A chieftain of the Labour Party (LP), Ibrahim Abdulkarim says the flag bearer of his party, Peter Obi will get more votes in northern Nigeria than in the southern part of the country because the people of the north are angry and tired of insecurity, illiteracy, unemployment, amongst other issues impoverishing them.
Abdulkarim, who is also the director general of a voters coalition initiative, Big Tent Nigeria, stated this Wednesday.
“Let me tell you what is happening in the north: a lot of people feel that Peter Obi is not going to have votes from the north,” he said on the programme. “By the special grace of God, he is going to get more votes from the north, even maybe than from some southern parts of the country, because the anger is more in the north than the people in the south.”
According to Section 134 of the Nigerian Constitution, a presidential candidate can only be announced as the winner if he or she has the majority of votes cast at the election; and has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The northern part of Nigeria made up of 19 states and the Federal Capital Territory boasts of numerical voter strength as seen in the last six elections since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999.
With less than three weeks to the February 25 presidential election, the northern region has become the toast of presidential candidates as contestants jostling for Aso Rock’s top job continue to flock to the North-West, North-East and the North-Central geopolitical zones which make up the northern region for bloc votes which runs into tens of millions.
Like others, Obi, a former governor of Anambra State in southern Nigeria, alongside his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, who is from Kaduna in the north, have also taken their campaigns to the region.
Abdulkarim, also the director general of the Obi-Datti Independent Campaign Council said he conducted a survey and the outcome showed that Nigerians in the north want Obi and Baba-Ahmed because they are aggrieved about the way politicians have purloined their resources and treated them in the last eight years.
“Last week, I was in Kano, at three radio stations and I opened the line for phone-in, for more than 45 minutes, all the people that called in attest to what I am saying and agree with the Labour Party manifesto, the thinking and the ideology we are bringing onboard. It is not us doing it but the God that people have prayed to,” he said.
Abdulkarim said northerners “deep in the villages” are tired of suffering and want a change in the governance of the country.
“You don’t know what is happening in Zamfara. Zamfara is sitting on gold but there is the issue of lead poisoning because of the activities of illegal miners.
“We now have the Nigerian gold market in Dubai. Every day, gold is being removed from Zamfara with all the killings in Zamfara…You can see the amount of poverty, the amount of hunger, insecurity in Zamfara alone. Nigerians are tired,” he said.