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Dr. Goodluck Azikiwe Ebele Jonathan has finally polled over 25% in more than 24 states of the federation to emerge as the duly elected president of Nigeria in the April 16th 2011 Presidential elections (under the platform of the Peoples Democratic party) as required by the constitution. He was able to win in 22 states and also got the required 25% in 8 additional states to beat his closest rival Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change.
Dr. Goodluck Jonathangot a total of 2.5M votes while Muhammadu Buhari got 12.2M. Former EFCC chairman Nuhu Ribadu and former Kano state governor Ibrahim Shekarau got 2.79M and 917,012 respectively. The result therefore implies there would be no run-off election since the winner was able to get the required 25% in more than 24 states.
Nigerians have voted overwhelmingly for the candidate of their choice irrespective of party affiliation. The voting pattern of the people has also shown that Nigerians are no longer interested in political parties but rather they are voting for people based on individual performances. The voting pattern shows that the areas won by some parties during the NASS were reclaimed by the PDP in the presidential polls.
Now that Nigerians have given their mandate to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, it’s time for him to settle down and go to work after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the final result. The people are eager to see him perform this time, having been disappointed in time past by the ruling PDP.
During his campaigns he promised to focus on some important areas like Power, education, economy, etc when elected. He has now been given a golden opportunity to live up to his word. If he must achieve his dreams, he needs to shun party loyalty and appoint the best hands in the country to help in the nation building. There are so many technocrats in the country that are willing to assist him in making Nigeria great.
He should be willing to appoint the best hands into his government irrespective of the geopolitical zone, religion or political party. The mandate given him was not given only by his party. All Nigerians voted him, so he should be able to reach out to all and get them to help him achieve the best result.
He must also be aware that the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) which Muhammadu Buhari represents did not do too badly in the presidential polls and that Nigerians may decide to give their votes to CPC in 2015 elections if PDP fails to live up to their expectation now.
There should also not be segregation of those states or areas where he lost out. Everybody should be carried along in the spirit of good sportsmanship. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should demonstrate they are mature enough to rule this country. They must embrace both their friends and their imaginary enemies and forge ahead in the interest of the country.
Everyone is optimistic a new Nigeria is possible. The people conducted themselves peacefully during the elections to show to the world they want a successful transition. They must not be disappointed by the ruling party or by the President.
Nigeria has by this conduct of a credible election demonstrated they could still be trusted by other African countries to lead the way and usher in a new Africa where leaders must merit the mandate of the people and not get into offices through stolen votes. Thanks to Professor Attahiru Jega who made this possible by living up to his reputation and has shown that massive rigging could be avoided in Nigerian elections.
We must also not fail to give credit to politicians who decided to drop their win-at-all-cost attitude to ensure a hitch-free election. Nigeria is really coming of age and in no distant time we will get to where we hope to be.