I took some time down memory lane to as far back as the 1960s and considering the usual parameters of freeness, fairness and credibility, my summation on reconsideration upon reconsideration, is that the just concluded 2023 elections are the best so far in the electoral history of Nigeria, on the balance of things.
To all intent and purpose, if any one were to be self-courageous enough as to dip all prejudices and biases in the sea of stark reality, one will arrive at the same conclusion.
That is not to say that there were not pockets of miscreant behavior here and there, but not anything significant enough with the possibility of changing the outcomes of the elections, especially the national and state elections.
In terms of freeness, the elections were free to the extent that more than 90% of intending voters freely exercised their civic franchise unlike in the previous ones in 2009 and 2015, marred by widespread violence which prevented hundreds of thousands of voters!
In terms of fairness, votes as counted and endorsed by party agents were upheld up till Abuja, unlike in 2009 especially, when figures were massively altered and significant numbers of ballots were rendered inconsequential through violent disruptions across the country!
Credibility is really a measure of freeness and fairness. Where elections turn out largely free and fair, as in the 2023, it’s utterly strange to conclude on poor credibility under normal circumstances. It’s immaterial in my candid view what contrary comments come from enemies of the state, without: they never want us to get it right in the first place! And this is what patriots must realize and reject being the “black buffoons” they have always taken us to be. They must tell us it is right before we receive it as such, even when they are wrong and trying to be mischievous?! No! Nah! Nah! Nah!
I look forward to a future when after elections in Nigeria, magnanimous losers will stretch forth the “olive branch” to the winners who will equally be so noble, and in so doing, shame the warmongering international observers who are nothing but enemy agents. It’s time we started to believe in ourselves rather than borrow our benchmarks from them blindly.
We were all right here, we saw what transpired, we were fully involved, indeed, pleasantly surprised that it could be so peaceful, free and fair, when we had so deeply troubled ourselves with the expectations of the contrary. So how come the elections are not credible – where is that coming from? Did some of us lobby them to discredit the elections, or they are furthering their own interests?
How can these elections, in which I was an active participant and tutored monitor, not be credible?! Because of machines that we chose and had to discard for effectiveness?! If we had not followed through they would have been calling us all kinds of dastardly names by now! What we have achieved with these elections, following 63 awkward years of national experiment is beginning to threaten our colonial lords! We have to stop playing the game they engineered such that more commerce of amunitions may thrive, and we only dream of our peace! Enough of dreaming peace, let’s allow opportunity to truly enjoy it. It’s the way forward.
I sympathize with losers who necessarily have to come up with some defense mechanisms for their immediate soft landing, but not prolonged obsession as we now have. Let time be the ultimate healer as it is meant to do and not destroy the pot of soup this time around because of the rude awakening stark reality doles out to the unprepared and the pathetically unrealistic!
I have painstakingly come to the careful realization in the wake of all the recent political realities that, most Nigerians are not poised for dealing with the sacrosanct realities they pay lip service to, were it to really come, as it did to millions in these last elections. Unempirical wishful thinking and cravings have transported many into fairy tale dream lands, cities and worlds where their scenario permutations must be actualized or else they will not wake up! Otherwise, why will people vow to leave the country should their rivals win
I can only urge all such to wake up from their obsessions, come back to reality and let real life continue on this side of new realities. Yes, new realities where a hitherto inconsequential 27 year old lady is now a member of the House of Assembly in Kwara State; where a Yoruba ogidi and not Igbo, is rightfully the Governor of Yorubaland Lagos State; where a woman is the Governor of Taraba State, for the first time in Nigeria; where sitting executive Governors have been unseated by lowly rivals; where against many deliberately orchestrated odds, Bola Ahmed Tinubu (with his muslim-muslim ticket) is the President elect of our national contrapment, called Nigeria. Wake up from many would-have-beens that didn’t happen! Let’s move on together: we have more at stake than what may hold us bound to the stakes.
I write for peace.