Where is Nigeria Headed?*


Former publisher and editor-in-chief of the women's bi-monthly, Emotan (1977-1984) and op-ed. She served the NYSC and also worked at the Daily Sketch in the 70s where she rose to edit the Women Affairs pages and later founded, published and edited EMOTAN, a woman's bimonthly (1977-84), she had Sunday columns first in The Comet and later, The Nation for about nine years till December 2010.  She just started her blog, www.emotan.wordpress late last month and will share her thoughts on politics, society, the arts and sports with Wazobia readers from time to time.

In  “Nigeria will wake up to day of destiny tomorrow” on April 15, I said, “As for the North, I can see Buhari winning decisively in 14 states but I’ll stick with the 12 above, and any attempt for the PDP-controlled government to manipulate the votes in the North would be even worse than down in the Southwest”.   While above title could possibly sound like me, they are not my words but those of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in its warning to the PDP to desist from its evil ways in tomorrow’s elections.   

We all know that things have changed in the Southwest with a reported 2,786,417 of the total 4,616,026 votes – a staggering 60% of the votes – cast for a party hated as much as its progenitor, the NNDP, “Demo” in the region. In the surreal brave new world of Yoruba supposedly separating a hated party from its flag bearer, only 32% of registered voters turned out to vote as opposed to the SE which purportedly averaged 66% (double the SW), 68% in the SS and even  53% in the NE and NW making the SW the last in voter turnout.  Most bewildering, 60% of this low turnout chose the president whom they did not associate with the PDP.  I’m not a political scientist, a sociologist or whatever but I’m sure these incredible incongruities that the president’s supporters and apologists would want us to will a way will continue to baffle experts for generations to come. 

We are really in a sad situation in this country.  In a discussion with a friend who’s also in on Action Congress’ goings-on, I asked how the party could sort of dump Ribadu and was shocked at the response he gave me which I’m not ready to quote but my response would give an indication of it:  “so, why did the AC  choose Ribadu ... and “To use a terminology from the youth-world of modern media, how will ACN turn its believers from “unfollowing” PDP on gubernatorial Tuesday?”  That is now the dilemma the Southwest faces.  After purportedly sacrificing its own flag-bearer for whatever reason for the PDP, won’t the abracadabra that took place between polling units where foreign and local election observers could see mostly “transparent” goings-on AND the collating centers where dramatic figures turned out – repeat itself?   

Back to the essay’s title. A warning as in the title above is more than baffling if not self-serving on the part of the ACN and it would be a big shame if a place like Lagos State that has seen so much gains falls into the hands of a party whose understanding of governance starts and ends with despoliation. PDP already has different templates for election manipulation and would – and nobody would say how or why in the international community - want to consolidate its “victory” as evident by its incredible gains in the presidential election.  Will Yoruba youth in Lagos , et al take to the streets to unleash the “fire” being reportedly threatened by the Action Congress when the party of the president of their choice sweeps Yoruba-land even in spite of the infantile madness playing out in Ogun State ? 

I’m not going to go out on a limb about tomorrow’s elections as I did before the presidential elections and it has nothing to do with my humble pie having been baked by an ignoramus; I personally baked it!  When I said that General Buhari – whom I supported and will always respect – would win twelve states, I used a political map of Nigeria understanding of how these things play out in a very divided country like Nigeria , especially with more disunity sown during the campaigns.  In fact, I’m still wondering how the president would come to Yoruba-land, utter the equivalent of counting the fingers of a nine-fingered person in the offspring’s presence as a Yoruba saying goes – AND still massively win the votes of a people whose collective memories are always long – but that’s a mere aside to my earlier thought.   

After the talks broke down, I wondered aloud: what would Awo have done in a situation like that.  It was a golden opportunity of Northern youth finally waking up and seeing their leaders for who and what they really represent: self interest and it’s lost, perhaps forever on the altar of expediency.  I’m just reading of those who were present at the talk and if the news report is correct, pray, why would Babangida and Atiku be present?  I remember blogging on eitherSahara or 234NEXT after reading that Ribadu went to see Babangida and the latter endorsing him thereafter with very hypocritical words about the youth:  you have just committed political suicide … I wrote about Ribadu.  After the talks broke down, I thought the young man had a sliver of an opportunity to salvage whatever was left of his integrity if not for desperation that I mentioned in the earlier blog.  I told some people that I discussed with that “he should just bow out”. 

Those determined to keep this country down succeeded in ambushing the interest of Nigeria by undermining Buhari and in the process, wasted the golden opportunity of the big stirring in the North that could have set this country on the path to real renewal.  For Northern youth to stand and stare their political leaders – governors, the VP AND traditional rulers who used to occupy a plane higher than mortals – in the eyes – was a rude awakening to those leaders who must be resting easy now, in the knowledge that it IS business as usual. Nigeria, Inc. must be rejoicing.

Whatever happens tomorrow is NOT in our hands, and whatever happens in the metaphoric tomorrows has long left our hands, that is, the hands of the majority who normally should decide a course a country takes.  But the ongoing campaign to paint a halo on the president’s head is neither in his interest nor in that of the country. Ditto the name-calling of any writer who is not in line with the ‘hail to thee’ crowd of opinion writers. 

And so, as I asked in my last posting – not the Easter greetings or the sports story, WITHERNIGERIA ? 

Published today on http://emotan.wordpress.com as “Rig governorship election and prepare to face fire.”



Nigerian newspapers and online news sources
  • 234 Next News site
  • Bella Naija Magazine
  • Business Day Newspaper
  • Daily Champion Newspaper
  • Daily Independent Newspaper
  • Daily Trust Newspaper
  • Elendu Reports News site
  • Emotan Blog
  • Huhu online News site
  • jhova blog Blog
  • Leadership News site
  • Linda Ikeji Blog
  • National Daily Newspaper
  • Nigeria Plus News site
  • Nigeria Village Square News site
  • Nigerian Observer News site
  • Osun Defender News site
  • PM News Newspaper
  • Punch Newspaper
  • Sahara Reporters News site
  • Sun Newspaper
  • The Guardian Newspaper
  • This Day Newspaper
  • Tribune Newspaper
  • Vanguard Newspaper

    Emotan 77
    Former publisher of the women's bi-monthly, Emotan (1977-1984) and op-ed ... now publishes her writing here

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