On Wednesday, the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, received his certificate of return from the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu.
Senator Tinubu won the recently concluded Presidential election with 8,794,726 votes beating his closest opponent, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who scored 6,984,520 votes.
Interestingly, this is the lowest votes a President-elect has scored since the return of Democracy in 1999. More so, less than the votes scored by all the runners up, except in 2007, within the same period.
This is evident as in 1999, former President Olusegun Obasanjo was declared president after he polled a total of 18,738,154 votes, with his runner up, Elder statesman, Olu Falae, scoring 11,110,287 votes.
Similarly, in 2003, Olusegun Obasanjo was declared president after polling 24,456,140 votes, followed by now incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari, who scored 12,710,022 votes
In 2007, late former President, Umaru Yar’Adua, won with 24,638,063 votes, followed by now President Buhari with 6,605,299 votes. Also, in 2011, former President, Goodluck Jonathan scored 22,495,187 votes to defeat the now President Buhari who scored 12,214,853 votes.
President Buhari in 2015 scored 15,424,921 votes to defeat the incumbent President Jonathan with 12,853,162 votes. In 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari won re-election after scoring 15,191,847 votes ahead of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who scored 11,262,978 votes.
This suggest we need to have a discussion about the soundness of our democracy. In the last election, the incumbent President won with less than 20% of the total registered voters. While in this election the bar has been further lowered, with the President-elect winning with less than 10%.
How is it that we want our democracy to work for us, when the minority vote in the President, while the majority are armchair critics. The disturbing downward trend has shown that our democracy is now government of the minority, by the minority and for the minority.
We need to take our nation and democracy more serious.
Lets engage, ask the right questions and hold the government accountable.
Yusuf Ishaku Goje