April Elections – Welcome Happy Mornings

by Banjo Odutola

Oh Boy, time flies in this Country

“Why, do you make such platitudinous statement? Does time not fly in other parts of the world?”

It was only four years ago that I queued to vote for a democratic government and I am back doing this same this week


It is just that my life has not changed – no democracy dividends

“You are not buying into what all these funny politicians are saying about each other and the PDP government?”

Listen to your own question; ..…buying into what politicians are saying? But, I told you that I had no money to buy anything. I have no democracy dividends bankable like the ones paid by companies.”

“Well, at least we can elect our own leaders; we must welcome April 12 and 19, as the happy mornings of the Christian Easter. We should see these two days as the rising up of our nation from the macabre of the last four years.”

I cannot disagree with you. There are some issues raised in what you have just said. Foremost, let me confess that I like the Christian Easter period and …’welcome happy morning hymn is my favourite at this period’. No matter where I spend Easter Holidays, I go to Church to sing that song and I sing it in Yoruba. It is different when you sing ‘Kabo ojo rere la wa yio mawi ..’ So, wherever, I sing it, these white people just look at me as if I need help! Secondly, is April 12 desired to abrogate June 12?; Thirdly, why do you compare the resurrection of Jesus Christ to what obtains in Nigeria? If you are not careful, Nigerian Christians will declare a ‘fatwa’ on you for blasphemy.

“There is no ‘fatwa in the Bible”

Must it in the Bible for Nigerians to declare one? After all, there is no limit to perversion of religious doctrines and rules. Do you not recall the deputy governor of Zamfara State, Mamuda Aliyu Shinkafi was the first to declare a ‘fatwa’ on Isioma Daniel? Anyway, there is another important aspect to what you said earlier. Do you want me to believe that the next four years will be different?

“You can believe whatever you like! What I can say for certain is that this June 12 has now run enough rounds, so much so that politicians and key players of the annulment contradict themselves and the facts of the event have now become obfuscated. The country has survived its first democratic dispensation. Accordingly, the remnants of June 12 proponents should no longer be taken seriously. These days many of them only seek relevance.

Oh boy, you must be bold or barmy! Do you not realise that some people have to thrive on June 12 to remain relevant? Do you not realise that June 12 is now synonymous for ‘democratic struggle?”

“That is the point. Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe, Tafawa Balewa, Ladoke Akintola and many of those that fought for our independence as a nation must be turning in their graves because of this fraud of suggesting that June 12 is a democratic struggle. If victors write history and the defeated have to accept the record of events as falsely presented, could we not be performing a self defeating feat, where June 12 takes precedent over the true struggle for democracy?”

I do not agree with all you have said but I grant that these June 12 people never refer to the struggle of independence as the real struggle for democracy

“Are you going to vote for Obasanjo?”

Which one? Do you not know that there are two Obasanjos in the Presidential Elections? One is Olusegun Obasanjo – the current president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the other is Major Mojisola Adekunle Obasanjo – a former wife of his; she says she does not care that another wife is the First Lady; she finds it disparaging to be called a First Lady but she refers to herself as his first military wife and by inference, her status is more prestigious.

“Tell me more”

Can anyone argue against such logic? The woman should appreciate there is more honour in demonstrating public respect for the father of her child. That woman is just disgracing herself. Did you read her interview titled: “Why I’m challenging my husband”( Weekly Trust – 1 March 2003). From that interview, you would read nothing but incoherent arguments of a presidential aspirant that has no clue about governance; the interviewers mischievously referred to her interview as ‘entertaining’. The interview is a poster of hell hath no fury than a woman scorned; she set out to humiliate the president publicly and if at all, she succeeded, she demonstrated that she is not fit for the office she aspires. She confirms Professor Omo Omoruyi’s hypothesis, in which he argued that many of these new political parties were registered because some politicians were under the impression that the Federal Government was to dole out money to registered parties. Take for example, it is reported that as many as fourteen of them did not field candidates for the April 12 elections.

Did you notice how simple her mind works? When asked about the financing of her party, her anodyne is a 419 prescription – Advance fees, which she imagined everyone could afford to pay. This is the problem. If by the stretch of her Lemmas, all Nigerians of voting age paid her subscription fee as she simulated, does that not defeat the need for elections? At least, it presupposes that paid subscriptions is a term of membership of her party. And, I see no reason why she invokes the name of God at every answer. Her former husband was like that but as he became more understanding of his role in government, he reduced the President Chiluba – former president of Zambia’s style of dealing with national problems, for which straight answers are desirous than scurrilities.

“But you have not answered my question?”

Is this a trap? Do you want me to endorse one candidate over another?”

“I asked a question that requires an answer”

As this is a period of endorsements, you want me to commit the grave mistake of Omo Omoruyi or MCK Ajuluchukwu or Wada Nas or …., who have endorsed one candidate over another. When such endorsements are made in an intellectual forum, one would expect the endorsers to marshal intellectual reasons for their choices. Such arguments are not proffered in the submissions of these eminent Nigerians. Their endorsements sound as hollow as Bola Tinubu’s, who has requested Badagry Electorate to vote for his party and President Obasanjo of another party. Are the two parties homogenous? Of course they are different. It is preferable that AD gives Obasanjo a tacit support, rather than campaigning on his behalf.

The reasons provided by the earlier mentioned personalities for endorsing their candidates range from individual dislikes to mindless logic. Some of the arguments are shallow ploys that politicians deploy against unsuspecting electorates.”

“Is that why Omo Omoruyi always responds to his critics and teasers?

The man makes repeated mistakes of descending to the level of some of his critics who are devoid of original thought process. They await him to present his argument and they come from all corners to attack him. It is not that his critics are not entitled to their opinions; Omoruyi at this stage of his intellectual prowess ought not attempt justifying the positions he takes on issues. By now, he should be confident of what he writes. He demonstrates a profound intellectual ability comparatively to his critics, so he should ignore their rejoinders. Look, if his hypotheses and facts upon which he premises his treaties were weak, events would judge him. Why be a sport for lesser minds.”

“What you have just said is damn right arrogant!”

It is not. I retain the position that Omoruyi is entitled to his opinions and whilst others join issues with him; he does not need to attend such criticisms. Simple!”

“Anyway, you are still avoiding my question?”

I am going to play safe like Rueben Abati and say that it is not about endorsement or casting votes for one candidate. Our problems transcend my decision to endorse a candidate. If I can vote, I shall make it my personal business. I have no one’s agenda to proclaim. I hope the best man or woman wins the presidential elections.

I am uncertain that I can vote because of the unbelievable ineptitude and negligence of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This body is a national disgrace and all its commissioners and officers should be fired immediately after these elections. The plethora of electoral difficulties indicates that the functionaries of this august body are as paralysed as NEPA. We need officials of INEC who are prepared to work to a timetable and who can anticipate and overcome problems that can hinder our democratic process. Equally, we need a responsible government to provide immediate funds and infrastructure required by the Commission for execution of its work.

“As you are too cowardly to endorse a candidate, I shall.”

Who do you endorse for the presidential elections?”

“I endorse God”

Haba, that is a blasphemy

“No, it is not. You should read interviews or listen to the presidential aspirants; all their speeches and interviews are littered with the name of God. So, as they all keep involving God in Nigerian Elections, I endorse the Almighty Father, who seems a consensus candidate to take over our presidency. In truth, when in essence these aspirants are not equipped for the gargantuan demand of their aspirations, they avoid real issues and invoke God’s name, as if the issues would just go away. We need leaders that have foresight and solutions to the myriad of problems we have in our country. Even, 419 letters all invoke God’s name; so I am not blasphemous; I am only concerned that the demands of the office of a president demands more than using God’s name sacrilegiously.

On the one hand, if Obasanjo wins a second term, I hope, he travels less and concentrates on establishing infrastructure for our educational system that his last term has seen its final demise; my other desire is that he continues to fight corruption in the system and probe Ibrahim Babangida’s (IBB) government. After all, he can afford so to do with disregard that he needs another elected office. That should finally put a stop to IBB’s strenuous attempts to rewrite the history of the time he squandered our national wealth.

On the other hand, if the crown falls on Buhari, I would advise that unless he is serious about seeking only one term. IBB should be probed in the time of his presidency. It is time to confront this albatross of a previous military leader who lives opulently in the midst of abject poverty of his fellow citizens. If President Chiluba of Zambia can be tried in a Court of Law, why are we different in Nigeria?

If the crown falls neither on the above two contenders, I wish the unlikely candidate good luck because he or she may truly need it.

You may also like

Leave a Comment