Lessons Of General Elections 2015
GIVE all the glory to our Lord Jesus Christ for answering our prayers and keeping our country together in spite of the legion of prophets of doom who predicted victories for those from whom they had collected money, as well as endless unrests for Nigerians should their anointed candidates lose.
Our politicians should learn from the outcome of the various elections that Nigerians are learning fast: the era of non-performance is ebbing, the arrogance of non-accountability is almost ending, and the spirit of impunity is being seriously challenged.
Any politician who believes he/she can come to power and then become a tyrant or an eastern despot should learn from these last elections.
When you are in power and then you allow those around you to shield you from the populace; when you allow them to do things with impunity without checking them, then be assured, Nigerians will respond disappointingly.
Religious leaders should also learn that when they sell the Gospel for money and preferential treatments to politicians who are ineffective, the Good Lord will shame them.
Unfortunately, the Christian leadership remains publicly accused of having been compromised with a staggering sum of money by some politicians.
We repeat what we said before by asking a simple question: “Did CAN leadership at the national level collect this money? Did the leadership confer with each of the five groups that make up the Association, and did each of the members within the groups give approval for this alleged bribe to be collected?
How was it shared, and what did the national leadership do with what was left? There is a need for confession so we can be healed and our prophetic ministry restored to the glory of the Lord.
Until this is done, we suggest that at the national level, the Christian leadership in Nigeria should stop advising or speaking on behalf of the community, and allow each denomination to speak on behalf of its members who will hold them accountable for what they say or do.
For the future, the Church must learn to face her prophetic role and not dabble into partisan politics as we have experienced recently.
It has been said that the former President saved this nation by calling on the new President to congratulate him. That capitulation is appreciated.
As a Christian, President Jonathan has only emulated his God in Christ Who, for the sake of the entire world, did forgo His glory by emptying Himself (kenosis). President Jonathan laid down his personal ambition to allow the wish of the people to be carried out. We thank him for this Christ-like behaviour, and the Lord will bless him for it.
However, in a democratic dispensation, it would be unhealthy to take this attitude to mean a pacification of a virulent segment of our country. We propose that the ruling party could and should be bold and courageous enough to go to court in cases where they have genuine cases of cheating and outright miscarriage of justice.
This is the only way we can have true democracy. Nigerians must carry their religious professions into their dealings with each other and stop being one thing in private and another thing in public. We bid farewell to the outgoing Governor, Alhaji Ramallan Yero (Dallatun Zazzau) and his deputy, Mr. Nuhu Bajoga.
We commend them for gallantly accepting the desire of the people of Kaduna to have a new administration, candidates of the opposition that eventually won the gubernatorial election last month.
We welcome the new Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, who is not a stranger to us in this State and country. He is the Governor of Kaduna State, a State that represents Nigeria as a Nation. In this State, one finds the two major religions of Nigeria: Islam and Christianity.
Almost every major tribe is represented here, in addition to all the very many ethnic and tribal groups in Zone 3 of the State.
We have always looked up to our Governors here as National Leaders because the experiences gathered here make them fit for any national appointment, including the Presidency of the country. Your Excellency Sir, the many tribes here are an asset.
Use this asset to garner taxes for your administration, and, in order to encourage us to pay our taxes, use the money to bring Kaduna State back to where she belongs in this country. Secondly, Kaduna can be peaceful and therefore, can be developed structurally.
To maintain the peace and peaceful co-existence between the various religious and ethnic divides, we plead that you see yourself as a Muslim who is the Governor of Kaduna State and not a Muslim Governor.
You are Governor of all religious communities, but govern as a religious leader with the ethics of your religious profession.
Thirdly, study the voting patterns during the last elections. Take note of those areas where you were not massively supported, set up a small committee to find out their reasons, listen to their grievances and reach out to them.
Whether you were voted for in these areas or not, God has given you to us in Kaduna as our leader; we therefore encourage you to reach out to all, sell your vision to all, get us to buy into your vision and we assure you, those who did not vote for you this time will be your campaign agents in the next election year. The expectations of your people are high and mixed.
We believe you should regularize all the irregularities that had been tolerated in this State for years.
It will be painful but as one of the principles of Shariah reminds us: da’ur al-mafasid, khayrun min jalb al- manafi (avoiding damage and harm override acquiring benefit).
We will however plead that an alternative provision be made, and long notice given, should you eventually decide to clean up Kaduna metropolis. Secondly, the people of Kaduna are yearning for some positive actions in the provision of clean water, good roads especially in the southern parts of the metropolis where the people have felt neglected for years.
Your Excellency, when the people see positive actions being taken by you, and you set up revenue-generating bodies who are accountable and transparent, people will support you.
As a Diocese, we also join millions of Nigerians of all faiths and traditions to congratulate our President-Elect and to wish him a period of peace and progress with development for all in the country.
Mr. President-Elect Sir, you are an inspiration to all and we look up to you to become a breath of fresh air after a very choking time economically, socially and religiously in our nation’s experience.
You have taught all Nigerians to stay focused, committed and to never give up on their goals in life.
Your success at the polls is a lesson for all: keep at whatever you are doing until you get the desired result. It is obvious, the stakes are high; Nigerians who voted for you have a very high expectancy level. You cannot afford to fail by disappointing them.
The situation you are inheriting is so bad that you should not expect any period of honeymoon: security is not there, power supply is at its lowest level, queues at our filling stations hardly ever disappear in spite of the payment of subsidy to those importing fuel, we hear that in some States and some Federal Government departments, salaries have not been paid for months.
Nigerians are also aware of the billions spent on the last campaigns, and some ministers are said to be richer than some States in this country!
The list of what Nigerians know about the causes of our sordid situation is endless. Amidst all that, Mr. President-Elect, do not expect Nigerians to be patient.
The good news is that Nigerians know you are not a magician, that you did not create the situation you are inheriting, but they expect you to do something about bringing smiles to their faces, reducing their hardship and assisting them to be able to put food on their tables, move about freely without the fear of being bombed, and fuelling their vehicles at the filling stations! Here are a few suggestions for the consideration of our new President:
• Within the first six months, we encourage Mr. President to have achieved something to give some hope to Nigerians.
He should make remove fuel subsidy so as to use the billions being paid to marketers who, in spite of that, hold Nigerians to ransom.
• We suggest to the President to get the companies responsible for the power sector to either make power generation and distribution effective, or set up an appropriate, trustworthy and action-oriented machinery within constitutional provisions to re-evaluate their contracts.
• Mr President is advised to sanitize the Armed Forces, get them well equipped, and flush out the remaining Boko Haram insurgents within his first six months in office.
• Nigerians are aware that many became criminally rich during this administration that is being changed. Organisations that have been accused of receiving money for campaigns like the TAN, CAN in particular, and individual office holders should be investigated by the EFCC, and as much of the misappropriated national wealth as possible should be returned for the development of our country.
• Mr. President did promise to draw a line and focus on what needs to be done to rebuild the entire country. Much as we agree with that, and much as there should be no witch-hunting, he must make sure he does not build on a faulty foundation. He should closely look at the foundation laid before building on it to avoid a cataclysm that may be worse than what he is inheriting. That means, there should be some probes but not within his first six months in office.
• Finally, Mr. President needs to be careful in the composition of his cabinet. He is advised to guard against powerful individuals who would shield him from what is going on in the country; individuals who are in politics to enrich themselves at the expense of the nation, individuals who are arrogant, self- opinionated and individuals who would tell the populace that they put Mr. President in that position and therefore they can control him.
• There are those who sold you, Mr. President as an extremist in terms of religion. You were sold as someone who would Islamise the country and make sure Christians are deprived of the freedom of religion enshrined in our constitution.
Our counsel is that you hold on to your faith and the teachings of the Qur’an and Hadith on pluralism of religion, and the position of your faith as stated in these documents. . Most Rev. Idowu-Fearon, Bishop of Kaduna Anglican Diocese. This excerpt from the Synod address.