Shettimma Speaks On The Role Of Igbos In The Elections

Shettimma Speaks On The Role Of Igbos In The Elections

The Borno state governor, Kashim Shettima, yesterday praised the southeast region for its role in the emergence of General Muhammadu Buhari as the president-elect of Nigeria. He described Igbos as silent forces ‎that played significant roles in the victory of Buhari  at the just-concluded presidential elections.

Shettima dismissed suggestions that Buhari was elected by four geopolitical zones without the southeast and the south-south support. He showered praise on the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in ‎the southeast for standing firm to stop the PDP from inflating the votes from the southeast, as was the case in 2011.

READ ALSO: You Voted For Change And Now Change Has Come – Buhari

According to Daily Post, the governor was addressing his supporters after his return from Abuja where he joined other leaders of the APC to felicitate with Buhari on his victory.

According to him, “Buhari’s election was a pan-Nigerian movement. I have heard some political analysts making some wrong conclusions that‎ the Igbos in the Southeast didn’t contribute significantly to Buhari’s victory, but I think they are missing the point because there are two key contributions to winning elections.

“One is to give votes and the other is to prevent opponent from rigging and both have equal relevance.

“In the 2011 elections, the PDP got a combined figure of about 7 million votes in the southeast, some of these States recorded or so they claimed, having almost 100 percent voter turn out.

 “But in 2015, Igbos in the southeast, especially our leaders in the APC stood very firm, some of them put their lives on the line, resisted all kinds of humiliation and at the end, they prevented another seven million votes from coming out.

“In Ebonyi the PDP got less than 300,000 votes, in Abia, the PDP got less than 400,000, even in Enugu the PDP got about 600,000 votes, in Imo also the PDP got less than 600,000 all these were against the big numbers of 2011.

“We all saw what happened in Rivers, if that was repeated in the southeast, it would have been a major source of concern for all Nigerians but the Igbos did very well by resisting every step against Buhari so they are heroes as far as I am concerned.

“He is laying the foundation of the change Nigerians need and that change is not about which party is in power, it is about the changes in the security of lives and property, the changes in the living standards of Nigerians.

“This is also the case in some parts of the south-south. In Bayelsa, the PDP could have recorded 600,000 or so votes but they got less than 400,000 because of the efforts of our men in Bayelsa who stood firm. In Edo State, Buhari wasn’t far from President Goodluck Jonathan in terms of votes.

“And then, if one looks across religious divides, Buhari was voted by all religious groups. He wouldn’t have won Ondo if only Muslims voted for him, he wouldn’t have won Benue or get the required 25 percent in Edo and Ekiti.

“All of these point to one thing that Buhari was voted by all Nigerians and this is why he has promised to carry the entire country along, he has pledged not to rule but to govern and this is the principle of the APC". Shettima concluded.

Meanwhile, after emerging winner of the presidential elections, Buhari spoke in an interview with the BBC’s Peter Okwoche, in which he discussed his plans on how he will tackle Boko Haram.


Jerrywright Ukwu avatar

Jerrywright Ukwu Jerrywright Ukwu is an Abuja-based senior political/defence correspondent. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books. He can be reached via email at

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