2023: How INEC Employed Card Reader To Shortchange The South


By Tonye Barcanista

In this writeup, I shall draw contrast between what the Northwest, the highest voting bloc in the north and the Southeast, the a strong voting bloc delivered to Muhammadu Buhari and Goodluck Jonathan in the 2011 election, which was adjudged to be relatively free and fair.

NB: I deliberately used Southeast and not Southsouth because the Southeast is the most politically vilified

Votes N-West Gave Buhari In 2011
Jigawa – 663,994
Kaduna – 1,334,244
Kano – 1,624,543
Katsina – 1,163,919
Kebbi – 501,453
Sokoto – 540,769
Zamfara – 624,515

Total: 6,453,437

Votes Southeast Gave Jonathan In 2011
PDP/Jonathan -1,145,169

PDP/Jonathan – 480,592

PDP/Jonathan – 1,406, 289

PDP/Jonathan – 882,144

PDP/Jonathan – 1,175,954

Total: 5,090,148


  1. The Northwest with 7 states only gave Buhari 6,453,437 votes compared to 5,090,148 that just 5 states of Southeast delivered to Jonathan. Yet, power brokers up north keep pushing the narrative that just 2 states of the Northwest is enough to swallow the entire Southeast.

  2. (a) In that election, a section of Kaduna state, notably Southern Kaduna, delivered 1,190,179 votes to Jonathan. That plus was almost enough to neutralise entire Northwestern votes when combined with Southeastern votes.

(b) I deliberately used Northwest vs Southeast because N-West is the zone northern power brokers usually cite to justify the need to hold power, while S-East is the zone they usually victimised.

  1. It is interesting to note that the votes of the Southeast only reduced significantly since the introduction of Card Reader in 2015 and 2019. This can also be seen in votes from the Southsouth and Southwest. In contrast to this, the votes of the Northwest and Northeastern parts that are favorable to Buhari was not affected by the card reader.

  2. The only explanation to 3 (above) is that the card reader was introduced to deliberately shortchange the Southeast (and entire south). This is the only justification for political power brokers in the far north to continue to hold the illogical position that Southeast electorates don’t have the voting population.

  3. In view of (4) above, the only way to reject any form of institutional disenfranchisement in 2023 is for the Southeast and the entire south to reject INEC’s card reader like they do up north. Let everyone vote manually!

  4. Should PDP zone its 2023 presidential ticket to the Southsouth or Southeast, the bloc votes recorded in 2011 in both zones will not just be replicated but improved on.

For the sake of emphasis, the Southsouth delivered 6,118,608 votes to Jonathan in that 2011 election – much more than what Buhari got in Northeast.

  1. I believe that this analysis has rubbished the propaganda that the South won’t deliver to PDP if given the party nomination.

Written by Tonye Barcanista Inioribo