Nigeria’s Apprehensive Final Stretch

26 Feb 2019

Hi Folks,

I imagine that you have probably seen numerous sets of varying election results from Nigeria in the past 72 hours, its yet another busy and creative side of Nigerians. A key point to note however is that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, has warned that only results certified by the INEC are credible.

Many have likened possible anxieties of the presidential candidates to those of high school leavers awaiting results of their Joint Admissions Matriculation Board examination. If you know any of the candidates, perhaps ask them about their blood pressure readings at this time. The camps of the two leading candidates appear to have resorted to consoling themselves with favorable figures even as INEC continues to roll out results from across the country.

I took a quick trip to Kogi State to see how things were going out there. I met folks who were not sure of returning to their home bases for fear of potential violent reactions that may follow the announcement of results. Despite the critics of the most entertaining Senator, Sen. Dino Melaye, he was returned against all odds. The youth in the state claim he is the preferred option to the older Smart Adeyemi. The state turned in a good number of votes for the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in defiance of their grievances with the present Governor of the state.

It may interest you to note something I found really interesting about this election, the pattern of voting across the country says something about how far our people have advanced.

Voters in the northern part of the country have shown an Electoral sophistication that seems somewhat foreign to me and a few others.

Pockets of violence occurring in a few places left a bitter taste in my mouth. I see no reason why we should resort to hurting or attacking others physically simply because of divergent views or for any reason whatsoever.

In the spirit of the elections, I took myself on an extra assignment where I joined a friend on a Yorùbá program to analyze the elections in my local dialect. I scored myself low as I had to insert words from the English language intermittently.

We are anxious in Nigeria as we await the final announcement of results, and judging by comments from folks I have been speaking to, a little gloom of fear hangs in the air.

We had a drinks party after the polls, although I’m not sure who the real sponsors were.  What I do know is that the bills were settled by supporters from the two major parties.

I would like to express my profound appreciation to those good guys who made sure I had a jolly good time during elections, Ayo Soetan, Abiodun Ogunbiyi, Ṣeun Adeleke, Pete Rock, Foluke Daramola of Nollywood fame, Sola Oladimeji, Azeez Adetokunbo; the ones who held the microphone cables and begged folks to lower their voices.   Thank you.

Please remember to make someone smile, wherever, whenever.


Ilupeju B