President Muhammadu Buhari defeated former President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 2015 polls by a slim margin of about 2.6 million votes. Nasir El-Rufai rode on Buhari’s goodwill as did many northern candidates to win in Kaduna by about 483,000 votes.
The sad but honest reality is that one of a handful of major factors that helped produce an APC poll victory was the massacre of Sheikh Zakzaky’s three children and 31 Islamic movement members in July of the previous year. This tragic event with the Stella Oduah scandal, NIS Moro scandal and a few other notable scandals galvanized the bleeding public and national editorials against the Jonathan administration.
Kaduna governor El-Rufai notably paid a well photo-oped condolence visit to “State-within-State” Chief El-Zakzaky after the deadly event. He also notably referred to the act by the Nigerian army under Goodluck Jonathan as one more reason why Jonathan must go.
The 2014 Kaduna massacre irked the public, north, south, east and west who got very embittered about the Jonathan administration and saw it as murderous.
The Islamic movement of Nigeria has a population of 5-10 million Nigerians. Globally the Shia proportion of the world is about 12-15% of Muslims. Nigeria is known as one of the high Shia islam populated nations. A Pew poll found that 12% of Nigerian Muslims identified themselves as “Shia.” Of about 80 million Muslims, this gives 10 million. The body is not just large but well organized and cooperative.
The ~10 million “Shia” and other non Shia members of the Islamic movement which has strong relationships with “Sunni sect” and Christians were all influenced by the positions and choices of Sheikh Zakzaky. Had Zakzaky campaigned against Buhari as a notable northern Sheikh, Abubakar Gumi did, Buhari would have stood to lose much of not just this ~10 million block but others who were empathic about the events of the 2014 Goodluck Zaduna massacre.
No politician in his right senses wishes to alienate such a millions large block as well as numerous sympathizers of this large minority simply to satisfy a group of radical Takfiri Sunnite sect extremist and Wahabi fanatics. This would be tantamount to political suicide.
Again, with the enlightenment and intellectual capacity of the Islamic Movement, had it decided against Buhari or/and collected of Dasuki’s $2 billion largesse to campaign against him as Sheikh Gumi campaigned, the resource and material it would have churned out would have dissuaded tens of thousands- millions of potential voters.
In contrast Sheikh El-Zakzaky had admiration for General Buhari and his friendship with and promotion of the change government was clear.
Members of the 10 million+ strong movement not only voted for Buhari but were strong campaigners for him both online and offline.
A notable such activist who daily engaged in a religious online pro-Buhari battles and volunteered as an election observer in Kogi State was late Muhammadu Bukhari who died with his beautiful new family in the early hours of the morning of December 13th in Husainiyyah Baqiyatullah under the siege by Brutal Buratai’s armed forces.
In a tribute to Bukhari on his faceBook wall the day of his death, associates said,
“An ardent supporter of the Buhari government,” Bintu Satomi wrote. “He was with us at #KogiDecides YouthInitiative Advocacy GrowthAdvancement election Observation mission, Umar Dan’Assabe Muhammed added.
Muhammadu Bukhari and thousands of other members of the Islamic movement were heroes of our ‘change’ and today if justice is denied, perhaps the centerpiece of the crack that will destroy us.
A year is almost up for this administration, the next election campaign season is little more than two years away.