Several commentators are crediting the vice president-elect Yemi Osinbajo with playing a key role in Buhahari’s victory in the presidential (s)elections.
They claim Osinbajo being a pastor was crucial in assuring Christians that Buhahari was not a Muslim fundamentalist.
Others claim that the Redeemed Church where Osinbajo is a minister was an important voting bloc.
Some claim that Osinbajo coming from the southwest of Nigeria was critical in selling Buhahari in that region. There are also those who argue that the running-mate’s alleged expertise on policy, being a “technocrat” and his intellect (he was a law professor at the University of Lagos) were what was required to sway voters who were looking for capable hands to manage Nigeria’s massive problems.
There’s one thing about these theories. They are all dead wrong.
The Christian pastor softener thing for Buhahari’s image did not work in 2011. His running mate then was also a pastor – Tunde Bakare. Bakare also came from southwest Nigeria like Osinbajo and Buhahari lost in every state there apart from Osun.
The difference between 2011 and 2015 is that Buhahari was running against Goodluck Jonathan’s record of four years of failure and misery for most Nigerians.
You would struggle to find any vice presidential candidate that ever made a statistically significant difference in any election. No one is quite sure what a vice president does. It is probably a fair bet that many of Buhahari voters didn’t even know who his running mate was or what he looked like. Buhahari himself struggled to pronounce his name at one point in the campaign.
The long and short of it is that Goodluck had messed up so bad that Buhahari would have won even if he had an APC broom as his running mate.