Although they say truth is bitter but regardless it must be told, recent presidential election has really proven a point that will never be forgotten in the history of Nigeria’s democracy. The point that we are gradually moving away from ‘kamikaze’ democracy and with a light at end of the tunnel, we are evidently overcoming the overwhelming teething troubles that has plagued Nigeria’s democracy since its advent in 1999.
What am I driving at? It has become one common jinx in African politics particularly whenever Presidential election holds that the incumbent is expected to either sponsor the rigging of the election so as to retain the power or being motivated by his subordinates who often believe in protecting the interest of their benefactor.
Some unscrupulous partisan politicians have called this, a form of loyalty, which in my own point of view is the major bane in African politics. It has led to several anti-democracy issues like cronisym, cabal system and Godfatherism etc. These anti-democracy banes has brought about countless set backs for the survival of nascent democratic systems in most African countries except for few that have been able to prove that democracy is not just another way of monopolising the power and the rights that ought to be given to the people.
Ghana is one of those countries that have proven the Presidential election can be conducted with a free and fair outcome, with the incumbent stepping aside for the newly elected president without any form of violence or electoral malpractice. I want to believe Ghana’s last election has taught Nigeria one great lesson that being the ‘giant of Africa’ that they call her, there is need for her to begin to set perfect example for other African nations who are still passing through similar phase in their democratic system of governance.
Last Presidential election in Nigeria, however has also shown that there is hope for the survival and sustainability of our nascent democracy. Firstly, by ensuring free, fair and peaceful election. Secondly, the incumbent accepted defeat and openly congratulated the newly elected president. And that to me, it is really a big deal for my dear country, Nigeria. We are indeed progressing.
Another thing I loved about the last poll was citizens’ involvement at maximum level particularly in making sure that the election was not flawed in any way. As an INEC accredited observer for Connected Development (CODE) I saw the unprecedented participation of Nigerian youths at the various state levels with great passion and desire to see electoral malpractices become the thing of the past.
I would like to thank President Goodluck Jonathan, for demonstrating an exemplary maturity during the election and after election. It takes a man with an unflinching love and fate in his country to do that. He will forever be remembered for such an act of bravery.
Watching live on NTA before the whole world, on the election day, I remembered seeing him waiting endlessly at the polling booth in his country home, Otuoke, for accreditation, when the card reader machine outrightly failed to recognise his voter’s card and that of his wife, Mama Patience. It took the intervention of the intelligent electoral officials who had applied their initiatives, explored other means to save Mr President from such embarrassment.
Nevertheless, a lot of has been said from different quarters concerning that incident and so much predictions of uncertainties after the election. But Alas, regardless of such insinuations, I still commend Mr Goodluck Jonathan for being a true democrat that he is. And a patriotic Nigerian with progressive mindset towards his country. He has indeed proven his mettle that Nigeria needs a “hero” such like him to savage our nascent democracy from sinking ship of uncertainty and hopelessness.
3 Gbosa for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR)!