Cry, O ‘Divided’ Country by Toni Kan

Cry, O ‘Divided’ Country by Toni Kan

We did not have a presidential election; we just had regional elections.

Look at the numbers, consider the appalling lopsidedness and weep for Nigeria.

Never have the religious and tribal fault lines been so evident and after 55 years of independence and 100 years of co-habitation as a nation yoked together, even if by violence, only one word comes to mind; shame.

This is not a country, this is a sham. And we must begin to renegotiate the terms of our co-habitation. Is this a marriage or a common law relationship? Are we one or a conglomeration of people pretending to be one?

How can the South vote so clearly for their own and the North vote so clearly for their own? What kind of president will the man who emerges from this election be; president of Northern Nigeria or President of Southern Nigeria?

Aside from Lagos, where APC polled 792,460 and PDP polled 623,327, the rest of the states so far collated and announced clearly evince regional biases, something that hints at a deep rooted malaise and what appears a terminal ailment for this country called Nigeria.

nigeria-map

A quick look at two states from the South and North will help buttress the point I am trying to make.

Let’s consider the South: In Bayelsa state APC polled 5,194 while PDP polled 361,208

In Ebonyi state APC polled 19,518 while PDP polled 323,653

Now take a look at the North: In Gombe state APC polled 361,245 while the PDP polled 96,873

In Niger state APC polled 657,678, while PDP polled 149,222 of votes cast.

What this shows is clear; we voted along tribal or ethnic lines. The different political zones voted not for the party, it seems when it came to PDP and APC, instead they voted for their son and brother.

In a country where we just spent billions of Nigeria convening a National Conference, how can we all be so divided, how can we as a country vote like this and not be ashamed of ourselves?

When Professor Jega and his team are done with collating the votes and then announce the final results, whoever emerges president will be faced with a monumental crisis of validation; is he a president of the South or North?

And this has nothing to do with the popular votes.

I think Nigeria needs to have a conversation about what makes us one and what makes us a nation. The time has come to really have that conversation and whoever wins, must make that a priority.

 

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