As Nigerians prepare to head to the polls on Saturday, the city of Kano, the second largest city in Nigeria’s Muslim north might prove decisive in picking a winner.
Here, more than a million people voted twice for Muhammadu Buhari hoping their lives could improve.
Shoe vendor Haruna Abubakar voted for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 and again in 2019. Now he feels disappointed and angry.
“We loved Buhari from our hearts. In fact, the masses have not loved any leader for whose love they laid down their lives like Buhari. But a lot of things happened which exposed his weakness, and since his weakness became manifest the love in our minds waned. In fact, out of anger I set on fire the cap embossed with Buhari’s name I used to wear, burnt it and threw it away”, said the shoe vendor.
“I loved Buhari then. Now, I’ve changed my mind. I had to change my mind. The government policies, they are poor, they are not favourable because people are suffering, people are dying because of hunger and starvation”, complains retired doctor Abdelmumen Mussa.
Saturday’s election has become an unprecedentedly competitive race among three frontrunners hoping to succeed Buhari whose second term is coming to an end.
“Everybody is counting on Kano as a game-changer or decider as to what happens in politics, of who wins and who loses, so it becomes a very interesting place where people are always struggling to get the support, especially now that people are thinking that Buhari is no longer a contestant so those traditional votes, it’s like they’re being thrown in the open for anybody, hence the struggle for those votes”, argues Dr. Kabiru Saidu Sufi, political science teacher at Kano’s College of Arts and Science.
Saturday’s election has turned into a very competitive race among three frontrunners hoping to succeed Buhari whose second term is coming to an end.
More than 93 million Nigerians are registered to vote on Saturday.
To win the presidency, candidates must secure the most votes, but also win 25 percent in two thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states and federal capital district.