So I should have started this blogging business a long time ago, but as a diamond card member of Procrastinators Unite, I just didn’t have the needed impetus. That however changed today.
Now let me make this clear, I’m expressing MY opinions. Each individual is entitled to his. If you agree with mine, beautiful. If you don’t, well, it’s just too bad.
Over the past couple of months, and even more so during the past few weeks, the whole of cyberspace and even our day to day discussions and interactions have been suffused with the spirit of the elections. For me, it was a thing of joy to see so many youth, especially those considered to be in the “Elite class” (you know now, the FB, Twitter, BB, iPhone class) getting actively involved in the discussions and debates surrounding the elections and politics generally. Considering the fact that this group should logically not be interested in such issues, seeing as its members had “comfortable” lives (ppl wey dey carry 70k phone, dey travel go Jand and Yankee for holiday comfortable na). But it is for this very reason that these same people made a stand to be agents of change, because they had travelled beyond our shores and seen how things could and should be in this great nation of ours.
The build up to the elections was “too mad” on all the social network sites; with people monitoring the various debates (and interviews), and running their own commentary (which sometimes was more interesting than the actual debates). The election tension was so palpable you could almost touch it.
Then D-day arrived. After the initial brouhaha (Senator Obahiagbon has made me love that word) of Prof. Jega’s post April Fool’s joke (which had its own spin-off activity on social networks), the elections came and went. And the feeling in the air was that even though the PDP was still in the majority, most people were ready for a change and they were ready to back an opposition that was ready to fight for the future of this nation.
And then today, the main day, the main event of this year’s election came, and boy was I shocked and disappointed. The same youth who seemed to be sound knowledgeable and educated over the past few weeks; the same individuals who flayed D’Banj over the Agama Chronicles, the same people who ridiculed DPJ over her hit single “Umblera”, went on to vote the same party that has kept us in a perpetual state of ignominy, stagnation and underdevelopment as a nation.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I expected everybody to vote against PDP (anybody who expected that is either stupid, or doesn’t live in Nigeria or both). I’m a firm believer that each person is entitled to vote for whoever it is they want to vote for. Personally, I was hoping for a run-off between PDP and CPC (which might still happen). But what disappointed me was the people I know who voted for PDP and even more infuriating are the reasons they gave. These are individuals I consider to be an infinitely more educated and exposed than the villagers and illiterate people in this nation. I mean I cannot understand the logic (or lack thereof) behind their decisions. Even my own mother, who was educated abroad, voted for GEJ for the mere fact that he stayed married to his wife (in spite of all her failings and shortcomings) and didn’t marry a trophy wife to be first lady. Imagine that kind of thinking from a seasoned lawyer who retired many years ago. I’ve heard various other reasons of increasing “ludicrousity” (yeah, I just invented that…sue me!!) and just thinking about some of them makes the bile just rise up in me. E.g. “Buhari is too transparent, you want make them sack my mama ni.” Or “na GEJ go win before now, you want make I come waste my vote.” Or “North and West don too rule jo, make the guy dey there jo”. Astounding logic don’t you think?
I never believed that the saying “you get the leaders you deserve” really applied to Nigeria (as most sayings don’t), but having witnessed this election I guess that’s out of the window now. I mean after all that we’ve gone through as a nation; after all that has been done to us as a people in the last 12 years, more so in the last 2 years (with the Yaradua Is Not Dead and the Goodluck May/May Not Run saga), for people to still vote for the same party to continue leading us is beyond sad. It is dismal. And it shows that we still have a very loooonnnnng way to go as a nation. As Einstein expressed, it is madness to continue doing the same thing in the same way and expect different results.
But I conclude with this, regardless of whether you “pressed ya hand” for the “Umblera”, “Bloom”, Biro, Maize, or any other logo, let us not let the fire die down. We’ve become infused with a zeal for change; for accountability and transparency in government; for having a say in the issues that concern this nation; for holding candidates to their word. Let us not go to sleep because our candidate won or didn’t win. The job of protecting your vote has just begun, and this phase of that particular task is more involving, more challenging and essentially more difficult. But it is the most fulfilling.
God bless Nigeria!