The result of the just concluded presidential elections, which was won by opposition party candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the APC, has effectively put an end to the dependence on the power of incumbency in political permutations in Nigeria. Though it is not strange in lower cadres of elective offices, this landmark event in the presidential elections means that politicians must justify their ascent to office or risk being booted out at the next ballot vote.
Barring any turn of events, May 29 will see the beginning of another chapter in our chequered trajectory as a democratic institution, and the end of the 60 years rule prophecy of the PDP at the centre.
Thank God that so far, the calls for peace by men like Rev. Chris Okotie, President Obama, sequel to the elections found listening ears as the announcement of the results and subsequent congratulatory conciliation by President Goodluck Jonathan to the winner, has not sparked off any misadventures.
To understand the exigency behind Rev. Chris Okotie’s recent article which was published on his Facebook page titled; “A Message for Jonathan and Buhari”, one would need to view it through the prism of Nigeria’s leadership conundrum and how they adjust to life after the whole election gamut might have wound down.
In this vein, the pastor-politician mused that; “… As the largest economy in Africa, based on the recent rebasing exercise, we cannot enjoy the benefits of our upgrade in the continent’s governance hierarchy, if the 2015 general elections fall below expectations. Foreign Direct Investment won’t flow in as expected; the economy may shrink, rather than expand, and the nation’s GDP, projected at 5.8 percent this year could remain a mirage.
“The yoke and burden of successive governments ineptitude has become so unbearable, even to Nigerian’s, whose recovery rate from national crises is second to none. After decades of disappointments and repeated cycles of frustrations, there is a lingering mistrust of politicians, the ‘dirty game’ of politics and the habitual faux pax of heating up the polity for political gain. “
It further enhanced widespread disenchantment with the ruling class, who allowed deeply entrenched fear and mutual suspicion fan the embers of their survival tactic which manifested as aggressive campaigns. The tensions they generated could easily have provoked political crisis as the nation lingered at the precipice, stagnating the already tottering economy. What can be expected of post-elections sentiments when the win, loss or run-off become stark realities?
The in-coming government and subsequent leaderships must understand that Nigerians are not interested in the vagaries and rhetorics that politicians were throwing up in the name of campaigns. Time and again, the nation’s yearning has been for a leadership that is not running on the fuel of its own blind-sided premises, and is in tune with the on-ground realities of the people’s personal economies; a government which can win the support of the people, educating them with current truisms, and not hoodwinking them with disjointed and easily discernable propaganda. This is the first duty of government, not the fantasy politics of grand illusions, or wild claims that lack visible substance.
Peddling sloganeered clichés like ‘Hope’, ‘We Can,’ ‘Transformation’, ‘Change’ etc is easy and commonplace: In our political space, it has become synonymous with perfidious politicking. It is the afters that matter; the moment of truth, when the dust of campaigns and promises have settled, leaving the winners with the challenge of making good on their promises with constructive and imaginative governance.
– Akhigbe is former gubernatorial aspirant under FRESH party, Edo State