- …constituencies that gave me 95 percent cannot in all honesty be treated, on some issues, with constituencies that gave me five percent. I think these are political realities. While, certainly there will be justice for everybody but the people who voted, and made their votes count, they must feel the government has appreciated the effort they put in putting the government in place…
Following the statement by President Muhammadu Buhari in answer to journalists in the United States, US, that developmental projects among, others would be located in states that voted for his candidature in the last presidential poll as against what would goes to states that did not deliver him, there are fears that the South-East and South-South may not enjoy any meaningful infrastructural and related projects under the current administration.
While fielding questions from journalists during the visit, the president was quoted as saying that “going by the results of the last election, constituencies that gave me 95 percent cannot in all honesty be treated, on some issues, with constituencies that gave me five percent. I think these are political realities. “While, certainly there will be justice for everybody, the people who voted and made their votes count, must feel the government has appreciated the effort they put in setting the government in place…”
The declaration has elicited adverse commentaries with analysts concluding that since of the six geopolitical zones in the country, presidential poll results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission , INEC show that both the South-East and South-South voted overwhelmingly for immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan.
According to INEC’s records of the total number of valid votes of 28, 587,564 cast at that election, Buhari posted 15,424,921 votes as against Jonathan’s 12,853,162. The details show that at the February 14 presidential election, results from the two zones were as follows:
State APC PDP
Abia 13,394 368,303
Anambra 17,926 660,762
Ebonyi 19,518 323,653
Enugu 14,157 553,003
Imo 133,253 559,185
Akwa Ibom 58,411 953,304
Bayelsa 5,194 361,209
Cross River 28,368 414,863
Delta 48,910 1,211,405
Edo 208,469 286,869
Rivers 1,487,075 69,238
“With the glaring outcome of the presidential election in these two regions, it is clear that Buhari picked his words right when he said he would take development to regions that voted 95 percent for him, compared to what the other areas should get.
“He must realise that he is the president of the entire constituency called Nigeria and as such, must stop the peculiar divisive politics he is playing now. When will he even start to work? He is talking too much and refuting same before long,” retorted an aggrieved leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who hails from the South-East.
Other analysts agree with the APC leader. But they add that the president should draw from the programmes of Jonathan which was spread across the country with his native South-South, especially Bayelsa state suffering from lack of federal presence.
However, in a swift reaction, Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina refuted the interpretation Nigerians gave to his principal’s statement.
In a statement, Adesina said that the president’s comment was deliberately taken out of context. He said:
“People should just have to be patient to listen to the entire trend. The President said it truly that people who gave him 95 percent votes may get more attention in terms of reward and all that. But he also said that fortunately, the constitution has guaranteed the rights of every part of the country.”
“What that means then is that even those who voted five percent will get their dues and will not get things commensurate with five percent votes. Some people deliberately decided to take part of what he said and refused to balance it.”
“The balanced perspective of what the President said is that it is natural political to give more to those who supported him but then those who did not support him will not be given the shorter end of the stick because the Constitution already protects them.”