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Anuoluwapo Adelakun: Nigeria Undecided

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You thought elections would hold on Valentines day. You also thought one beautiful post-election Saturday in March or April was the perfect day to say “I do”. Your company thought it wise to stall production because of the elections and you had gone to pick up your children from school, because the school authorities insisted they wanted the students at home during the elections.

You bought your tickets and asked for time off work just so you could come home to pay your last respects to your favorite uncle whom your entire clan was going to bury in grand style.

You had many plans; perfected by your assumption that you would have voted and gotten over all the political crisscross of character assassination and pandemonium. Then the M.C at the wedding where you were dancing shoki announced in passing that the Valentine elections had been postponed to a later date.

You went on social media and saw the eruption of chaos. Someone, however, mentioned that the chairman of INEC was going to shed more light on the new development during a press conference later that evening.  Suddenly, the crowd at the party started trooping out in numbers to get home in good time to watch the said press conference.

You got home early enough to watch the press conference and the news was indeed true. The Nigerian general elections scheduled to hold on February 14th 2015 had been postponed by an alarming 6 weeks. The National Security Adviser and the military chiefs (who, by the way, are not members of the National security council saddled with such responsibilty) say there is no guarantee of security during the electioneering period. According to them, personnel will be neck deep in a 6 week combat to nip the insurgents in the bud…beginning from the same February 14.

While you understand the plight of the Chairman of INEC, who seems to have his hands tied, you are disgusted about the news which reeks of the ineptitude of the incumbent government. You are irritated by the unnecessary molestation of our democratic constitution, coupled with streaks of desperation and last minute cold feet. Yet, you cannot but pity the tired man sitting behind Prof Jega serving his siesta which was stolen from him by long meetings in trying to tackle the menace birthed by the power of incumbency.

Then, you begin to ponder upon the epileptic situation at hand. A situation you thought was settled seeing that your president had referred to the set date of elections as being “sacrosanct” a few weeks ago.

You start to ask the following questions:

1: What kind of military tactic do you say a nation is practicing by coming out in the open to announce to their enemies that they are coming for them? Who holds a whip in his hand and calls out to a dog? What happened to surprise and attack?

2: How does one come to a logical conclusion that Boko Haram can be defeated in six weeks when we have not only being in “continuous combat”  with them physically, spiritually and psychologically for over six years? We have also suffered territorial encroachment from neighboring countries and embarrassing criticism from the international community who are “trying to help” us kill the rats in our backyard.

3: Is this a sign of desperation on the part of the ruling party who seem to be buying time to perfect their “electoral abracadabra”?

4: Since it seems that the candidate for the opposition party has gained wide followership and popularity, is this postponement the first born son of an indefinite postponement which might eventually lead to a repeat of the June 12, 1993 tragedy?

5: Since the next six weeks seem to be the restoration of the years the locust and canker worm have eaten, are the chibok girls coming home? Are the displaced people of northeastern  Nigeria finally going back home in one peace so they can exercise their franchise? Will the remaining 30% of Nigerian voters now have access to their PVCs?

Then, you remember that a weapon one doesn’t have won’t kill a snake. You find it funny that a country that has an enviable track record in peacekeeping missions; the same nation that sent 30,000 soldiers to combat bokoharam in the Northeast while 70,000 more were in Osun state monitoring elections simultaneously cannot provide security at this critical time of the nation’s history?

You have being hearing rumours that the presidency might be shopping for a replacement for the INEC chairman on the grounds that he is “…too independent minded and uncooperative” (incompatible features of one who is the head of a body that is supposed to be independent right?) Then, you wonder if your people realise that if such happens a more “cooperative” person will emerge, then we might most likely restart the entire electoral process. Something akin to the disqualification of some candidates, maybe changing of the PVC and so on (new wife with new rules palaver).

There is just more than enough time to demoralise the electorate and frustrate the opposition, till the people get to the breaking point where they either choose whomever –  just so peace can reign or fulfil the evil prophecy of the U.S about the disintegration of Nigeria…( you snap your fingers over your head saying “God forbid!”)

You, however, ask yourself the ultimate question whether there will be elections this year but no one answers you, so you cuddle your fears to rest singing the “Que sera, sera” song, holding tight to your PVC, praying that the next breaking news will be a pointer towards the light at the end of the very dark tunnel.

Till then you hope that your lover has superb last minute valentine plans for you, if not you humbly “roost” at home or spoil yourself, for yourself and by yourself; you call it self love for you have realised that a lizard that falls from the tree hails himself if no one else would.

Meanwhile, six weeks is just around the corner, let the countdown begin!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Michael Zhang

AnuOluwapo Adelakun is a Women & Girls rights advocate, Journalist and Documentary Filmmaker working on issues affecting marginalized girls and women in Nigeria. She's a UNICEF Voices of Youth alumni, Carrington Youth Fellow of the US Consulate in Nigeria, US Consul General Award Recipient, UN WOMEN/Empower Women Global Champion for Change and UK Chevening Alumna. She's also an ardent reader of African literature and an unrepentant fan of the BBC series 'Call the Midwife'.

20 Comments

  1. Tomisin

    February 11, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Nigeria. Sigh. Lovely write up

  2. Baby

    February 11, 2015 at 7:47 am

    wow! I love your write up.

  3. Neo

    February 11, 2015 at 10:25 am

    You are indeed wise beyond your years. Loved this!

    Nigeria is just simply like the terrible boyfriend we keep hoping will change one day so we stick around and have hope, but nothing he ever does can ever surprise us. We shrug and say na so e be.

  4. Ada Nnewi

    February 11, 2015 at 10:31 am

    Brilliant write up…

  5. kemi

    February 11, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Sighh…..

  6. PB

    February 11, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Nice write up dear

  7. GBE*** Ayi**ra

    February 11, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Nice 1, you could see now that our security department in country is just wack, previously they declare war openly on BKH without a logical tactics put in place, the following week the BKH treat their F*up, now again coming out openly in which i pray strategies are set to tackle the issue within the period specify. Let just back them in prayer because that’s what we know how to do best, for the BKH not to treat their F*up again in big time.

  8. kirkpatrick

    February 11, 2015 at 11:56 am

    We have a long way to go democratically even our military might is a big question mark. Let’s all do what we have to and of course pray for the most positive outcome come March 28 2015.

  9. TOUN

    February 11, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    In as much as your write up makes a lot of sense and rings so true,i have a teeny weeny bit of a problem with your wrong usage of being and been.Kindly get someone to proofread for you as you are not likely to see your own mistakes.Thanks.

  10. Gtouch

    February 11, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    Nice one

  11. Moh

    February 11, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    Excellent piece!

  12. Bee

    February 11, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    This is a really good read. Lets hope for the best in the coming weeks.

  13. Heeba

    February 11, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    Wonderful!! True Talk this is exactly what is happening. People be wise and vote not on sentiments please

  14. Edema Philip

    February 11, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Impressive write-up. Lets hope for the best…

  15. Chinco

    February 11, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    This write up is simply brilliant… U really penned the emotions we are being plagued with daily but in a somewhat amusing way, good job. Let us continue to hope for , pray and do our parts for a greater nation. Nothing is impossible

  16. Sho

    February 12, 2015 at 6:39 am

    impressive! Nigeria go better.

  17. Dave

    February 12, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Well narrated dear. It just occurred 2me dat if ‘Nigeria’ were a young man from any of the Yoruba-speaking states, people will say he has “ogun idile” (family problem). At least dats hw we explain a pattern of unfortunate events in someone’s life.
    Why does history repeats itself in Nigeria? When will dis unfortunate pattern of uncircumcised leadership stop? Just thinking…

  18. Moyinoluwa

    February 16, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Amazing write up! Finally, a voice dat speaks d truth.

  19. Tomifeoluwa

    February 18, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Anu has done it again!
    Beautifully written.
    Before u know it, six weeks will elapse and Nigeria’s fate will be decided!

  20. Dammy

    February 19, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    I love your style of writing.

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