March 22, 2019

So we postponed the elections? – Viola Okolie

So we postponed the elections? – Viola Okolie

 

 

Nigeria!

 

What a country.

 

If your head has not been spinning with the events of the past one week, then congratulations! Your own brand of maturity is a very wawu sontin!

 

So we have postponed the elections?

 

What next?

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Why would an electoral body that had spent the penultimate couple of days leading up to the extension of the election, protesting every rumor  that the election would be postponed; spent the last thirty minutes before they postponed the election cursing out people categorically informing us that the election would be postponed – suddenly execute a volte face and postpone the election?

 

 

How do we begin to count the losses and potential disenfranchisement that definitely occurred as a result of the postponement? Where do we start from? Schools had sent pupils home to ensure they were closer to their parents for the election weekend – those children are still at home.

 

People had taken vacation from work to travel to their polling units to go and vote – a lot of them have had to return back to base, they know for sure that the office will not stop because Nigeria is undecided.

 

People who had shut down businesses and travelled are in the village; just sitting and twiddling their thumbs.

 

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The best thing that can come out of this process, is to ensure that the architect of this confusion is given a red card and a lifetime match ban from the arena of Nigerian politics.

 

Is it true that the President allegedly went to cast his vote at a polling booth, unaware that the election had already been postponed?

 

Anyway, one week postponement is another week for people to dust their shoes and get into the grind and get out more of the votes. If you are still undecided and I doubt that there are too many people that still are, please ask yourself these critical questions:

 

Who are the Fulani Herdsmen and why is it seemingly an impossible task  to bring them to order?

 

We are not saying they should be proscribed, we are not saying they should be visited with the sort of wrath with which unarmed Igbo youth protesting for their right to self determination were shut down; but this group has massacred Nigerians in their thousands.

 

They kill with impunity.

 

No reprimand.

 

Nothing.

 

Instead the villagers that try to defend themselves are the ones who are punished for resisting sudden death with all they have got.

 

When did this madness of shielding murderers and punishing defenseless citizens start?

 

What exactly is the problem that this administration has with peaceful demonstration and exercise of freedom of speech?

 

 

IPOB.

 

Why has this non-violent group been proscribed and banned and attempts made to brand them terrorists while Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen who kill and are still killing with impunity are treated like prodigal sons?

 

The situation speaks to a fault line of ethnicity that is being capitalized on to polarize rather than unite a country as diverse as Nigeria.

 

Are you any better now than you were four years ago?

 

Are you any richer?

 

Are you mentally and psychologically better than you were four years ago? Or is the Nigerian hustle slowly grinding you to a halt too?

 

IELTS centers are bursting at the brim; someone set up a parody twitter account for the Canadian government, mocking Nigerians. People living in “the abroading” are besieged with phone calls from home everyday – phone calls with a twist.

 

Before, it was an “anything for the boys” call: “brother find us something now, country is hard”.

 

Now it is an “SOS” call: “brother Abeg help us, we don tire. Anything to help us to reach overseas?”

 

Everybody wants to disappear.

 

Everywhere is now “abroad” to Nigerians.

 

Everyone is seeking an escape route.

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That change we were promised but did not get in 2015, we are ready for it now.

 

And make no mistakes; we will keep “changing” until we get it right!

 

So even as Nigerians count the cost of INEC’s decision to postpone the election, it should reinforce our collective decision to make the right choices at the polls.

 

This is the mindset we should all have…

 

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Lilian Osigwe Editor

A Creative and Versatile Writer.  
Currently writes for SabiNews Media

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