NEED to clear the clouds of doubt hanging over the country and build trust, friendship, love and unity in the country.
The 2015 elections  takes off today March 28, 2015. But this bitter politics has taken over our better part creating sharp divisions in all sectors  and thick clouds of doubts all over the country. Barely a week to D-day and in spite of assurances from the authority,  doubt rather than hope dominates.  Rumors, desperation and hate preaching have dominated the scene. The leading question on mind now is how do we clear the thick clouds of doubts hovering over the country and build trust, love and unity in a country so badly divided by politics of bitterness.
On the eve of the 2015 general elections there were those who still believed that  elections will not hold, there will be interim government,   the militias will disrupt everything,  Jega would be sacked or forced to  surrender to pressure to use temporary voters cards,  etc.  It looked crazy, yet one cannot dismiss such thoughts as mere figments of the imagination. Once beaten, twice shy: elections were once postponed.  Herein lies the challenge of the moment- building trust and bridges of friendship and unity  for a post elections Nigeria.  But with so much division, doubt , hatred, malice and prejudice in the mind of men on the eve of the 2015 elections, how can we build a united and progressive country?
It  will certainly not be easy  because of the deep –seated animosity generated by bad electoral campaigns across board. The country seems to be on the unconvincing and doubtful  mode  that would spill-over to post elections’ time. Who will help  build confidence, love and unity  over troubled water?  After a meeting with security chiefs, Professor Jega- chairman INEC assured  that the planned elections would come to pass.  But not many embraced  him especially as he hinted darkly that the security challenge  was not yet over and the insurgent were ‘desperate’.  This jogged sad recollection: was insecurity not  the official reason for postponement of the  February elections? Jega appears not in control here or walking on slippery grounds  with no much support. . Though Mr  President had said that the  Umpire’s job was not threatened and elections would hold as scheduled and that he was not desperate for power but only interested in serving fatherland, yet there are doubting Thomas  playing the ‘wait and see’ game.
General Minimah –Chief of Army Staff minimized the anxiety and made some happy  by informing the public that the  Army had dislodged the insurgents in most parts of the North East.  He made it clear that it  was  INEC  and not the Army which had final say on whether  elections would hold or not in the cleared areas.  The General was professional and displayed a willingness to respect the tenets of the constitution and rule of law. This is commendable. In a country where leaders of militias now play God, the constitutional position of the CAOS  deserves  applaud and emulation by others. But  the positive signals from the Military high command did not clear the doubts  in the air on the eve of the 2015 elections. Will it be cancelled or rigged? There is still much apprehension today.
The heightened hate preaching in spite of the Abuja Accord, the rascally behavior of some political actors including resort to lies and misinformation by some otherwise educated elites and  the many guns in private hands would not allow confidence to be built. It is cynicism unlimited on the eve of elections and the depressing news from the rumor mills would not allow citizens live in peace and build trust and optimism. The leaders of armed militias  whose member are mostly youth  had given us a foretaste of life after election –horror, as they deploy their energies to unpatriotic mission. At least two of them MASSOB often associated with the actualization of Biafra and OPC dedicated to the promotion of Yoruba culture changed  direction to demand unjustly for Jega’s sack for insisting on doing the right to check rigging of election via the use of PVC and card readers.  Methinks only the unholy and unpatriotic  should be opposed to such move.
The action of the militias is worrisome because of its security implication. Since the Niger delta Amnesty, militancy has been on the ascendancy and their leaders  had develop the tendency to bark orders, and  threaten society for whatever they want. Brawl and not the rule of law is  fast becoming the standard reference . It  portends much danger for  a post  election Nigeria because it breeds lawlessness.  Like the  Boko haram sect, some of them could get out of control. In short the growing and unrestrained power  of militias group could prove fatal to the peace and security of the country  after election. We seem to forget that many of the militants once helped some politicians to power and began to make trouble after wrong empowerment and deployment by some of the political elites.
What Are We Bequeating Our  Youths?
These are desperate times in Nigeria and enough reasons to cynical on the eve of election  The politicians are desperate for power and relevance, the society is in desperate need of peace, order and stability. But in moments of desperation  we must not  forget our responsibility  to our society especially the youths or mislead them to doom.  The current situation is frightening- what are we bequeathing the Nigerian youths? Some otherwise educated people have turned facts of history up-side-down churning out falsehood without any iota of shame all for  power and ambition and there are many arms in private hands.
Recently, I saw a photograph of some members of  a militia brandishing dangerous weapons in the  open. It was a show of strength by an ethnic militia- the OPC. There are other groups with EASY access to arms and the question is for what? Post election war? To kill fellow Nigerians like fowls? This morning 21-3-2011 I watched   Femi  Fani –kayode on NTA. Words from him and his kind-most of them deliberate falsehood and out of historical context would be unhelpful to post election reconciliation efforts.  It calls to mind Femi’s past hostile attacks on the Ibos in Lagos and some respected Nigerians many of them older than him. But I am worried more here by the many untruth and misinformation about the history of Nigeria. For the sake of tomorrow let’s do the right thing today. For the sake a better Nigeria and education of  our children let’s set the record right.
Watch it. The Youth  learn to play the game of life  largely by emulating  the conducts of the adults.  What lessons are the adult politicians passing down?  Is it a culture of violence, a tradition of lies, election rigging, etc or one of excellence?  We  send the wrong signals when we tell lies, steal votes or use money wrongly  for electoral purpose, empower and encourage militias to take to protests etc. We  may not appreciate the havoc  but every false step of the adult, every wrong deployment of the power of youth  has the negative effect of denigrating  society by blackening the soul especially of  the youth to the moral right and positive development .  We give them wrong orientation.
With truth, honesty,  trust , fair-play and justice, a better future can be built . As we know, hatred begets hatred, and violence begets violence  unless reason prevails. Hence Jesus our lord preached love for all by all. The campaigns so far had created an unhealthy mindset . Governor Kwakwanso of Kano reflected this when he said that the north would reply all the hate words and insults with their votes on election day. Mind you a  group had earlier threatened blood and fire if their candidate failed. But it is this evolving scenario of grudges and bitterness that worries one as we move into elections and beyond.   It is song of war  all the way-thus a dreadful prospect.     We cannot sit comfortably on a chair of thorn without hurting  ourselves.
This  is the time to commence the process of healing  by staging free , fair and credible elections as planned. No more postponement as some still speculating. Elections produce both winners  and losers and the tradition is to summon courage to accept the people’s verdict. We  therefore insist on fair-play and transparent process-no rigging as a basis of building a better Nigeria. Unfortunately, the pursuit of power can be disastrous to both individual and society if not moderated by reason. We see this in Shakespeare’s  Macbeth whose love of power resulted in disaster  for both himself and his society.  In that  play, the three witches after revealing  Macbeth’s  royal ambition,  had asked: ‘when shall we three meet again?’  ‘In thunder, lightning or in rain…. when the battle is lost and won’ .  Nigeria cannot afford to wait till the end of battle. She needs to be saved from the  madding ambitions of the  Nigerian political elites by  doing  right the first thing first towards a better Nigeria now through soothing and responsible actions of hosting the election as planned devoid of any form of rigging to avoid widespread  violence that would consume us and break to pieces our dear country as some predicted not long ago.
• Wishing Nigerians happy and wise voting.