Nigerian Singer “Banky W” writes an interesting piece on the 2015 presidential elections which he shared on his blog. Read below…
It has been quite an interesting time in our Nation’s History. Exhilarating for some, disappointing for others… but interesting nonetheless. The announcement of the 2015 Election results has dominated every news medium, traditional and social media platform in the last few days. Alongside most Nigerians worldwide, I was glued to my television throughout the process as INEC members slowly read out each result from each state, and then as the Chairman Mr Jega gave the final results and declared the winner.
Now that the dust has settled a little, it’s time to share some of my random thoughts on what has just happened, and celebrate/highlight some of the key factors.
Here’s to the President-elect, General Muhammudu Buhari. Congratulations Sir on your victory. Yours is a lesson of perseverance. After contesting and failing in 2003, 2007 and 2011, some would have understandably thrown in the towel on this particular goal. But it’s never failure until you give up, give in and quit trying. There’s a lesson for all of us in this. When you get knocked down, you get back up, dust yourself off, re-strategize, and try again. That’s precisely what he did, and now he’s the President-Elect. He’s got a tough job ahead of him…the economy is coming upon harsh times; oil prices have crashed and foreign reserves have been depleted. The Unemployment rate and poverty index in Nigeria is at an all time high. General Buhari’s administration have their work cut-out for them, and here’s hoping they hit the ground running. It’s time to cut the excesses of times past… time to focus on what’s truly important to the Nigerian people, and make significant strides in the right direction. Everything needs improvement. Security, Employment, Power, Education… you name it. Change is what we voted for, and change they must deliver.
Here’s to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Many of us have been vocal critics of the present administration over the past couple of years… but you’ve left a legacy of conducting/overseeing/allowing two free & fair elections to hold in Nigeria. That’s more than any other President can say in our Nation’s history. You’ve also been gracious in defeat, and your move to quickly congratulate the opposition has probably helped ease the atmosphere in these tense times. That these elections have been MOSTLY violence-free, is no small feat. Your position, that neither you nor any politician’s ambition, is worth the blood of any Nigerian, is noble, applaudable, and appreciated. If you’re going to go out, this is the way to do it.. with your head held high and your dignity intact.
Here’s to Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Muhammudu Jega. You’ve overseen such an intricate, tense, political process and come out mostly spotless. In recent times your job has probably been the most powerful and the most stressful in Nigeria, and yet you handled your affairs as cool as the other side of the pillow. Never once losing your temper, never once succumbing to pressure or drama, never once letting people see you sweat. Your attitude, manner, and competence in dealing with highly sensitive tasks and times, is one that is exemplary to all Nigerians. This is how to become a living legend. Our hope, however, is that INEC will improve upon this exercise and learn some very necessary lessons. The process to collate, calculate and announce results took entirely too long. It’s 2015… we can’t at this point, be that adverse to the use of excel sheets and calculators. Too much time passed between when votes were cast and when the results were announced that could be interpreted as an avenue for rigging to occur. The situation and allegations in States such as Rivers, and some areas in the North and East, should also be looked into for the purpose of eliminating any areas of malpractice in the future.
Here’s to the young people that were actively involved in the political process this time around. It was encouraging to see more of us participate. For instance, one of the parties used peers of mine like Adebola Williams and Chude Jideonwo (and their media platforms) to handle their PR and campaign activities with great success; while other parties used spokespeople who some say may have done more harm than good. Sites like LindaIkeji’s blog, Bella Naija, and YNaija, were just as, if not more important to candidates and voters, than traditional newspapers and media.