Wednesday 1 April 2015

#NigeriaDecides I: A preliminary view

Phew! It was hard
It was days of unmitigated suspense as we waited with bated breath wondering whether it would be the inscrutable crinkum-crankum of esoteric polling or the nocturnal jiggery-pokery of tallies boosted by strangely enfranchised ghosts.
After a 6 week postponement of the elections from the 14th of February, no one could tell if this was a deliberate ploy to subvert the will of the people or a necessity.
The frenetic campaign activity that had the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan in her full mettle, completely unguarded, yet drawing in the crowds was a matter of concern. We remained quite circumspect where we had the unprintable in mind to say about her.
The deafening noise
Broadly, the election on Saturday the 28th of March, extended into the next day as the technical, logistical and sometimes the typically Nigerian electoral malpractice issues militated against the mostly peaceful polling process.
On social media, the megaphones of the parties amplified information and sensation that it was literally difficult to ascertain the truth from fiction, we mostly observed and hoped that common-sense will prevail.
Over the election season, I slowly lost respect for some of the people I followed as they deployed reprehensible propaganda and invective to aid their patrons. Some fully paid up having prostituted their souls to the enterprise of political calumny. I was sickened.
The test of patience
When the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) gathered to begin the announcement of the results, it was pedestrian, slow at the pace of drying paint and the breaks taken made us wonder about the timekeeping of the professorial chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega whose calm and demeanour was a global lesson in handling conflict.
This was demonstrated when an agent of the president, Elder Godsday Orubebe decided to inspire us with the first draft of his epitaph by disrupting the collation activity and calling the chairman all sorts of names.
At a time, I did suggest the chairman should get himself a colostomy bag, but never had Nigerians been glued to their screens to observe an event for so long and with such great expectations. We even exceeded the kind of attention we pay to the European football leagues.
It is over
As Tuesday evening approached, the tallies suggested the All Progressives Congress (APC) had assumed an unassailable lead with just one state to be declared. We soon heard that the incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had phoned Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.) to concede defeat.
Whilst, this is not yet official, nothing can change the result, we are at the dawning of a new Nigeria, and at the end of the day, it is in brotherhood we stand to take this country forward, regardless of who we supported.
God bless Nigeria, God bless Nigerians.

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