By ENIOLA AKINKUOTU
Former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the current Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, says President Goodluck Jonathan lost because of the mood of voters which was determined by the economic conditions and level of poverty across the country.
Sanusi, who is now known as Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II, said this during an interview with our correspondent on Saturday.
He said the voting showed that areas which had a high rate of poverty felt neglected by the Peoples Democratic Party-led Federal Government over the years.
Sanusi said the presidential poll results showed that the figures of the PDP in presidential elections from 1999 had continued to dwindle significantly.
The monarch said the PDP got fewer votes in 2007, less in 2011 and then fewer votes in 2015 causing the ruling party to finally lose to the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress.
He said, “I think in 2011, it was very clear that Jonathan had lost many states in the North that had previously been won by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. And it was clear that there was a general sense by people of the Federal Government not investing in the areas where there is a high level of poverty.
“I believe more and more of those states began to feel that sense of not feeling the federal presence and not feeling the impact of democracy in their pockets and I think it is extremely important for people to connect with the government and when you have such conditions after 16 years of democracy, it was natural that people would want to have a change and I think this is basically what has happened.
“I don’t think it is something about an individual, I think it is something that has been going on for a number of years and you could see the states won by the PDP in 1999 and what they won in 2003, what they won in 2007, 2011 and you would begin to see the changes in the way Nigerians were responding so it was a matter of time.”
Sanusi, however, commended Jonathan, the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari; and the Independent National Electoral Commission for the conduct and atmosphere of the election.
He said change of leadership was good for democracy as it encouraged healthy competition. He said it was the trend in democracies across the world.
“I think it is good for the country that you have different parties winning and if the APC performs, they get another term and if they don’t, they get voted out after four years and it is extremely important that this happens so let us not see it in terms of somebody losing,” he said.
Sanusi also urged Buhari not to focus solely on corruption but on other areas that required urgent government attention such as education, decaying infrastructure, diversifying the economy and fixing power.