Paddling in the Mud

The year’s general elections are over but the scars are like ever, glaring. And as we wait for the start of another term of office for the new and renewed leaders at various levels, our hope and expectations from them are challenged by the gory aftermaths of the campaign and elections.

But how much of successes of failures did the 2019 elections record, in terms of improvement, consolidation?

Well, we are pessimists much of the time, especially when it is the system we are talking about. I have followed much of the accusations against the umpire, INEC, largely from the opposition and losers.

But we have also heard from the spectra of observers – local, national and international – whose verdict is more likely to be more sincere than that of our typical.

By the benefit of history if we can remember it, the elections were much better, a huge improvement in the system of conduct and the will of officials at the various posts of duty.

There were challenges, fundamental of which was logistics, admitted by INEC themselves. And the allegations and the rumours were no reasons for any fair account.

 It is good but, that we are humbled to the fact that the better is always ahead, next, not here. What remains the saddest of all our regrets in our conduct of election is the refusal of politicians, their stooges and the electorate to change.

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We have wasted your years earlier challenging the change agenda of our leadership, refusing to touch our fixated minds and hearts about national or public issues.

But suddenly woke to ask for and expect a magical election to be conducted in marvellous ways but without submission of our almighty SELF as subject of the system that needs change of heart and mind to be better.

So not much improvement, really. Yes. Not much will change. We will live the next hundred years still expecting the better but will never come the way we are.

It is obvious nothing can improve until everyone acts in positives ways, sideways, topbottom and is ready to submit everything about our SELF to the system.

We can only keep idling in the national dream that things will be better with prayers and with the power of God. Yes. Possible. But is it going to be without individuals involved in dutyposts to do one thing or the other?

That brings us to the point that INDIVIDUALISM – our consciousness about persons which places the individual above the system in virtually every key issues that concerns the public interests – has deepened all through the campaign and much more with the result of the elections. It finally dawned that it has become a terrible part of us.

How did we improve in decision making? What were the options and what do we make out of them?

After we installed the app of change, did we have to consolidate on the change or we needed to change the change or parts of the change elements, at the least, and why was that necessary?

How do we keep achieving more by changing every four years with fresh start? Are those who make the Constitution sensible? Crazy, but.

I have always seen democracy with inherent shortcomings. One of them is the term of office limit. It is impracticable to consolidate leadership and build economies within the terms. Not for us, anyway. Those who borrowed us the idea knew we would go no miles to achieve anything.

Anything opposite to the term limit is, according to democracy, dictatorship. But we can see how one leader has changed the fate of a nation singlehandedly by the help of his ‘overstay’ in office beyond four, five, six or so years. We are denied that.

And no one cares to listen during the campaign, as if the limits of term were meant to be a handy tool used by the opposition to make impossible assessment of the incumbent. It was so unholy.

It was by the mercy of God that we got a second term for continuity and buildup for the serious leader. The unserious can be returned many times and nothing changes because the years alone cannot help you deliver on promises. But not for a leader like Baba.

The denial was scary. It got to a point when men lost all honour and glory to lie the impossible just to make a second term impossible for one person, even if it is going to be a bounty for everybody.

From nowhere I found myself standing in an ovation of national cacophony that the elections were going to be too close to call. What? How? When? What happened? Who said so. The social/mass media was full of it but no one cared to answer me.

I dropped by pen and devices and left the campaign stage, resorting to prayers, telling God, “this will be difficult a place to live again if PMB’s bid is stopped. The worst place to be a human can even be better. Please, God. Do not let it happen.

Even with the assurances of the pouring results in favour, and with the relative credibility and peace, I was not up to myself again. I remained dump, until Baba was announced winner. Instead of using words on the media, I did it in even more solemn prayers. God is merciful. It was only His mercy. Nothing else. The devils outnumber evil but with God, it was just over.

Hearing my depressed voice on the phone, a friend dismissed my submission to  the electric shocks of the presidential election aftermaths.

He handed over some sympathy and said, “your own has won, that is ok.?” Yes. PMB has won. But we must not drop the fact that he needed men around him to work with in genuine hearts.

We have had a bitter experience with the President’s fellow party members who used their institution offices to set the nation back a number of times for the interest of the fifth columnist and for the same individualism values they worship.

 There were serious moments when the nation bled but never was there a time when the nation shook inunison, warning the two or three individuals over their excesses in holding us back.

Also Read: INVESTIGATION: Domestic Observers compromised, paid between N100,000 to N250,000 by the ruling APC in Bauchi state

Thank God the election discarded them in deserved punishment to the wicked, which is not enough, for me, until the law pursues their pasts and made them take more lessons to their afterlife, in respect to the life of the generations that they will leave behind.

But the President will still be alone in fighting their type, except the few that can only write but hardly help. Those who can write to help have sold their pens.

The few that survived to return to the chambers are negligible. They are negligible minority and too insignificant because there will be no even a number ten citizen among them.

When we are strong on issues on the right term, they will always shape in. But that remains to be seen.

Will God save us from the penchance of the wicked from the ‘other side’ to politicise every national issue just to please the patrons of  the impugn and the corrupt? So be it.

It is the evil of individualism that won’t allow us systemise the system, to pput it first above every consideration, so we can consolidate and help rebuild the institutions along the visions of the national leader.

Consolidation will them make the bad, notorious, cruel elements in the house change and follow suit in a second time. But we always changed the individuals for selfish, personal grievances and hateful envy we take too personal because we are sworn enemies of ourselves.

How else can we explain individuals buying in their ways through the media with all the lies against the leadership, for reasons that are supposed to be offensive to the whole public?

Those lies made things look likely because, yes, there were weakness, failure, but not enough reasons to throw the baby with the bath water.

When a family member rebels and offends, you don’t disown them. You keep them in renewed hope and in punishment that they will adapt to progress and change things in the second chance. But we hurried like in personal fights to punch, tackle, pull the opponent down and laugh at them on the ground. Immature.

The new persons in new parties may be good, may be even better that the departing. But they are strangers to the family. They will not sit to attend the community meeting at the highest level.

And what is discussed there will not be a privilege to our own household which is not represented.

Except, perhaps, they will change family and join the larger house, may be. It is possible, owing to trends of local politics in recent times. But that doesn’t change the badness in the frequency of changing batons. Consolidation is necessary.

So in all the campaign and the elections we have put individual and personal considerations above the system, the entity or the public. And that is our most dangerous predicament.

A campaign or election in which ‘I’ didn’t participate is always most likely going to be a failure. Or a campaign of, or election conducted by the most credible government ever is dismissed as failure. All because the individual is in stark state of denial, bias and stereotype.  

We have heard lies that shook the mountains from the lips of ‘elders’ – lies for which kids are beaten and punished for at home. We have glorified individuals and ascribed certain statui on them such that they are exempted from the abominations of society and the law.

And in the name of the bastard minefield that politics has become their exclusive domain of doing anything anyhow they want it done,

Those who destroyed our values to this point are still hanging. They will never relent in making sure that we don’t liberate ourselves from this inhumanity, abnormal society that crazes over the right and wrong.

They wait for every opportunity to grab to turn us back. In this election, we have given them additional windows. May be the windows be too tiny for them to pass through PMB’s locks and keys.

The elections left us with the smudges on key democratic disciplines demonstrated by the national leadership and by key officials at some lower levels.

 We used the campaigns to deny the demonstrated principles of integrity, honesty, sincerity, tolerance and rule of law as exemplified by the President and some of his subjects in ministries, parastatals and in some states..

We have used the campaign to belie the righteous, to deny the good, to wrong rights, to abuse state apparatui, officials and to destroy life and property in some places.

We have said anything taboo as in the past, told many wrongs to persons we shouldn’t and we got to the nerves of the innocent. We shirked duty and responsibility to the public in gross disrespect and contempt.

So how do we look into the face of the future and ask for it, with all that we have done in the name of campaign and election? How do we work again with those we abused for no reason to achieve organisation and public objectives?

How do we expect the better from leaders we only ascribe good or bad on them  only by personal reasons, bias and sentiments?

A leader is an individual in position of collective interest of all. They are for all and they work to serve the interest of all. Remove your interest from public funds and resources, talk more about overriding the public interest.

There is no way you can pocket both the leader and the public interest to get them serve our parochials and expect development to glare around you.

Also Read: Zamfara massacre: Communities groan amidst allegations of complicity by politicians, security agents and traditional leaders (2)

More than that you should support and rally others’ support to get this understanding down the public courts of knowledge. But when you refused to and continue to demand for yourself only, do not use the leader’s inability to perform as reason to get them out next campaign. Find some other reasons.

May PMB live to term, live longer to take enough custody of our trust, and do the real and the dream that we prayed God make possible for the correction of the ills and the devils of this impossible society.

Meanwhile, my heart bleeds for the misfortune my constituency recorded this election. That professors who rig election are actually at the front to punish students for exams malpractice.

I just remembered that they were actually silent when those lies were told about a government and a leader that was different. And silence is approval. It is a scar that will last. Sad.

Hassan Alhaji Hassan is of the Department of Mass Communication, Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi. 08050551220 (text only with full names and address) [email protected]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect WikkiTimes’ editorial stance.


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