by Chinwe Okafor
I must first congratulate Mr. President, Goodluck Joanatan for his maturity, magnanimity and statesmanship by being the first to congratulate General Muhammadu Buhari on his win at the polls, e no easy sha. Accepting defeat. This is a sign of a shift in the right direction. Nigerians should be proud of the freest and the fairest election ever! Elections in Africa, over time, have come to be a time of despair for contesting candidates, and for the citizenry whose energies at seeking decent leadership for their countries have always been a worthless effort.It is also a time for the opposition to endure all that comes with an uneven political playing field such as harassment of opposition leaders and their members as well as the abuse of state machinery to further intimidate opposition supporters and retain government. For the electorate, it is again, a time when they have to be fed on a diet of lies, misconceptions and falsehood, those similar to folktales. In short, tales by moonlight.Snce the birth of our democracy, it has never been said that incumbent administration lost presidential spot; even though we have seen a few States like Oyo where incumbents have never returned to that seat.In the same vein, elections have always been marred with clear signs of malpractices until the 2011 polls that saw the installment of Jega as the Electoral Boss. For the first time, we had an election that was adjudged by all as free and fair, as was evident that the people’s choice emerged. This year again, history has been repeated and made even better. These elections have been ruled by not a few to be free and fair; which might, for the first time in history, change the history of oppositions and power of incumbency.I should probably say that this man Jega is a man of many firsts, besides his obvious qualities of courage and tenacity.I have never been into Nigerian politics but when it comes to identifying and celebrating deviants (in a good way), I really do for obvious reasons: I am one myself. This time around we need to give it to this man Jega. He deserves our standing or sitting ovation.I wish that our youth can learn a thing or two from his administration, his willingness and ability to take in pressure, not break, stay focused and deliver on set task not minding whose ass is fucked.I want to now see a Nigeria where our youth will rise up and take the challenge to do things right even in the face of great opposition and going outside the norm. A nation where the youth are driven by the desire to do what is right and not what is normal, bearing in mind that the annals of history have no space to feature men who repeat history, rather, men who deemed it worthwhile to go out of their way, break protocols, create new realms and standards.Jega is a lesson in calmness, a brilliant Professor and am very proud of him. Today, the International Community is full of accolades for Nigeria because of this achievement. Everybody, including the super powers, has one thing or the other to learn from this to better their own. Now, that’s unbelievable as commendable!Say what you may about Jega, failed card readers, lateness of INEC officials to polling units, late accreditation, late night voting, announcing of election results in series as in soap operas, whatever; this man is a moving train. He knows what he’s doing and Nigerians better know that.
In my opinion, and I think I speak for many, the success of the 2015 presidential elections is a vote for Jega.Once again, I salute your courage Attahiru Jega, history, I am sure, has a place for men like you. Once again our young democracy seems maturing as elections can be said to reflect the will of the people. I can’t judge if that ‘will’ however, is the best alternative to our young democracy but we sure have joined the rest of some other African countries like South Africa, Benin Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Ghana, who have taken the courage to move away from the ruling party syndrome.
So fellow Nigerians, with a standing ovation wherever you’re reading this, raise your glasses, let’s doff our hats as I propose a toast to the focused, undeterred, visionary, tenacious, resilient and outstandingly brilliant Professor, Atahiru Jega!!