The victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the just concluded presidential election has eroded the political influence of some heavyweight politicians across the country.
These politicians were earlier considered influential when they teamed up to ensure they booted out former president, Goodluck Jonathan, from power.
They had supported Mr Buhari who was the major opposition presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) prior to the 2015 general election. The president before then had tried severally to actualise his ambition without success on his part.
Mr Jonathan who sought re-election at the time lost to the APC candidate despite being a sitting president. Many of these acclaimed heavyweight politicians thought their role at the time helped in ousting the former president.
As this year’s general election drew near, they deserted Buhari who they helped enthroned, thinking the withdrawal of their supports was going to ease the president out of office but the Nigerian leader has proved them wrong.
POLITICS TIMES picks out four (4) of these politicians which the president or his party has dwindled their influence.
OLUSEGUN OBASANJO: Many Nigerians rated the former president as the father of politics in the country given the fact the whoever he endorses usually emerge victorious.
After serving out his two term in office, he played a vital role in enthroning, Late Musa Yar’dua and Goodluck Jonathan as president and vice president respectively. When Yar’adua died, Jonathan took over and won the 2011 general election with the support of Obasanjo.
Although he supported Buhari to clinch the exalted office in 2015, Obasanjo withdrew his support when the body language of the president suggested he was interested in a second term in office. In an open letter he wrote, the former president accused the president of being incompetent and a nepotistic leader. He had employed similar tactics when he withdrew his support for Jonathan and many though his latest action will see Buhari loosing.
ATIKU ABUBAKAR: The current presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and a former vice president who served during the reign of Obasanjo is another politician whose political influence has withered nationwide.
He lost his long-desired political ambition to Buhari who trounced him with over 4 million votes. Widely known as Atiku, the PDP candidate was among political heavyweight from the Northern region who deserted Jonathan and ensured the incumbent president defeated his predecessor in 2015.
Mocking him after he lost the election, some Nigerians said the law of Karma is in action because the position he sort today is the same he refused to endorse Jonathan for as he would have been the current president-elect if he did.
BUKOLA SARAKI: He is the current president of the 8th Senate. Mr Saraki lost his re-election bid and will not be among members of the 9th Senate.
He was among lawmakers who joined their state governors from the PDP to the APC prior to the 2015 general election, thereby thwarting the second term bid of Jonathan.
While in APC, he emerged Senate President against the wish of the party and has severally rendered attempts to oust him from the position futile.
Returning to the PDP, he was appointed director-general of the party’s campaign organisation but he could not win his third term bid of going back to the red chamber.
The APC has mocked him saying the top lawmaker is politically dead.
RABIU KWANKWASO: He is currently a PDP serving senator, though not returning to the Senate, his state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, belonging to APC, has shattered whatever political influence he controls in Kano State.
Kwankwaso was among state governors who told Jonathan to forget his re-election bid and delivered his state’s 1.9 million votes to Buhari during the 2015 general election.
His political machinery across the state known as Kwankwasiyya Movement could not deliver even a local government to the PDP during the presidential poll.