After elections, united we stand | Independent Newspapers Limited
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After elections, united we stand

Posted: Apr 13, 2015 at 12:23 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Nigerians have the capacity to maintain their unity in diversity and it is expedient that they toe that line, because it is in unity that the nation stands

Nigeria has just gone through yet another democratic process by successfully conducting general elections that were preceded by disturbing, divisive hate campaigns. But now that the elections are over, we expect the people to come together to build a strong, virile nation because it is in unity that any meaningful development can occur. The elections were historic in many respects and Nigerians need to take cognizance of the lessons that are derivable from there. Although it cannot be said at the moment that the country has reached her el dorado in democracy, yet the elections have placed Nigeria on a pedestal among respectable nations of the world where democratic values are entrenched. The slight hiccups witnessed during voting are not strong enough to disparage the landmark progress the nation has made in her strides toward perfection in the democratic race. The elections were open and less acrimonious and even the international community adjudged them as free, fair and credible.  The only major minus recorded was the pattern of voting which was along ethnic and religious lines, but such sentiments are not peculiar to Nigeria.  Much more importantly, President Goodluck Jonathan, for the sake of Nigeria’s unity, displayed a rare spirit of statesmanship by conceding defeat early and thus saved Nigeria from premeditated violence.

The founding fathers of Nigeria desired that the country should eternally remain as one, and in his acceptance speech, the president-elect, General Mohammadu Buhari, made some reassuring comments geared towards maintaining that unity. He said: “My love and concern for this nation and what I desire for it extends to all, even to those who do not like us or our politics. You are all my people and I shall treat everyone of you as my own. I shall work for those who voted for me as well as those who voted against me and even for those who did not vote at all. We all live under one name as one nation: we are all Nigerians.”

Buhari’s statement has dispelled every secret fear that may be nursed by people outside his camp. It is noted, however, that the elections have produced a myriad of political prostitutes who have refused to learn how to lose gallantly. They fail to realize that defecting indiscriminately to the party at the centre portends danger for the survival of Nigeria’s democracy, as it is indicative of the country’s gradual drift toward a one-party state. There is beauty in diversity.

Government should not only continually drum it up that Nigeria’s unity is sacrosanct, but it should also show it in its actions by ensuring that every element of divisiveness is erased from the national psyche. Indeed, policies that would ensure equitable distribution of national resources at all levels should be made while strong institutions like anti-graft agencies, security agencies, etc., need to be strengthened to assist in restoring sanity to our socio-economic life. Leaders should guard their utterances and state governors must promote equality of all citizens in their states. Emphasis should be placed only on people’s state of residence rather than their state of origin, which projects divisive tendencies. Nigerians have the capacity to maintain their unity in diversity and it is expedient that they toe that line because it is in unity that the nation stands.