The build up to the 2015 presidential election was akin to that of a nation preparing for war. The two main political parties threw in everything into the battle: name calling, character assassination, loads of criticisms most of which were completely unnecessary. Tension was high and it was obvious that the country was sitting on the keg of gun powder that needed just a little nudge for a cataclysmic explosion. The prediction that heavens would fall during and after the election was looking like a Nostradamus forecast. Some even said that it would signal the end of Nigeria. Yes, both sides beat the drums of war. Yes, both sides called out their strong men and asked them to go for broke. Unfortunately some persons danced to the drums of war and tension and violence gripped the nation in the jugular. In some locations heads were broken, limbs were shattered, guns boomed and people died including innocent bystanders. And the fear was that if the situation was that bad then, what would happen during and after the election? Were these wars in the name of election about the greater good of the Nigerian nation or personal aggrandizement and positioning to get a bigger cut of the national cake?
The election of Saturday March 28 held and the result began to trickle in. And the social media heightened the tension as both sides began to claim victor y and call their forces to war. Exodus began in different parts of the country as people felt they were no longer safe in places outside their ethnic origins. Then, before our very eyes at the National Collation centre a drama that could have plunged the country into chaos began to play out on Tuesday March 30. One of the officers of a party seized the podium to reject and try to abort or stop the democratic process. An action the late M.K.O. Abiola would have described as trying to abort the pregnancy of baby that was already born. Tension gripped the land as many watched the macabre drama live on television. Many hearts skipped a beat. Offices in different parts of the country began to shut down and a number of people voted with their legs. The country was on the edge. Everybody including the international community was expecting the worst explosion.
Then enter President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. With a phone call to candidate Muhammad Buhari conceding defeat; the tension was defused. By not following the path of the hawks that championed and canvassed and worked behind the scene and openly for the ‘Orubebelization’ (Cancellation) of the electoral process, Mr. President deserves the appreciation of Nigerians. By conceding defeat and congratulating the winner, General Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. President has shown that He is a patriot who has lived up to his claim that the ambition of being president is not worth the blood of any Nigeria. Thank you ,Mr. President, for steering Nigeria away from the precipice and refusing to follow the inglorious path of Laurent Gbagbo who plunged Cote d’Ivoire into avoidable crisis that led to thousands of death and carnage of unimaginable proportions. Mr. President Your decision to ensure the full ‘Jegalization’ (Sanctity) of the process and rejection of ‘Orubebelization’ in its entirety has become a major milestone in our history. You are truly a Grand Commander of the Federal Republic and a Defender of Democracy. Let us nominate and welcome our dear President Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan into the league of respected statesmen.
Thankfully the action of Jonathan struck the right chord with the President elect, General Buhari.
Thereafter the tension died. The elements knew too. The salubrious air from the open environment gushing with refreshing verve and caressing and soothing the body, accentuating the joy of the old and young was clearly discernible all over the country. The environment too is leaping for joy joining the people of Nigeria to praise our God for the Great Things He Has Done for our land.
However it would appear some Nigerians especially supporters of both men don’t want the war to end. They have continued the war songs. And some have stepped up the campaign to denigrate the person of the outgoing president thereby raising tension in the land. Of course we must speak truth to power. By all means we must criticize our leaders and point out their frailties, foibles and what they have done and are doing wrong. But when we begin to mock, debase, disrespect, abuse humiliate and denigrate them with our words in the name of criticism and expressing our opinion, it smacks of malice. I think some persons are going overboard in their criticisms of the outgoing leader. As the incoming leader has affirmed, Jonathan deserves to be shown respect as the man who currently occupies the number one position in our land. We should start winding down on politics and begin to focus on how to guide the incoming order. What is clear is that the last act of Jonathan has won a lot of admiration for our country in the international arena. He has saved our country from a potentially debilitating politically induced self-immolation. He has given a refreshing fillip to our democracy. This is an imperishable legacy. If you think the concession of Jonathan is nothing go and ask them in Kenya and Cote Divoire where Uhuru Kenyatta and Laurent Gbagbo refused the result of Presidential elections some years back. Thousands were massacred and the scars of the political war are still hunting and hurting both countries.