Re-Visiting June 12, 1993 Nigerian Presidential Election Results

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RE-VISITING JUNE 12 1993 NIGERIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS

Mobolaji
E. Aluko, Ph.D

Burtonsville, Maryland, USA

October
1994
 


 


Introduction

Periodically, one sits down to reflect on why many individuals
(including
this writer) are so fixated on June 12, 1993, and why we consider
that date
so important in the annals of Nigeria’s history. Are we just closet
partisan
ethnicists, or political demagogues, masquerading as Nigerian
democrats?
Below, you will find an attempt to provide some answers based
solely on
the known numerical figures of the
June 12,
1993 presidential
elections.
The claim is that the incontrovertibility of the results, the
size of
the national mandate and the ethnic compromises which led to it
clearly
reveal why the annulment of the elections has so far traumatized a
country
whose dream for the beginnings of a national consensus suddenly became
a
nightmare.

The
Facts about June 12

The rigor
of the election process leading up to the election day itself
(the
so-called Option A4 implemented by Babangida) is well known. As far as the
election
itself is concerned, first, all the vote counting had been completed
and
collated, on a ward-by-ward, local government-by-government and

State-by-state basis, and known at these levels; the vote count was never
suspended;
the release was. Secondly, the results had been published but
never
officially released in entirety by the National Electoral Commission
(Nwosu as
Chairman), a technicality that has been harped on by the

governments succeeding Babangida’s – of Sonekan, and currently of Abacha.

 

Thirdly, the two official allegations made by
Babangida were that there was

vote-buying before the elections (in fact there was a last-minute legal
challenge
requesting a postponement of the elections by the Association for a
Better
Nigeria (ABN), led by Arthur Nzeribe, which was thrown out by the
Courts)
and that the apparent winner Abiola (over challenger Tofa) had a
conflict
of interest since the Federal Government owes him substantial amounts
of money
from previous business dealings.

The
detailed figures are presented in Table 1, and further analyses are
presented
in Tables 2,3 and 4.

 


Regional Analysis of Results

Tables 1
and 2  above are the raw data. If you accept them, then the discussion can
proceed.
From these data we can get some information through interpretive
analysis.
Again, you may disagree with the conclusions, but you have the
privilege
of working with the same data and coming up with your own

conclusions.

The
analysis in Tables 3 and 4 below is based on the following assumptions:

(1) the
1991 census data is correct. (latest indications are that they are
now being
belatedly questioned at the National Constitutional
Conference
going on in
Abuja.)

(2) the
1993 Presidential results quoted above are correct;
(3) the
regional division of the states provided above is acceptable.

 
What
the Regional Analysis Means – an Objective (?) View

Election
results are often subjected to regional analyses because their
outcomes
affect the electorate most where they reside (city, state), and
where they
are most likely to travel (region). However, due to the peculiar

ethno-geography and history of
Nigeria,
there is a keen identification between
ethnic
groups and regions: for example, the Yoruba live mostly in the

South-West, the Hausa-Fulani mostly in the Northern regions, and the Igbo in
the East.
Conseqently, ethnic qualifications of electoral trends, even when
resisted
(as this writer is attempting to), cannot be escaped. It is with the
above
riders that the following statements are made.

(1) Total
votes cast of 14.2 million is 35.6% of the voter population of
40 million
(out of a total population of 88.5 milion). For a nation
that is
about 50% illiterate, that is a high percentage, and any
mandate
should be regarded as a national one.

(2) If you
compare the Rank by 1991 Census and the Election Participation

Indices/Total Votes Rankings, there were some regions which appeared to
be
extremely keen on voting (Mid-Central, Middle Belt), others voted
somewhat
in proportion to their population (Southwest, Northeast,
Minority),
while some appeared relatively disinterested in voting
(East,
Northwest, particularly North Central.) Of course, this may
have been
a result of last minute confusion about whether the election
was on or
off.

(3) The
Southwest voted in favor of Abiola 6:1 relative to Tofa,
the
Northwest voted in favor of Tofa 2.5:1 relative to Abiola,
the
Middle-Belt and Mid-Central voted 1.5:1 in favor of Abiola, but
everywhere
else it was a toss-up, with Abiola having an edge in the
Minority
region, and Tofa having an edge in the East, Northeast and

NorthCentral regions.

(4) It is
also interesting to note that Abiola won 5:1 in his home state
(Ogun),
and also edged Tofa in the latter’s home state (Kano);

furthermore,
Kano State registered the lowest Election
Participation
Ranking as
shown in Table 2. Note that Abiola won with the highest
Win Ratio
in
Osun State (7.18), while Tofa won with his
highest ratio
in

Sokoto State (3.81).

Taking the
above together, Tofa seems to have won in regions where there
was in
general voter apathy, while Abiola won in rgions where people
were most
keen on voting. Even on a state-by-state basis, this
conclusion
is justified.

The
regional analysis also seems to debunk three myths:

(1) The
first myth is that Abiola could have won without including
the
SouthWest votes, a claim often made by his supporters to
enhance
their claim of Abiola’s national appeal away from his home-base.
Now, if we
take the Southwest votes away from Abiola alone, Tofa wins:

Abiola:
5,263,252 Tofa: 5,878,685

If we take
the Southwest votes away from both of them, Tofa still
wins
marginally:

Abiola:
5,263,252 Tofa: 5,329,160

Therefore,
Abiola was actually very much helped by the Southwest votes.
However,
the analysis above shows that it was a keen contest
with
Abiola holding his own away from his home base, and subject
to a loss
if he had not. Any allegation of vote buying is difficult
to justify
from these numbers, particularly when we also look at
the
“reasonableness” of the Election Participation Indices of
Tables 2
and 4.

(2) In
defence against accusations about lack of sustained post-annulment
protests
in the East, there have always been claims by some that the
East voted
“massively” for Abiola (Myth # 2), and hence had done all
they could
for the struggle for democracy. If that is the case, then
there was
also “massive” voting for Tofa, so much so that he won in the
East
Region.

Abiola:
739,748 Tofa: 756,142

Even if we
include Cross River, Akwa-Ibom and Rivers States in the
“East”
(they are currently included in the Minority Region), then Tofa
still wins
the East:

Abiola:
1,516,511 Tofa: 1,709,909

with the
Rivers State (out of these three non-Igbo Eastern states)

contributing largely to maintaining the scale in favor of Tofa by voting
for him
1.5:1 over Abiola.

What the
close vote for Abiola in the Igbo East shows is not
“massive”
voting, but rather a “magnaminous” heart of the Igbo in these
elections,
bearing in mind the following facts:

(a) Dr.
Sylvester Ugo, vice-presidential candidate of Tofa, is Igbo
and the
former Central Bank Governor of Biafra. If Abiola’s
ticket
prevailed, it would mean a rare period in which an Igbo
would not
be No. 1 or 2 in Federal government (notice Azikiwe,
Ironsi,
Ukiwe (albeit briefly), Ekwueme)

(b) there
is still residual visceral resentment against Yorubas and
Awolowo
over the Biafran episode (Abiola is Yoruba).

(3) The
regional analysis also gives an insight into the pattern of
protests
following the annulment. Since the Southwest voted 6:1
for Abiola,
it was most indignant about the annulment, and showed
it,
sometimes violently. Also,
Edo State
and Delta State both
voted more
than 2:1 for Abiola, hence a similar indignation.
The
disenchantment of
Kwara State, which voted for Abiola 3.5:1
appears to
have been embodied in the indignation of their former
Governor,
Chief C.O. Adebayo, who is one of the earliest
and
longest-held detainees. Elsewhere, where Tofa either won, or
votes were
evenly split, the human tendency to be a sore loser, or for
each
person to dissuade his neighbor from any violent tendency was bound
to make
the reaction much more muted than in the Southwest, Edo or Delta
States.
Consequently, lack of a national protest does not take away from
a national
mandate, which debunks Myth # 3 (lack of protests shows lack
on
national mandate).

What
to do with these figures

This is a
thorny question. But consider the following suggestion:
the answer
seems to lie with the following individuals, who should now tell
the nation
why we should or should not accept the June 12, 1993 figures, namely:

(1) Abiola
(2) Kingibe – the “winning” pair
(3) Tofa
(4) Ugo – the “losing” pair
(5) Nwosu
(6) Babangida/Abacha – the “official” trio

In all
sincerity, we should sit them all down, and have them tell us.
In fact,
one could toy with the idea of a national referendum following
such
“tell-all” sessions. However, one is stumped by the puzzle

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One Response to “Re-Visiting June 12, 1993 Nigerian Presidential Election Results”

  1. Abdul ramon yusuf says:

    Send to my fb a/c

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