THE landslide victory the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) recorded in the South East and South South geo-political zones was not a surprise to political analysts. From the results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the PDP was not even willing to concede 25 per cent of the votes to the opposition.
IN SOUTH-SOUTH, IT’S LANDSLIDE FOR GOODLUCK JONATHAN
Expectedly, the presidential candidate of the PDP, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan had a landslide victory in his South-South home geo-political zone. Winning over 80 per cent of votes in Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States, Jonathan really dusted his All Progressives Congress rival, General Muhammadu Buhari who was actually given any chance in the states.
Here are the reasons Jonathan cleared the votes in South-South.
When you play at home, you have what is called in sporting terms, home advantage. And this was what happened in the South-South region on Saturday, March 28, 2015.
The region, desirous to retain the presidency rooted for their son, not minding the agitation by the opposition to secure some votes here. At the end of the largely peaceful elections, the majority of Niger-Deltans naturally supported their own.
OPPOSITION ALLEGE INTIMIDATION
There are indeed pockets of protests in some states in the region. Their grouse is that deployment of security agents was a sort of intimidation which affected the performance of their candidates.
Also attributed to President Jonathan’s landslide in the South is the level of mobilization by party stalwarts in the zone.
From Akwa Ibom to Rivers, Bayelsa to Delta States, the people of South-South looked beyond party affiliation. All of them were sensitized to support Jonathan.
The big support Jonathan got here equally has to do with mass mobilization of the region to pursue the cause of reclaiming the presidency the South-South clinched in 2011 also with the support and alliance of the majority South-East.
WHY JONATHAN WON MASSIVELY IN SOUTH EAST
It was not a surprise that the ruling PDP crushed the opposition APC in the South-East zone. The reasons are not far-fetched.
JONATHAN’S PACT WITH THE ZONE
President Jonathan’s endorsement by the South-East was all he needed to secure their support and votes. And the Igbos did just this at the March 28, 2015 presidential elections. In fact, key political figures in the zone forgot their individual interests to work for the president. The feeling here is that there is a working alliance that must be respected.
Historically, the South-East which is home to the Igbos has a lot to do with the South-South. Before they were accorded autonomy, they were the so-called minority group in the region. In supporting Jonathan, the Igbos considered ethnic affinities that re-echo in their relations.
CLAMOUR FOR PRESIDENCY
The reason the zone has constantly supported the PDP is for them to also be given the opportunity to take a shot at the biggest office in the land. Practically speaking, the zone has not produced a president (military or civilian) in over 40 years. In supporting Jonathan, the Igbos are hoping that the South-South people would reciprocate similar gesture in future.