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Letters, Opinion

Lessons from 2015 general elections

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 at 2:04 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Emmanuel G. Onofua


The 2015 general elections have come and gone, the contests have been won and lost, the victors are doing their victory dances while looking forward to the tasks ahead while the vanquished are nursing their wounds and still trying to wake up to reality. The drama, intrigues, tensions and uncertainty that enveloped the atmosphere is gradually dispersing as we commence another four year journey to 2019. However, the 2015 elections came with rich lessons, and here are some.

Never Ruin People’s Chances in your Life

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), a party which prided itself as Africa’s largest party, has ruled Nigeria since the birth of Democracy in 1999. Apparently, the sixteen years old leader has been used, misused and abused that the chances of some credible candidates under the party’s umbrella had been almost completely eroded.

Some candidates, who contested under the umbrella and lost, suffered defeat solely because of their political affiliation. There were audible comments like “he is a good candidate; with a major disappointing ‘but’- his platform”. The people perceived and labelled the self-acclaimed Africa’s largest party as a wrong bus station to call for passengers owing to the national appeal and reputation they earned for themselves in close to two decades of their leadership. Their leadership actions and in some other cases, inaction ruined the chances of most of their candidates in the just concluded election. As I humorously put it – Never ruin people’s chances in your life. PDP has messed up so bad that they made it nearly impossible for their good candidates to win elections. People would say, give me HIV, STD, RIP…anything but PDP.

Be Humble; tomorrow is Uncertain

The Omnipotent being has a way of bringing humility to those who find it too cheap to add to their short list of moral values and virtues. On the 18th of December 2008, barely nine years into Nigeria’s democratic rule, headed by the PDP, the then National Chairman vehemently stated that the party will rule Nigeria for not ten, not twenty, but for sixty years. Making such expression on borrowed breath with conviction was the height of contempt to the Supreme Being.

With forty four years to go, the contemptuous prediction like sand through the hour glass has been brought to an abrupt end. The lesson here is pretty simple – Don’t count your chicken while they are yet eggs because those eggs might break before they get the chance to hatch. Be humble; tomorrow is a decision and no one can take that decision away from God.

Mind your Business

Before I buttress this point, I’d like to state that I am a Christian by faith; although my name hints so, but it’s important for emphasis sake.

The build up to 2015 general elections saw many clergymen, literally abandoning their original business (or calling) to dance in the mud of politics. They threw caution to the wind and made bold declarations as though they just got out of a board meeting with God whose universe they appeared to be shareholders/investors in. There were spiritual endorsements, which eventually had no physical value or manifestations after 28th and 11th of April, 2015. Some gambled with their integrity and suffered immeasurable losses along with their anointed candidates.

There were so many “God told me” bubbles, prior to the general elections which have since been deflated by reality and left the message bearers in a lonely path of disrepute. Their obvious lack of interest in their original business has earned them funny and uncouth tags and certainly will reflect in their loss of fans and customers.

Importance of Teamwork 

If snakes live together, who would approach them? But they chose to live one unto itself, so they fall easy prey to man and other predators. It’s difficult enough to successfully attack a single viper…imagine they move in groups? One of the most important lessons of 2015 elections is that the outcome was a product of building a formidable team, sharing a singular vision with team members, concentrating efforts and achieving a set goal. What the ACN, the ANPP, and CPC could not achieve in isolation become possible when they formed an alliance and eventually defeated a common enemy.

The outcome of the alliance of the parties vividly exemplifies the African proverbs – If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.

Patience is a Virtue

Hasty decisions, seldom favours one. This is a fact. There were individuals who played pivotal roles in the birth of the nation’s new ruling party. They paid their dues, suffered verbal attacks and all sorts of political jabs. They exercised patience for so long till they decided to move to places where they were convinced they will have their breads buttered.

Sometimes, you don’t know what is going to kill you until you try it; but then it’s going to be too late. It may be safe and on point to add that these individuals, littered all over the country fell at the edge of success owing to their lack of patience. Lesson – sow and cultivate the seed of patience and reap bountifully.

Don’t Push your “Luck”

There are people among us who are lucky. What you struggle for, they get easily; what takes you years, can take them days. These people are no spirits, they are humans like us; they are full of luck. But even luck is exhaustible and can disappoint fast when pushed.

Like our current number one citizen, there are quite a number of serial beneficiaries of luck scattered all over the country with countless numbers of testimonies on how luck has kept them living on our taxes and commonwealth since the birth of democracy in 1999 and even before. However, as the recompense for pushing luck, most of them have been disappointed by their unflinching belief in the inexhaustible nature of the luck that has sustained them thus far.

It is an art of wisdom in knowing when to take a bow honourably with the ovation still in your favour; when to count on luck and more importantly never to push your luck.

Sometimes, by Loosing, you also Win

Each time I try to convince myself that you sometimes win by giving up; I am faced with the question – in what world do you leave the ring and declare victory? Well, maybe in the world where your giving up is a sacrifice, a martyrdom of your ambition. Where your giving up is to prevent a nation from going up in flames and burning beyond recognition.

There seems to be a new trend of political opponents who lost out in elections to make phone calls. This act was fashioned along the now popular phone call of March 31st 2015, made by the outgoing President in conceding defeat. It is no mistake to say that the singular act of the President save Nigeria a lot of destruction, bloodshed, death and eventual fragmentation.

The actual loser of the election has been commended for his famous and unexpected act of sportsmanship. He has been called the technical winner for saving the nation a great deal of doom that was predicted as possible aftermath of the general election.


•Onofua, wrote in via e_onofua@yahoo.com