I got to know of the outcome of the opinion poll conducted recently in 34 States of the federation by THISDAY newspaper on a programme on ARISE NEWS CHANNEL TELEVISION on Sunday night. It was a panel discussion involving Professor Bola Akinterinwa, a former Director – General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Professor Anthony Kila, Ms. Yemi Adamolekun and Mr. Chike Ogeah, a former Commissioner for Information in Delta State in the administration of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan (2007 – 2015), the only politician among them. It was moderated by Ms. Tundun Abiola.
From the charts shown during the programme zone – by – zone, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Vice – President of Nigeria (1999 – 2007) and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came tops in 20 states. While President Muhammadu Buhari, the standard bearer of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was first in eleven states. They tied 50/50% in the remaining three states.
In the North – Central, Buhari defeated Atiku in only Niger State where the scores were 55 to 45%. Atiku beat him by 70 to 30% in Benue and 55 to 45% in each of Plateau, Kogi, Nasarawa and Kwara States. In the North – East, Buhari won by 60 to 40% in each of Bauchi, Borno and Yobe States. Atiku triumphed over him in Adamawa by 65 to 35% and 70 to 30% in Taraba.
In the North – West, Buhari defeated Atiku by 55 to 45%, in each of Sokoto and Kaduna States, 60 to 40% in Jigawa State, 65 to 45% in Kano and 70 – 30% in Katsina State. They tied 50/50% in Zamfara. No result was released for Kebbi State.
In the South – East, Atiku was victorious with 60 to Buhari’s 40% in each of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Imo States and 70 to 30% in Enugu State. In the South – South, he also defeated Buhari by 80 to 20% in each of Bayelsa and Rivers States, 75 to 25% in Delta, 70 to 30% in Cross River, 60 to 40% in Akwa Ibom and 55 to 45% in Edo State.
In the South – West, Atiku won only in Ogun where he scored 55 to Buhari’s 45%. The president defeated him by 55 to 45% in each of Oyo and Ondo States. They tied 50/50% in Osun and Lagos States. There was no result for Ekiti State.
THISDAY newspaper and ARISE NEWS television are owned by Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, a man, since the era of General Ibrahim Babangida (August 1985 – August 1993) many had seen as always supporting the government – in – power. So, if the organization owned by such a person comes out with an opinion poll that shows that the candidate of an opposition party would defeat an incumbent president, the outcome of the survey should be seen as credible.
It is also instructive that shortly after the result of the opinion poll was released the leaders of northern and southern groups came out to declare support for Alhaji Atiku. From the North were the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Northern Leaders and Stakeholders Assembly (NLSA) and the Middle Belt Forum (MBF).
Those from the South were the Afenifere, the leading Yoruba group in the South – West, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) of the South – South and Ohaneze Ndigbo of the South – East. It is the first time key leaders of Igbo, Ijaw, Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani and minority groups in the North and South across political parties and non – political groups would come together in Nigeria to adopt a candidate during a presidential election.
They have come out to support Atiku because he had promised that he would restructure the country. And because they see him as a capable candidate who would bail us out of our woeful economic situation and joblessness, insecurity and foster national unity and religious harmony which under Buhari have reached the lowest level in our history.
I will begin the rising support for Atiku with the religious reason behind it. And this is the way President Buhari handled the abduction of Miss Leah Sharibu of the Government Girls Secondary School, Dapchi, Yobe State. One hundred and nineteen of them were kidnapped on Monday, February 19 last year. Five died in captivity and 113 were released. Leah who was 14 years old at the time and the only Christian among them has been held back because she refused to convert to Islam.
Christians were stunned on August 28 when her mother disclosed that the Federal Government had never sent anyone to console their family on the abduction of her daughter. President Buhari promised to get her released soonest. But as of today, six months after, this has not happened.
Christians generally believe President Buhari has been nonchalant (unmoved) about Leah’s situation, because he is angry that she has refused to become a Muslim like himself. It is difficult to fault this opinion because if Buhari’s daughter was the one kidnapped by Christians would he not have met the conditions for her release. Even if the abductors were demanding one billion naira or dollars, along with other conditions?
This is one reason why many Christians have vowed not to vote for Buhari. Indeed, I believe that Jesus Christ would be displeased with any Christian who votes for him. It may also account for such people missing Heaven. Any Christian who has not thought of this should do so now.
How can Jesus Christ forgive any Christian who would vote for Buhari who has not gotten Leah released a year after she was kidnapped?
Osinbajo’s chopper crash
I join others in congratulating Vice – President Yemi Osinbajo for escaping death in a helicopter crash in Kabba, Kogi State on Saturday. Until it is officially investigated I take it that it was an accident caused by bad weather, pilot error or engine problem. I do not agree with those who saw it as an act planned by the PDP, especially since the Vice – President had helicopter mishap eight months ago, in June 2018. If PDP would carry out such, it would have been against President Buhari.
If the two incidents were acts of sabotage then I think the suspicion should be on an APC member or members. It must have been by someone or his supporters who want Osinbajo dead to facilitate his being chosen by President Buhari as his deputy and if re – elected and he kicks the bucket so that he can succeed him.
Next week: Issue of restructuring and others