Written by Obinna Akukwe
Muslim-Muslim ticket in the forthcoming 2015 Nigeria’s presidential polls may be good option for the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) if they intend to get more votes than the 12 million they garnered in 2011.
Many Nigerians have condemned the Muslim -Muslim ticket but they forgot that APC is neither a charity organization, neither is it a football club nor a talk show association- rather it is a political party with intent on capturing power at the centre and states. This theory of Muslim-Muslim ticket not flying is another stupid balderdash from shortsighted politicians. Let’s take a look at some states to buttress just a few postulations.
The North West comprising Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Jigawa and Kebbi will definitely have a large voter’s turnout in favor of an all Muslim ticket. Apart from Kaduna where there is a sizeable Christian opposition, the rest are predominantly Muslims and vociferous against the ruling party. However, the Christian population in Kaduna can cast a sizeable protest vote for the ruling PDP.
The North East of Nigeria comprising Borno, Gombe,Adamawa, Yobe, Taraba, Bauchi,etc will most likely get endorse an all Muslim ticket. Apart from Taraba and parts of Adamawa States, the rest are predominantly Muslims and will definitely, especially with the prevailing Boko Haram threat which they believe is being deliberately sponsored by the ruling party, a Muslim- Muslim will be a relief.
North Central-This consists of Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Nasarrawa, Niger and Kwara states. While Nasarrawa, Niger and Kwara States will give APC sizeable votes, with equally sizeable PDP second fiddle, Plateau, kogi, Benue states will go the way of PDP. Therefore, with Muslim-Muslim ticket, APC and PDP will share North Central with likely PDP majority.
This consists of Yoruba States of Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo. Most South West Muslims will likely vote an all Muslim ticket. However, Yoruba Christians will be sharply divided. Non-indigenous Christians will definitely vote against the Muslim all ticket. Therefore, in South West, APC will still get majority votes while the polarized Christian community will put up a good showing for PDP.
Muslim-Muslim ticket is going to be a hard sell in the South East. The Igbos will oppose it vehemently. Even a Muslim- Christian ticket will not translate to any significant change in patterns of votes. The South East believes that Boko Haram is an extension of Biafra Genocide and APC will not fare significantly there. The idea of a Christian vice president may not elicit much excitement except if the APC does lots of factual campaigns to correct the already existing sentiments.
Muslim-Muslim ticket is a hard sell in the South South . Probably except for Edo and Rivers states where the influences of Oshiomhole and Amaechi can attract significant sympathy votes, a Muslim-Christian ticket can only sell in Edo or Rivers States depending on which of them produces the running mate. However, neighboring states like Cross River, Bayelsa, Delta and Akwa Ibom will definitely not find the idea a good one. They cannot abandon Brother Jonathan for those they term Boko Haram party.
Therefore, from the foregoing, APC with an all Muslim ticket will sweep votes in the in the North East and North West, with its huge electoral capital. The South West can use the Muslim-Muslim ticket to get dormant voters to itself. The North Central will divide votes with PDP getting a simple majority. The PDP will sweep the South-East and South -South States, However, at the end, the amalgamation of votes cast will be too close that the APC can allege fraud and claim electoral victory. With a militarized Muslim population, the nation will likely boil again as it did under during June 12, if INEC chief, Prof Attahiru Jega declares Jonathan the president.
Therefore, a Muslim- Muslim ticket will not injure the chances of APC in the forthcoming pools. Rather, it will activate indecisive Muslims in the North and South West while at the same time polarizing the Yoruba Christians who will be torn between voting for a performing Fashola or Tinubu as running mate and maintaining a Jonathan status quo which many of them see as incompetent. Due to political exegesis, it is obvious that a Muslim-Muslim ticket may not be as injurious to the APC as being feared.
A Muslim –Muslim ticket, though morally wrong, is still politically expedient for APC –afterall the ruling party has taken many morally wrong political decisions in the name of expediency -the Governors Forum elections where 16 votes is greater than 19 is one of such. Therefore, if APC is bent on increasing their votes tally in the 2015 elections from the former 12 million votes CPC got in 2011 to about 18 million votes, a good option is to stick to a popular Muslim as its running mate, put electoral pressure on the ruling party and make the PDP sweat profusely for another victory.
Written by Obinna Akukwe