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ISSUES: IT’S TIME TO WEEP FOR NIGERIA – BY CALLISTUS EBUE

FEBRUARY 25, 2024 marks the first anniversary of the last presidential election in Nigeria held on February 25, 2023 which threw up the incumbent President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Through the benefits of hindsight, and sequel to a retrospective analysis of the events prior to, during and aftermath of the fiasco called election, and also given the dire situation the country is facing now in all facets of her existential struggle for survival; it behoves every sane and right thinking Nigerian, irrespective of his/ her primordial sentiments and predisposition to put on a sack cloth and weep for Nigeria.

We mourn because it was on this day that the maxim, if you like call it dictum or mantra of “GRAB IT, SNATCH IT AND RUN AWAY WITH IT” was operationalised and legitimised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headed by Professor Mahmoud Yakubu. The phrase has now occupied a big space in our political lexicon.

We mourn on this day, because the great expectations, hope and aspirations of our youths, who constituted more than 60% of the registered voters for the election and trooped to various polling stations across the federation to cast their votes, based on the assurances given by INEC that they were going to conduct the freest, fairest, and most transparent election in the history of election management in Nigeria.

On 25th February, 2023, that hope was shattered, dashed and murdered, consequently, disillusionment and frustration and renewed hardship became their daily companions.

We mourn because under the watch of the arrogant “Janus face” INEC Chairman and the loquacious Commissioner for Publicity and Voter Education, Barr. Festus Okoye, INEC ceased to be an umpire in the election, and became an unregistered political party that formed alliance with the ruling party the APC.

HOMER, (10 – 8) century BC described the likes of Mahmoud thus ” hateful to me as the gate of hell is he, who, hiding one thing in his heart and utters another”

We mourn and weep for our country Nigeria because the judiciary, the supposedly last hope of common man and the temple of justice has completely skidded off the road in the dispensation of justice.

The Yahoo Yahoo and kangaroo judgements that were churned out of their shrine, in the Election Petition Tribunals should be described as anything but the Temple of Justice.

Speaking figuratively, it appears that even the symbol of judicial impartially as represented by the blind folded female statue, who dispenses justice without fear nor favour, affection nor ill will, no matter whose ox is gored has in PEPT and PEPC  removed the cloth she was blind folded with, to see clearly the highest bidder to spread her legs to.

We mourn, because while Nigerians were trying to repress psychologically the memory of eight years of affliction willfully inflicted on them by Mohammadu Buhari, the worst mistake Nigerians made in their choice of leadership, while they were trying to obliterate his atrocities from the field of their consciousness, because it has caused so much pain to them, unfortunately, the one who GRABBED IT, SNATCHED IT AND RAN AWAY WITH IT( Our Mandate) decided to twist the knife already placed in the wound by Buhari, and it started bleeding profusely, and we are now witnessing renewed pain and hardship unprecedented in the annals of our history.

This is a scenario analogous to the response given to the Israelites by Rehoboam on accession to the throne of his father King Solomon, when they beckoned on him to reduce the burden placed on them by his father. My father chastised you with weeps, I will chastise you with scorpions replied Rehoboam. After that, there was a deafening sound of “TO YOUR TENTS OH ISRAEL” This is the situation we found ourselves today. We mourn.

We mourn because our patience is taken for granted by those who GRABBED, SNATCHED and ran away with mandate not willfully given to them by majority of voters in the presidential election.

Our pains have become a distance noise in the horizon. More than 70% of Nigerians wallow in abject multi-dimensional poverty, yet our so-called leaders are busy catching cruise with our common patrimony.

For them no shaking, after all what the hell can we do? All the instrument of oppression and coercion were at their disposal.

However, according to EDMUND BURKE, there is a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. Nigerians have been pushed to that limit. No man/ woman can be patriotic on an empty stomach. The arrogance and impunity of our leaders is not only crying to heaven for vengeance, but as well calling on all of us who are victims of the perfidious governance to say enough is enough.

DWIGHT EISENHOWER an American military officer, who served as the 34th President of United States from 1953- 1961, stated that” It is only if the democracy satisfies the mental, moral and physical wants of the masses living under it, can it continue to exist.”

Yes, that is why we mourn, because our democracy was assassinated on 25th February, 2023, under the cover of darkness. The loser became the winner; a PYRRHIC VICTORY, and the winner was asked to go to court, Nigeria court? Please somebody laugh with me.

We mourn because many are asking, will this cup pass over us?  The answer is yes. A day will come when Nigerians will take back Nigeria from the impostors and pretenders occupying the seat of power.

The state we are now, reminds me of the second stanza of the song in George Orwell’s Animal Farm ” Soon or later, the day is coming, tyrant man shall be overthrown and the faithful fields of England shall be ours upon that day.”

Yes, a new Nigeria is possible, when the true bride groom comes, we shall mourn no more. Permit me to recall the words of John Locke an English philosopher, who said that at the beginning of any contest, falsehood would seem to have the upper hand, but truth through its self-righting process would ultimately triumph.

“If you shut up truth,” according to EMILE ZOLA, “and buried it under the ground, it will but grow and gather to itself explosive power that the day it burst through, it will blow everything in its way.”   Kpom. 

 

Callistus Ebue, former Secretary, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Enugu state Council, wrote from Enugu

 

 

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