered so far do not support the assertion made by the governor who was caught on camera taking bribes in US dollars for awarding contracts.
Daily Trust reports:
With only one week to the elections, political parties and candidates are all out to out-do each other for the ultimate prize. Part of the strategy is showcasing what they have done and making promises which are sometimes achievable and other times not.
For the 2019 elections, though there are several parties taking part in the elections, most Nigerians are more concerned about the two major political parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party, and do not take lightly any comment made about them or their candidates, especially those flying their flags in the presidential elections. In this case, President Muhammadu Buhari for the APC and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for the PDP.
It is therefore not surprising that a statement by Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, has continued to generate reactions across the country, especially with the elections just a few days away. Kano has always been a stronghold of President Muhammadu Buhari and he has always won there overwhelmingly in all the presidential elections even the ones in which he failed to make it to the Aso Villa.
In November, 2018, Governor Ganduje promised the candidate of the APC, President Buhari “a minimum of five million votes”. He has continued to repeat this chest-thumping promise at political events.
Speaking at a grand rally in Kano to welcome a former governor of the state and former minister of education, Ibrahim Shekarau and other Peoples Democratic Party’s decampees into the ruling All Progressives Congress, Ganduje had said, “let us talk about Kano. APC is the only party in Kano. We have the highest number of Party members. Our effort is not only to win Governorship, Presidential, National Assembly and State House of Assembly elections, our intention is to provide the highest number of votes for APC in Nigeria.
“If you remember, we promised Mr President a minimum of five million votes. Kano is the home of the progressives. Our great leader, Malam Aminu Kano, was a progressive. Abubakar Rimi was a progressive….What do you expect from Kano apart from progressive government, administration and voting? That is why we are all united to give Mr President over five million votes from Kano State”.
That was the second time the governor was making that promise. He had earlier made a similar promise in February 2018, which was long before the president indicated interest to contest the election. Ganduje had pledged to deliver a total of five million votes in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 presidential elections if he decides to seek a re-election.
Speaking at the swearing-in of 44 new local government council chairmen and 484 councillors, Ganduje said the victory recorded by the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the local government polls shows that the “party is Kano”.
“The overall number of votes scored by the APC candidates is more than what President Buhari scored in 2015 general election, that is to say that if eventually he agrees to contest 2019 general election, I assure you (Buhari) we will give you five million votes,” he had said.
This promise made by the Kano governor was fact checked. Below is data on how Buhari has fared since he started contesting election for Presidency in Kano State.
In 2007, according to data gathered from the National Democratic Institute (NDI) website (INEC) does not have the data on its website], the total number of registered voters in Kano was 4,072,597, while the votes cast for Muhammadu Buhari, the then candidate of the All Nigeria’s Peoples Party(ANPP) was 1,079,240. The figure amounts to 26 per cent of the votes cast in Kano. Therefore, it was barely over a quarter of the voting population of Kano that voted for Buhari in 2007.
According to data from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) website, in 2011, the total number of registered voters in Kano was 5,190,382. The voter turnout was approximately 2.5 million. Votes cast for Muhammadu Buhari, the then candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) was approximately 1,624,000. The voter turnout was 48.1 per cent, while Buhari secured 31.2 per cent of the votes cast.
And in 2015, INEC data shows that Kano had a total number of 4,943,862 voters. Those accredited for the election were 2,364,434 (47.8 per cent of total voters), while Buhari, under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) secured 1,903 million votes. Buhari, therefore, got 38 per cent of the votes.
For next week’s election, based on INEC data, the total number of registered voters in Kano State is 5,457,747. Number of PVCs collected so far is 4.7 million while 700, 000 are yet to be collected.
At the moment, there are 700,000 PVCs still uncollected and it is unlikely that all the cards will be picked up before Saturday, February 16, the date of the presidential election. Therefore, the assumption that all 5.4 million registered voters will have their PVCs is false.
Among those who have collected PVCs, it is unlikely that all 4.7 million voters will turn out as that will amount to 100 per cent voter turnout, a feat that has never been achieved in any state of the country, or even in advanced democracies. And even if all 4.7 million people do, that will also not give Ganduje, his proposed 5 million votes.
From the data above, since 2007, Kano has never had up to 50 per cent voter turnout. The highest the state has recorded since 2007 was in 2011, where it got a 48.1 per cent voter turnout. For Governor Ganduje to fulfil his promise of five million votes for the president, he has assumed that all registered voters will cast their votes on the day of the election and that Buhari will secure 92.5 per cent of the votes cast. The highest percentage the president has ever secured in the state is 38 per cent, which was the election that gave him the Presidency in 2015.
Based on available statistics, a 100 per cent voter turnout is almost impossible anywhere in the world. Even in advanced climes like the United States, voter turnout is usually around 60 per cent. We cannot also rule out the issue of voided votes, which are recorded almost in every election.
Speaking to Daily Trust on Sunday, Mr. Jide Ojo, an expert in election matters and a former IFES Director, said it is not possible to have a 100 per cent voter turnout in any election. He maintained that in Nigeria’s elections, there are variables. He noted that certain categories of people like security personnel who will be posted out of their places of resident to ensure security during the polls, media personnel, who may be on special duties, election observers, INEC ad hoc staff among others are prevented from voting due to their peculiar situations.
Ojo added that since the INEC register was compiled, some persons may have died, just as some may now be incapacitated due to illnesses that could prevent them from casting their votes. He said some persons may have also moved from one town to another and have not been able to transfer their voter’s cards, and that will also prevent them from voting.
“Aside these groups of people, there may also be people who have their PVCs but are not interested in the candidates and will not go out. Even if they have PVCs, some people may also be scared of violence and decide to stay indoors. So, it is impossible to have 100 per cent voter turnout and where you get such or something close to it, you should be worried because something is wrong. On the average, the turnout we usually get in Nigeria is about 35 per cent for presidential elections”, he said.
Governor Ganduje’s promise to Buhari is exaggerated. It cannot be redeemed because it is totally unrealistic and should not have been made at all.