According to http://wwwpunchng.com,”INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, declared Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party winner after the results of the nine states whose results were not taken on Sunday at the National Collation Centre in Abuja had been announced. Jega said that apart from having the highest number of votes cast in the election, the President was also able to meet the constitutional requirement on the spread of votes.According to him, Jonathan scored the mandatory 25 per cent of votes cast in 31 states and the Federal Capital Territory to emerge the winner.” Explaining further,the INEC chairman said, “The constitutional requirement is that parties must be able to score at least 25 per cent in two third of the total number of states and the FCT.Based on this, the positions of the parties are as follows: Ribadu of the ACN scored 25 per cent votes in four states; Buhari of the CPC scored 25 per cent of votes in 16 states and Jonathan of the PDP scored 25 per cent votes in 31 states.” Out of the 38,209,978 total valid votes, Jonathan polled 22,495,187 votes (58.9 per cent) while his closest rival, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change came second with 12,214,853 votes or 31. 98 per cent.
Nigerian presidential elections have never been about issues or programmes,they are usually contested along the fault-lines of ethnicity and religion.Victory is usually secured by the incumbent- or for the pro-establishment-party,depending on whether the transition is civilian-to-civilian or military-to-civilian.Thus political parties do not act as vehicles for aggregating political thought;no,they are more like cartels designed to trade access to power.But in order to avoid “civil war” within the ranks of the ruling elite,it became necessary to establish some sort of order of precedence.Given the emotivity of ethnicity and religion,a zoning formula based on these two had to be instituted.Thus came the PDP,Peoples democratic party,zoning accord of 1999,which allegedly stipulated that power should rotate between the North and South;each zone was to get 8 years.
According to this arrangement,after president Obasanjo‘s 8 year-tenure,power duly returned to the North with the presidency of Yaradua.But death intervened,truncating Yaradua’s presidency and leaving Jonathan,a southerner,as president.When Jonathan decided to run for president,certain segments of the North felt cheated,feeling that it was still the North’s turn,given that Yaradua did not complete his tenure.So the 2011 presidential election was about zoning.It was not only Northern elements who favoured zoning.Plenty of people within the southern elite also supported the zoning principle.In and outside of the PDP.It was no coincidence that of the four established parties,three had Northerners flying their presidential flags:Nuhu Ribadu of the Action congress of Nigeria,ACN;Ibrahim Shekarau of the All Nigeria peoples party,ANPP;Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for progressive change,CPC.
From this analysis,it is clear that support for zoning cuts across ethnic,religious and party lines.And no surprises there,for it is an elite stitch-up that enables the fleecing of the commonwealth.The reality is that irrespective of your ethnic or religious affiliations,if you are not a member of the elite group,you do not benefit from the zoning of offices.You,in fact,lose.Only members of the elite,those actively involved in the divvying of our wealth,benefit from zoning.And ordinary Nigerians seem to have caught-on.So they trooped out last Saturday to proclaim a loud NO,against zoning.Jonathan’s victory is a clear rejection of the burden of zoning.The South West provides dramatic evidence of this.Having rejected the PDP,in favour of the ACN,during the national assembly elections a week earlier,the people went out and voted for the presidential candidate of the PDP,rejecting the presidential candidate of the ACN,a Northerner.The elite stitch-up might have thrown up a Norherner as presidential candidate,but the masses were having none of it.