Elections Are Over, It Is Time To Build The Nation, By Obideyi Olanrewaju

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(An open letter to all Nigerians)

The 2023 presidential elections though come and gone seems to leave a lot of sore bile in the mouth of everyone. When I say everyone, I’m talking about both the winners, losers and fencers.

While the said losers are not accepting defeat and maybe rightly so, the said winners are fumbling with policies that’s leaving the populace worse than hitherto, and having a relentless mob and oppositions breath down their neck, while the fencers are not left out in the adverse effect of the policies by the winners.

Some may argue it’s because of the legal validation tussle distractions, but then don’t we all know this comes with this tide?

The seeking of validation has never been this rigorous, as in the past, the voters just stay away and leave the political players to sort out the validation tussle in the courts after the elections.

Whatever the court decides is accepted by all, with the vanquished resigning to come back to fight another day, like ex-president Buhari did till he finally decided to quit the ring in 2011, before fate smiled on him in 2015 or outrightly accept defeat and vanish from the murky waters of our politics.

However, things have drastically changed between 2019 and now in this trajectory.

This certainly is telling on our nation building which is my reason for the call to join hands in building the nation.

While the victory of the winner has elicited unsavoury revelations which hitherto were speculations and whispers about the most populous African nation’s numero uno citizen in far away Chicago legally, irrespective of how his supporters wants to “poti the ile ikin”, the unmobilized and unremunerated “nattering nitwits” bandwagon according to how a reputable professor tagged them, seems to be the most unrelenting drive force for moral decency and uprightness in these imbroglio, though these hoards are not in anyway in support of the sponsor of the most recent legal unravelling.

The climax from the Chicago court has left more damage and distrust on the trail of our president, but unfortunately haven’t increased support for his arch opponent who is the driver of this discovery.

It’s bemusing to note that right now, it’s the bandwagon of the nattering nitwits nicknamed the “Obidients” that are getting more of attacks from those aligned with the ruling party rather than the Atikulateds whose principal is responsible for the battle of unmasking our president on faraway international soil.

It seems the Atikulated bands have been dispersed and disbanded immediately after the elections and their leader is the only one left, as his VP, Dino Melaye, Reno Omokri’s of this world who ordinarily should be the loud speaker of the Waziri of Adamawa seems out of power for their microphones in towards the Atiku political gospel.

This scenario sure for a non partisan observer paints to a large extent the current conscience and consciousness of the nation.

Things have strongly fallen apart, if I’m allowed to borrow the title of the late novelist, Chinua Achebe as “The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny” according to the professor I earlier referred to.

The 2023, February 25th election was certainly the most budgeted for, most assuring to Nigerians of fairness and most engaging of Nigerians interest since the return of democracy, but unfortunately it has turned out as the most disputable and unacceptable election in our history when juxtaposed with the pre election stories, just because of that acclaimed technical glitch that eroded and tore the trust fabric INEC sold to Nigerians into the elections. Even the 1993 which is probably the most popular election in Nigeria didn’t earn “pre that election” the trust and believe the 2023 election aroused in Nigerians, and which was only shattered by a yet to be scientifically and logically explained or proven technical glitch.

That though is not my subject of writing today, as all I want to do is for the first time, just argue along the line of the current Bola Ahmed (I saw today Wikipedia has added Adekunle to his name) Tinubu’s apologists, that “election is over, now is a time to come together and concentrate on nation building together”.

In pursuant of my above alignment with the assertions of the supporters of this current Nigeria’s government, I will want the reader to see this piece as an open letter to all Nigerians on the need to let’s now all focus on nation building. However, it is worthy of mention to state that in our effort at nation building, we don’t all have to be on the same page.

As a matter of fact, our roles must be diverse so that we don’t end up building a one party, one tribe, one religion, one ethnic or one man interest’s protection nation.

My first appeal will actually go to the religious leaders, especially leaders of the two most popular religions in Nigeria. The fabric and culture of every Nigerian is actually built on our religious exposure.

Our aggressiveness towards live’s basic pursuits or docility towards obvious anomalies in our country is all hinged on our religious indoctrination which has been ingrained in us through our religious leaders.

While it is worthy of note that the religious institutions urge us to pray for the correction of the anomalies besetting us a people, I can’t but take into cognisance the fact that every religious indoctrination I know of or have read about and that’s popular in Nigeria is hinged solely and basically before any other principles on moral uprightness and love and support for the poor, not exploitation.

For our religious leaders at a time like this in Nigeria, your role at nation building shouldn’t be just leading and encouraging your congregations to bear with and hope for a better country that can be attained through prayer or a continuous prayer for our leaders to do well.

I believe it’s also high time to start leading your congregations to pray for God’s angry judgement upon every UNREPENTANT leaders and their cohorts who’s selfishness and insatiable greed has left us poor as a nation in the midst of plenty.

Even if out of fear of what might befall you when you speak truth to power or be seen as mixing religion with politics, you can’t lead the front at calling leaders to their ills, by leading the congregations through these holy vengeful prayers, your part at nation building would have been accomplished.

In the face of politicians having disappointed the populace so much and broken down the confidence of the people, hence affecting the “building” called Nigeria, responsibility now behoves on our religious leaders to build the people (leaders across all facets inclusive) through deliberate and strategic prayer sessions, as obviously the country is on a all time low and the people in their pain only have you to run to for spiritual succour and solace at a time like this.

I’d advice that the construction work shouldn’t change the most important building ingredients (moral uprightness and equity) which is the foundation of our religious inclination. He get why I, and I will come to it later. It’s time to change prayer strategy as the past strategies effectiveness are leading to the questioning of the different faiths.

Any nation building contribution without this from your alters, shrines and prayer mats, considering the obvious respect you command will only bring condemnation and the anger of our common God upon you lots. (Amen, Ameena, Ase).

Next group I’d appeal to on this plea of nation building are the opposition parties to government in power.

I very well know you’re all probably just the different sides of same coin, but our nation building will definitely suffer a huge setback if opposition parties settles more for a government of inclusivity not driven by ideology but by compensation and political, not national expediency as is the case now.

It should please be noted that the oppositions’ work towards nation building is best carried out through their fair criticism of the ruling parties. You can’t join hands together to work with the ruling party to build the nation, if you really want us to have a cerebral country which should stand well in the committee of nations in the most possible and closest future.

No question is stupid to ask of the ruling party. No criticism is untoward to criticise the ruling party, as the onus is simply on the ruling party to answer all questions satisfactorily and address all criticism convincingly.

Doing anything aside this is simply tearing down the fabric of the nation, when actually we all should be joining hands to build our country in our diverse well defined responsibilities.

Now to the ruling party and government in power, I must commend you for your efforts at restoring the lost glory of the nation.

Irrespective of the voice of opposition, nothing should be seen as distraction in your resolved decision to salvage the despicable state of the country, and considering the fact that we now have a president that have this as a life time ambition with donkey years of preparation, coupled with the fact that he was once one of the strongest voice and sponsor of opposition to past governments.

In Mr President’s words before the elections, he had claimed he understands this job, he applied for it and he will hit the ground running.

This statement eradicates the potency of any opposition or seemingly distraction that may be geared at rattling the presidency.

This ruling party can confidently boast of being the most successful opposition party in the annals of our history, hence no form of opposition’s rhetorics should phase such party of experience.

Irrespective of the many seemingly baggages been wrapped around the president’s neck, no tenable excuse can be given for failure.

Unfortunately, 5 months into office, the pains and hardship of Nigerians is at its worst ever high and this present government can in no way be exonorated, hence the only understanding Nigerians can role or roll with at this time is a better living condition. So far, that’s not seen in sight.

The litigations in court shouldn’t also be addressed as a distraction as it’s also a well anticipated feature in the tide.

The only assured timeframe to exact the efficiency of Asiwaju Bola Adekunle Tinubu’s capacity to lead Nigeria out of the debacle she is currently drowning in is only between May 29 and the day the supreme court delivers a ruling which automatically closes the election cycle.

After then, irrespective of how the pendulum swings, the occupant of the power seat has less point to prove to convince Nigerians as the only constitutional option available to us as a people irrespective of our status in the event of dissatisfaction with the ruling is to only wait for another four years to validate, discountenance or discontinue the person or party in power.

To really not be the destroyer of the democracy the president has been touted to be one of greatest living defenders of in Nigeria, it is paramount that the job of nation building must be seen to contain all the vices of the oppositions and appreciated as such.

The ruling party should stop spreading information specifying hate as the motive for all oppositions’ voices. A finger pointed at someone, leaves the remaining four pointed at self. Performance will definitely drown all those voices. I pray very much that Nigeria succeeds.

Next I’d want to call out is the mainstream press/media, the supposed 4th realm of the state which in the past was seen as the conscience of the nation.

Today there are loud voices in some quarters, pontificating that the white robe of the press has been compromised and maybe rightly so. To retain her power and place in nation building, please note that the media competitors are no longer just other media bodies, but cheap technology that’s made vital information accessibility (which is your power) almost not as privileged as it used to be.

Play your part well in the nation building or the other sources of information which unfortunately may atimes be detrimental for our nation building might just gain and sustain more relevance than you, as we are presently witnessing at the moment. That wouldn’t be good for us all as a country, since the truth can always speak to conscience.

I must use this medium to appreciate the likes of David Hundeyin who’s reportage still gives credence to the veracity of investigative journalism in Africa.

The hope of the common man still remains the judiciary, but from the pulse of the nation, that hope seems to be getting more eroded by the day.

The trust in our judiciary is dissipating at a high velocity and maybe rightly so. Technicalities seems to be more defended more than justice itself. The emotions of the judiciary is being allowed to be dragged into their roles in nation building.

The bench and the bar is definitely living below par at a time like this when it should be the last hope of the common man.

I cannot but mimick African China as I say “if you be judiciary, judge us well”.

Well served justice will rarely be debatable and can be the bedrock to rebirth the giant of Africa. Need I say more?

Lastly, it won’t be out of place to say we’ve left our pot unwashed as a country for too long, and our soup is now burning, according to one of Ola Rotimi’s character in his book “The gods are not to blame”.

This is because our real strength as a country which is the high number of our youths have been left untended to for so long and their restlessness now, as a result of their majority’s loss of hope in the geographical marriage called Nigeria makes them unwilling but vulnerable tool for the destruction of Nigeria by all willing party that controls any form of power in the country.

Their implosion as a result of societal failure on them can leave us with no country.

For all of our societal indices of failure such as political thugs, boko haram in the north, ipob agitation and unknown gun men in the east, kidnappers/cultists invasions in the south and west, oloshoism across the country and most recently the nattering nitwits (Obidients that cuts across all the demography) who have become ceaseless pain in the ass of the status quo all have a drive force made up of these youths.

The only way we can avoid this implosion is when all Nigerians, especially the classes of Nigerians I specified above take their role in nation building as defined up there. We have enough challenges on our hands already and it wouldn’t do anyone any good should the nattering nitwits take it a step further.

They are the biggest threat to the status quo that’s held us captive as a people.

They just might be the catalyst that will tip the iceberg.

The endsars nationwide protest before it’s highjack readily comes to mind. We must collectively prevent this.

Indeed, it’s time to let’s build the nation. We can’t all play same role in this mission.

Play yours well and I promise to keep playing mine to the best of my ability and capacity as fate has given me.

Play your role with the fear of God and love for country not persons or simply political expediency.

Nigeria will be great in my time.

Obideyi Olanrewaju writes from Lagos.