By Chris Zumani Zimba
Feb. 26, 2019
According to the New York Times this morning, Nigerian officials from Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared early Wednesday that Muhammadu Buhari, the current President of Nigeria had won a second term as president of Africa’s most populous country. Not long after midnight, election officials finished counting the votes, making it apparent that Mr. Buhari had defeated the leading candidate, Atiku Abubakar, by a wide margin in an election that was marred by pockets of violence. He was declared the winner shortly before 5 a.m.
Local civil society groups had ticked off lists of irregularities during the voting, and Mr. Abubakar rejected the vote in some states. At one point his party demanded a halt to the counting. Some international observers had indicated earlier in the week that the problems likely hadn’t been widespread enough to sway the outcome.
The problem with many African opposition parties in West, East, Southern and North Africa is the same; they pride in self-misleading political popularity on social media where they burn their supporters on Facebook, Twitter and in WhatsApp groups 24/7 maliciously gossiping and murmuring against the ruling party or sitting president. In this manner, many African led opposition parties win and lose national elections on social media among their followers and consequently stand politically shocked when their respective national electoral commissions declare the ruling party presidential candidate as overall winner; this is the actual scenario of what has happened to Abubakar in Nigeria this week, what happened to Raila Odinga in Kenya, Hikainde Hichilema in Zambia, Nelson Chamisa in Zimbabwe and Martin Fuyulu in the DR Congo among many others.
Chris Zumani Zimba is a prolific Political Scientist, Analyst, Author, Blogger, PhD Scholar, Researcher and Consultant. Besides being the CEO and Managing Consultant at Chrizzima Democracy University (CDU) in Zambia, he analyses African politics weekly on Voice of the Cape Radio, South Africa every Wednesday at 16:20hours CAT. So far, he has authored more than 10 political and academic books as well as published over 100 well researched articles. Sometimes, he lectures Political Science-Part Time with University of Zambia (UNZA) and University of Lusaka (UNILUS) outside his usual commitments. Chriszumanizimba.email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org; +260 973 153 815