We have been here before, alive with dreams of a better Nigeria, jubilant in the enthronement of the choice made by the majority and generally hopeful of a better life. It was the general elections of 2011 that took us there. Many of us had just voted a President who we hoped would serve us the good life, who we imagined (as the masses often imagine) would redistribute the wealth of the nation to make sure we got slices of “our” national cake. The man we elected in 2011 was one of our own, a Daniel come to judgement.
Basking in the euphoria of a largely peaceful general elections and mocking the “sore” losers of that race, we settled down to reap our rewards. Reap it we did! Many of us had voted in favour of religion, it did not bring succour to us when the scourge of governmental indecision and apathy was unleashed. Many others voted for tribe, neither they nor their tribe had much to show for their votes. Some of us voted an illusion, a dream of perfection, we were speedily brought down to earth, awakened by harsh realities piercing through dreams and demanding attention. A few remained satisfied by the choice we collectively made, some diehard optimists, some diehard tribalists, some religious diehards and of course the ever present beneficiaries of every lax government who fight to protect their personal interests.
In the face of growing dissatisfaction, the ranks of the jubilant electorate of 2011 broke down irremediably. Discordant tunes rent the air. “Give the man a break, he is trying…” some said “let him be, the opposition is not letting him see straight” some others excused. But the electorate of 2011 had great expectations, we trusted a demi-god and damned his opposition, we expected him to serve us in spite of the opposition. We did not care if he was trying, we needed him to deliver. “Trying” wasn’t quelling violence in the north east, “trying” wasn’t translating to a better life for us either; accusations of corruption heated the polity “trying” was neither addressing the accusations nor fighting the accused or the accuser (depending on who was guilty biko).
In the face of our dissatisfaction was the voice of our number 1 woman alternately grating on the nerves of both supporters and detractors or serving as an endless source of amusement for the populace. In the face of our dissatisfaction, acts of impunity against perceived “future messiahs” rubbed salt in our wounds, easy to recall is the famous national assembly lockout, the unaddressed Fayose to Judge slap too.
In time we gathered to elect another leader. The loving populace of 2011 had all but fizzled out. Our former elect did not know this, he could not have known this. A close group of sycophants who I hear hound every government had insulated him from the people and blocked his ears with praise singing and encouragement. A good man at heart (I hope and assume), his followers would not let him do his own campaigning. Full page adverts in the pages of newspapers abusing his opposition was to be his form of communication, hate messages and spiteful pictures formed his campaign. Controversy (Buhari certificate and close-to-death scandal) was stirred by his “camp” to confuse the electorate. His voice at the campaign was loudest and clearest, it screamed “Vote for me. I dare you NOT TO”
The passionate electorate of 2011 rechanneled their passion. Another messiah was needed, another Daniel was required at the judgement. Another demi-god to correct perceived and blatant ills was needed. Again we went out and selected another. We made sweeping changes to our government, it wasn’t just the head we removed, we “swept” clean many of the States too.
We are again hopeful of a better life and a new Nigeria. In addition, we believe we have elected CHANGE. A man with a broom to sweep every State, Ministry and Sector. Who will also put an end to corruption, ours and theirs. We are again jubilant in the enthronement of the choice made by the majority and we wait with bated breaths and great expectations for our refreshing wind of change or the stifling stench “re-dashed” dreams and business as normal disappointing usual!
2019 will tell – dashed dreams or met expectations