Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Two-term Borno State governor, Ali Modu Sheriff, has said that the activities of Boko Haram, stopped the state from delivering nothing less than two million votes to President Muhammadu Buhari in last Saturday’s presidential election.
Sheriff said this to State House correspondents after observing Friday’s prayers and a closed-door meeting with the president.
Buhari garnered a total of 836,496 votes to beat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party who scored 71,788 votes in Borno.
Sheriff, while commenting on the outcome of the elections said: “I don’t know why the PDP are grumbling where the registered voters are more than two million and we only gave the president 830,000.
“As a governor, the president got over a million votes in Borno; why didn’t they complain then? They are just crying foul for nothing. This election was the most transparent election that ever took place in the history of Nigeria and I stand to be corrected. They should just embrace peace. The president has said that he is going to carry everyone along; they should accept their defeat and re-plan for 2023 if we are all alive. But this election has been won and won transparently.”
He reiterated that the victory is for all Nigerians. “President Muhammadu Buhari within the last four years has done more than what any other president has done in this country.
“He came into power when the oil price was less than $30 at a stage. I am not surprise about the victory because Nigerians are very smart people; we know what is good for our country; we know the right thing to do at any given point in time.
“If you look at the antecedents of all the people that contested elections with President Buhari, none has ten percent of his credibility. This is a man that is not interested in what every Nigerian is interested in, to grab wealth and enrich themselves. He is there for the Nigerian people; he believes Nigeria should be better than where we are. He had a very simple message at the campaigns: that we have started fighting corruption, building the economy and lives of Nigerians need to be improved. The message resonated with Nigerians because, for instance, I did not go to my village for four years before the 2015 elections. Boko Haram had occupied all our local government areas in Borno but today, you can drive to any part of Borno. So whatever the people of Borno did for Mr. President last Saturday, we are only saying thank you for what he has done. If the atmosphere was clearer, Borno would have produced two million votes.”
Reminded that the opposition doesn’t think the election was transparent, Sheriff said: “Why didn’t they complain when they won all southeastern states? The South East came out to vote for their son who is the vice presidential candidate in that election, but you don’t blame them. Northern Nigeria, we have our father, brother, and son as a candidate and we also came out en masse to support him; there is no issue about it. If they don’t accept it they can go to court.”