Times change rapidly, but through history, campaign rhetorics of politicians are hardly translated into positive actions. What we see repeatedly is the insatiable relish with which they speak with two sides of their mouths.They say “yes” and “no” at the same time, making it difficult for the people to know when they are working with resolute and steady hearts.
One paradoxical proverb by Oscar Wilde, that has often proved true, is the saying that, in this world there are two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it. Election is like a race with winners and losers. In some cases, there could be traumatic experiences arising from manipulations, failures and sycophantic behaviours. Even then, politics should not be seen as a do-or-die affair. It should be seen simply as a game of numbers, played by Nigerians with equal democratic rights.
However, with utmost consideration, I would be glad to see a change in the general belief that nothing good can come out of any Nigerian election due to the notorious “cash and carry” syndrome.
Nigeria is not the property of one man; neither is she the property of some unscrupulous moneybags. Nigeria is the property of well-over one hundred and eighty million Nigerians, whose greater pleasure will be in participating in a credible and conclusive 2019 Poll, devoid of gangsterism, ethnic and religious violence. Therefore, we should be careful and ready to play the game by the rules, aware that when a handshake goes beyond the elbow, it becomes a fight or an attack.
Nigeria’s fate in the forthcoming 2019 Election will rest on the collective votes of PVC holders and not on the executive, the legislature, the judiciary, the press, the military or paramilitary outfits, an ethnic group, a religious body, traditional rulers, ballot-box snatchers, hired thugs, criminals, or even the Electoral Commission. Agreed, each group has its significant roles to play, but not to sway the votes by undue influence on the electorate. INEC on their part, should be allowed to play their administrative, logistical and constitutional roles without interference from any quarters, no matter how powerful.
They are expected to produce and distribute election materials in good time nationwide, to avoid misconceptions by legitimately registered voters, and the international observers. They are expected to recruit and train ad hoc workers early enough, in order to prepare their minds for the great task ahead. They should also ensure that election materials, personnel and polling stations are properly secured. If they strengthen their weaknesses through knowledge gathered from previous elections, and perform above board, they will surely earn the highest superlatives from Nigerians across the country.
I’m sure Nigerians will not be asking for too much, if their only demand is a free, fair and credible election, because Nigerians now know that there should be a limit to the weight of problems they can carry. They know that there is a limit to the distance of solitude and servitude they can walk. They also know that the human mind has a limit beyond which it cannot be gnawed. Therefore, this is not the time to shadow-box or blame each other, as it will be a dreadful calamity to erode on the spirits and conscience of already helpless Nigerians, who have been subdued by acids of long suffering.
Today, even people in the shadowy world know that politics in Nigeria has become the most lucrative business ever. Imagine, when a lawmaker pockets one million naira everyday, in a country where abject poverty is the or country where abject poverty is the order of the day. Little wonder then fake prophets and diviners are feeding fat on them.
Today, it is no longer news that both old and new politicians pay regular nocturnal visits to unholy places, such as; ancient shrines, evil forests, covens, satanic alters, mountains, cemeteries and streams, to acquire power to attract wealth, pursue and stabilise their political ambitions. In the end, what do we see? Gigantic mansions and fleet of choice cars representing their vanities. Yet, Nigerians who watch with genuine concern, see their foolish wisdom of making money as grubby opportunism. Character, they say, is like smoke, it cannot be hidden. Cunny man die, cunny man buriam.
Howard Hughes was once the world’s richest man when he was only forty five years old. Twenty years later, at sixty five, he still had all his money but was probably the world’s most miserable man. He had retreated from society, living in small dark rooms in hotels, keeping all the sun out. He was dirty: his beard grew down to his waist and his hair fell down his back. His finger nails were two inches long. His huge body had shrunk to nothing.
Howard Hughes’ story Is one out of a thousand and one lessons of life. What are we pursuing in life if the cries of the down-trodden masses mean nothing to our Leaders? The truth, however, is that the great King of Kings, the Almighty God, still rules in the affairs of men, and will wipe the tears of Nigerians in this year 2019. A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed without remedy.
The military is the hope of the nation. They should defend the nation and the people at all times, and also during critical elections. They should not use the guns to intimidate, humiliate and harass civilians, who are fellow citizens of Nigeria. Everyone involved in one way or the other in the forthcoming 2019 Election should know that a good name is better than silver and gold.
The political class should not bite more than they can chew. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. This is why we should see God as our rock and fortress, and not allow Him to loose his patience and temper, as this can be disastrous. A cock belongs to one man, but its crow is for all the neighborhood. I still believe, we can have a credible 2019 Poll if we are honest and transparent.
God bless Nigeria!
Nsofor writes ftom Abuja