Hi SL Fabz!
I hope you had a cool weekend.
For the past few weeks, we’ve been in ‘Election Mode‘ in Nigeria. Now that its over, many things have returned to normal. I won’t forget in a hurry the anticipation of the Presidential Election results as Nigerians all over the world were glued to their TV Sets, Radios or Computers following the announcement of the results. Many of us turned into mathematicians overnight as we calculated the results being announced.
But beyond the results, the Elections taught us many things. First, the legendary phone call, made by President Jonathan to General Buhari, before the final results were announced nipped, to a good level, whatever violence that might have erupted in the bud.
Putting all these into context, factoring the history of election violence in the country and how easy it is to incite violence across ethnic and religious line in Nigerian one could see why indeed that sole act of President Jonathan is more than commendable. And when the Governorship elections came, some incumbent Governors followed suit as they congratulated the winners, accepting their loss in good faith.
The manuscript of the call goes thus:
President Jonathan: Your Excellency
General Buhari: Hello Your Excellency
President Jonathan: How are you?
General Buhari: I am alright Your Excellency
President Jonathan: (laughs) Congratulations
General Buhari: Thank you very much Your Excellency
President Jonathan: Yeah, so how are things?
General Buhari: Well I would congratulate you more…
President Jonathan: one of these days you should come so we sort out how to plan the transitional period
General Buhari: Thanks Your Excellency, Thank you very much
President Jonathan: Okay… Congratulations
General Buhari: my respect Your Excellency…
The Elections also taught us the power of the vote. Many people believed their votes wouldn’t count, or that the ‘political godfathers’ would put their own candidates in power regardless. But we saw from the figures and the reaction of candidates who didn’t win that they accepted the results, and to a large extent, the results were fair.
Probably, don’t quote me, no candidate would be contesting the election results and that sounds like a good thing. In some cases, my preferred candidates didn’t win, but I accepted the results, and I’m glad many Nigerians did. It shows that we can still be united as people with different tribes and different choices.
In all, I’d say Nigerians are the true winners!
So I ask, now that the Elections are over, what have we learnt as a nation? What have we gained, what mistakes have we made, and how can we learn from them?