When one looked in retrospect the odds stacked against the just-concluded general elections; predictions of disintegration, uncertainties, terrorism, instability, economic meltdown and the deliberate heating of the polity, the palpable calm is a dues ex-machina. The Nigerian people, for the very first time, unequivocally spoke in one voice. Many factors though culminated in this resolution of the people’s yearnings. Prominent among the factors is the resolve of the people to collectively demonstrate their yearnings for change. The people are the real stakeholders in the democracy and electoral process. When the people shun ethnic patriotism and religious sentiment to embrace national patriotism, they reclaimed their rights as owners of the sovereignty.
The journey into political maturity has jus begun; the critical objective now is to our political leaders accountable when we elect them to office. Like the USA where citizens pursue the American Dream, we must learn how to pursue a national dream. This is what we need at this point of our existence as we disrobe our triple heritage. They praise and credit of this emerging change go to all Nigerians as we direct attention to some; civil societies, industrial unions, INEC, NOA, Nigerians in the Diaspora. They painstakingly convened political debates and dialogue conferences. Themes- like Enthroning an Issue-based political culture in Nigeria’s Nascent Electoral Democracy; Towards Issue-based Electioneering are just a few of such. These collective efforts are purely public service depicting the creative ingenuity, patriotism and resilience of Nigerians in the face of adversity.
This time our votes counted as we proved our critics and traducers wrong. It is perhaps the dawn of a new era to reposition our country as the truly undisputed Giant of Africa. This writer is of the opinion that the winning party adopts a unity government. This, in my opinion, will allow for excellent minds and brains in other political parties who lost out to serve their fatherland. To achieve the yet-to-be-institutionalized Nigerian Dream, we must practice politics of inclusion across party divides.
*Comrade Ogbu A. Ameh, Organising Secretary