Now that the general elections has come and gone, obviously we must have learnt several lessons from it, either as a politician or as one who chose to be apolitical, either as a patriotic Nigerian or an unconcerned citizens. Series of events radially surrounded the elections; events that would remain vivid in the memory of Nigerians.
A lot of prophecies were all over the media; print, electronic and social. Some were simply about violence and some went to the extent of apocalypse. I wouldn’t conclude in this write up that those prophecies were false but that could be at readers’ discretion. That might stand as the first lesson we learnt from the elections.
The fundamental fact one can induce from the last elections especially for politicians is that the power of incumbency cannot be used to intimidate the masses against their volitions. It is very obvious now that the power the people have to choose who they want is superior to the power of incumbency. The power of incumbency can only be used to complement the natural power of selection the people have.
However, the power of incumbency can actually be used to entice the people. This is by actually doing what the people voted you for initially. A good example is that of Ogun state governor. He worked fervently all through the years of his administration, his government worked industriously to ensure the success of his massive infrastructural projects.
Most of us by now would think I work for the Amosun-led government and I think it is imperative for me at this point to clear any lingering doubt in our minds. I don’t work for him or his government and I don’t even concur with his idea of channelling all his energy and state resources to infrastructural development only.
There are ways he could have balanced growth and development in the state, he should have taken different palliative measures against poverty in the state.
Unlike justice, change delayed is not change denied, that is another lesson we learnt.
Nigerians clamoured for change and they turned out massively for it despite the postponement of the election which was enough to demoralize anyone. If we actually went for change or a case of lesser devil, “that would be a topic for another day.”
To be factual, I never knew this country could unite against such a cause, despite religious and ethnical bigotry fomented by lazy campaign managers who would not do their assignments right but would rather find a sophistic way of convincing people.
Do they think Nigerians are still that ignorant and gullible? When they want to embezzle, loot or share public funds together they don’t care about their religion or tribe. When they go shopping or on vacation in Dubai they don’t remember their religion then, but when it comes to campaigning for choice of governance it is then they remember their respective religion.
Please tell them gone are the days of deceit; they should try another form of sophism in 2019. Northerners and southerners voted for the same notion except for our friends from South-East and South-South who decided to go with their proverb, “the monkey might be ugly but his mother is left with no option than to like him”.
More lessons were learnt during the last election but I have limit to what I can write here. Lest I forget, there are two ways one can become famous overnight: either by orchestrating resources and optimizing them to yield good result or by trying to disrupt a process.
The former can be attributed to the INEC chairman who became popular across the globe after conducting credible elections. You might say it wasn’t totally credible and I tell you that’s why in academics 70% is distinction.
The other way of becoming famous can be attributed to the PDP national agent who is also a former minister. While he was serving as a minister, nobody knew him; his name didn’t make news headlines. I can tell you today with no iota of doubt that his name is well known across the country, something he couldn’t achieve for years he did in hours. Who says there isn’t any good in bad?
Lastly, it is now a fact that in politics there are no permanent friends or enemies but permanent interests. A lot of political transfers took place immediately after the elections. Thank God that, unlike football, you don’t need to wait for any transfer window to open before you catapult yourself to the winning team.
We now begin to ask ourselves if any difference exists between political parties in our country. Parties that don’t have unique mandates, if not members wouldn’t find it extremely easy to leave a party (defect), come back to that party and still leave that party. The only mandate I would assume they have is their common selfish interest.
In the United States, once you are a democrat, I wonder if you will ever become a republican. Similarly in the United Kingdom, I wonder if you can just leave the labour party for the conservative party overnight. These are parties that have unique and specific mandates. I hope we get to that level soon.
Those are my deductions, and I know there are still many more to make the list. So, over to you: what would you deduct from the general elections too?
BY OLANIYAN OLAWALE.