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Jonathan Or Buhari, To Let Nigeria Be


Buhari-Jonathan-postersTHE drumbeats reminiscent of those heard before the civil war are again threatening, and sometimes frightening. One sometimes cannot decipher whether we are preparing for an election or a war.

On the day the INEC Chairman, Prof. Jega announced the postponement of the elections, the countdown started. It is now a matter of a few short weeks.

At amalgamation in 1914, the British colonial government in their wisdom but more importantly for administrative convenience merged the Northern and Southern Protectorate with the name Nigeria. Unfortunately, this merger did not lead to fusion nor even cohesion among the over 200 ethnic nationalities speaking more than 260 languages that occupy this God-given land space. Be that as it may, Nigeria is not the only amalgam nation state in existence. There are many and examples include Great Britain where the English, Scots, Welsh and Irish have worked out a modus vivendi to sustain a rocky four prolonged marriage. Canada and Sudan are other examples where internal cold war exists among the nationalities, but the ceasefire continues to endure. Their understanding seems to be that as long as the centre holds, LET THEIR COUNTRIES BE.

All nations, including those that are more than 240 years old like the United States are work in progress. We had our centenary only last year. Admittedly, we could have done much better than we have in 100 years but it will be utopian for anyone to expect perfection within that time frame. Being work in progress is the reason we have from time to time had constitutional amendments to take off the bumps and pimples and smoothen other rough edges. As long as the centre holds, LET NIGERIA BE.

All the infractions, attrition, bruises and pains we experience in the run up to the 2015 elections can be considered growing up pains. It is therefore important that we nurse and manage them appropriately. Against this background, it is incumbent on all Nigerians to rein in that motley crowd of selfish, self-opinionated rascals from across the political divides who threaten, spit fire and brimstone if their candidate does not win. May they be consumed by their own fire! Interestingly, what some people fail to realise is that in any contest and more especially elections, there is no second position. Come March 28 and April 11, there will be one winner per seat. That is a given. So, Nigerians must shun advocates of violence and death.

Nigeria is much more important than any one of us and to all those pocket apostles of Armageddon, our collective plea is let Nigeria be. We are so large, diverse and so richly endowed that with proper management, there is enough for all. Everyone must be encouraged to contribute in baking the pie.

In this season of election, there is one malaise we must address after the election, for national stability. The virus is the winner takes all syndrome. Elections have become a war of survival or extinction because the winner takes all. In the United States, a country we strive to copy and sometimes ape, there is provision for all talents that will grow America. Even foreigners with special skills have preferential treatment in scholarships and residence permits. Many American Presidents and most recently George W. Bush and Barack Obama went across the aisle to pick smart opposition candidates for national assignment. This is the way to go.

To all those who are architects and who promote, defend and perpetuate the “winner takes all syndrome’’, our plea once again as patriots is let Nigeria be.

INEC invariably must have an intelligence unit and are no doubt aware that the political parties are not only buying PVCs but have gone a step further to collect the pin numbers on PVCs, return them, leaving the owners N500 richer. These evil geniuses plan to be one step ahead of INEC. A majority of Nigerians demand that card readers be properly used. One hopes INEC does not buckle or waver in its resolve to use card readers.
Mbadiwe, a member of the House of Representatives, wrote from Abuja

To all those political jobbers who masquerade as politicians, our plea as always is let Nigeria be.

As all Nigerians, both Christians and Moslems, shine their eyes and move into this season of elections, let us implant in our subconscious the immortal words of John Wesley by “Doing all the good we can by all the means we can, in all the places we can, to all the people we can as long as we can’’, in the overall best interest of Nigeria.

Mbadiwe, a member of the House of Representatives, wrote from Abuja

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  • Anthony Akinola

    Many thanks for this patriotic piece.

  • GodwinEdwards

    A write-up not befitting of the real content or inhalt mindly or subconsciously undermined or technically prosponed….Benefactors (few ofcourse) who refuse to speak about the core issues bedeviling Nigeria…..issues like Constitutionalism, Federalism,Confederation, rule of law and so on are going about pretending Nigeria will work without these core fundamental issues put in place…..those countries like Cancda, UK, spoken about are well confederated with all constituent units having equal rights…

    • grelia one

      Don’t mind him. He and his colleagues want to eat their cake and have it. Until Nigeria is adequately restructured like the countries he cited, we will continue to not only have transition problems, but also continue to stagnate at best and move backward at worst. These elections will only make sense if Jonathan wins and he gets seriously pressured into implementing the resolutions of the recent confab. Despite being watered down by the same opposition forces that are opposed to restructuring, the resolutions will put us on a forward trajectory. Absent a realistic devolution of power, the powerful center will continue to be attractive, and there will be no stopping the crazy do-or-die quest to win presidential elections. Fiscal federalism has a lot of inherent self determination benefits as you rightly pointed out. That is our hope right now.