By Chijioke Okoronkwo
#TrackNigeria: A former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff and Sen. Kabiru Marafa (APC-Zamfara Central) in separate press interviews said that President Muhammadu Buhari deserves more votes than he got in the Feb. 23 presidential election.
The duo spoke with State House correspondents on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Buhari, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) polled 15,191,847 votes to defeat the country’s former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who had 11,262,978 votes.
According to Sheriff, Buhari’s victory is for all Nigerians as he has done within four years what no other President has done in the history of Nigeria.
He said that Buhari came to power when oil price was less than 30 dollars per barrel yet the president was able to achieve much.
Sheriff said that he was not surprised about the victory because Nigerians were very smart people who knew what they wanted.
“If you look at the antecedents of all the people that contested elections with President Buhari, none has 10 percent of his credibility.
“ This is a man that is not interested in what every Nigerian is interested in, to grab wealth and enrich themselves; he is there for the Nigerian people; he believes Nigeria should be better than where we are.
“He had very simple message at the campaigns–that we have started fighting corruption; building the economy and lives of Nigerians need to be improved.
“The message resonated with Nigerians because for instance, I did not go to my village for four years before the 2015 elections; Boko Haram has occupied all our local government areas in Borno but today, you can drive to any part of Borno.
“So, whatever the people of Borno did for Buhari last Saturday, we are only saying thank you for what he has done; If the atmosphere was clearer, Borno would have produced 2 million votes.
“ I don’t know why the PDP members are grumbling when the registered voters are more than two million and we only gave the president 836,000,’’ he said.
He said that Buhari got over a million votes in Borno when he was the governor and wondered why there was no complaint then.
The former governor described the election as the most transparent election that ever took place in the history of Nigeria.
He urged the opposition to embrace peace and plan for 2023 as President Buhari has assured that he would carry everyone along.
On his part, Marafa said it was an inherent human behaviour to always reject failure, saying there was nothing unusual about opposition’s rejection of the presidential election result.
He said that the most important thing was that success had been recorded and was accepted by all Nigerians and the international community.
Marafa said that he was not satisfied with number of votes that came out from Zamfara State.
“I believe we can do more than that; we have 1.7 million registered voters and we recorded only about 400,000 votes.
“So, what is the big deal about it and if you look at all the states, I think the performance is quite below 60 per cent in most of the states.
“We have more than 72 million voters in the country; in fact we are supposed to lament the situation; because Nigerians are supposed to be more politically aware and they are supposed to turn out and vote much more than they did.’’
The senator said that many people were united in the presidential election because of the candidacy of Buhari but there would be a lot of disparities in the governorship election across the states.
He urged Nigerians to vote for people they could trust; people that could protect their lives and property and people that could bring about prosperity.
Marafa said that President Buhari had shown that he was a democrat which he demonstrated in Ogun and Imo states.
“This is to tell you that the president is fashioning a new brand of democracy without bitterness; people should be allowed to choose who they want,’’ he said.(NAN)